At 10am on Saturday 27th September 2014 ROAM 639 was officially opened by the Mayor of Waverley. The trail can now be enjoyed by visitors to the Devil's Punchbowl, Hindhead, Surrey. The launch was well attended & was a lovely positive day. It was made possible by the collective efforts of a group of people to transform a raw idea by Ian into reality.
Ian attempted to acknowledge & thank people on the day but the emotion of the day got the better of him so his speech (as intended) is shown below:
'Thank you for coming today for the opening of ROAM 639.
Today marks the culmination of 4 months work to convert an idea into a reality.
The idea was simple, to create a new waymarked route in the Devil's Punchbowl to remind those of us who can enjoy physical exercise of how lucky we are & to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy.
Turning that idea into the trail you will enjoy today has involved the support and help of a lot of people. This support has included the donation of time, expertise & assistance with funding to meet the costs of the project. Many of those who have provided this support are here today & I thank you. Your kindness & generoisty has been overwhelming.
It is not possible to thank you all individually today but I would like to ask a few key people to come forward to accept a small token of my gratitude. Thank you.
Matt is the National Trust Warden for this area, without his support this trail would not have been possible.
Stephen is responsible for the design of the ROAM 639 trail guide & the waymark arrows that mark the trail
Alfie & Arthur (The Marchants)
Alfie & Arthur are the two sons of my friend Tony & his wife Jenny. It was their diagnosis with muscular dystrophy that made me aware of the condition & begin to realise how lucky I am to be able to enjoy physical exercise
Nicholas & Barbara Overall established the Richard Overall Trust in honour of their son who died from muscular dystrophy. The Trust helps disabled people to participate & enjoy sport
The trail name is in honour of Richard, Alfie & Arthur using their shared initials. The number 639- represents the number of muscles in the human body
Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of Action Duchenne. Action Duchenne is a national charity that seeks to find a cure for the Duchenne form of muscular dystrophy. The accute form of the condition that Richard suffered from & that affects both Alfie, Arthur.
I would also like to publicly thank my friend Stuart Hutcinson who unfortunately can't be here today. Stuart is a long standing friend who has provided the expertise to develop the ROAM 639 webiste that supports the trail.
For honouring the trail & its aims by joining us to open the trail this morning.
Thank you to you all. I will now handover tot he Mayor & ask her to officially open the trail. This will be greeted by a number of my friends setting off to run some loops of the trail. Again thank you for making the effort to come & help me mark the launch of the trail in this way.'
The trail was then officially opened.