My Time as Daresbury Alice In Wonderland
by Thalia Thompson
I was asked by The Lewis Carroll Society to be 'Alice' for the year in October 2011. My first role was to introduce myself to the members of the society at the annual meeting and read a poem entitled 'You are old now father William'. I was a bit nervous but when I finished the reading everyone said how well I did. Whilst I was there I met another girl called Nicol who is Llandudno's Alice, she was very nice and we had some pictures taken together along with the White Rabbit.
The next thing I did was to have some photographs taken to be put in the local paper, I really enjoyed this and felt quite famous! The photographer was a lovely old man who took us to Daresbury Church so he could photograph me with the glass window pane featuring Alice in the background.
At the beginning of November I was invited to visit The Tate Gallery in Liverpool who were having an Alice In Wonderland event, this was an exhibition of various photographs of Alice and her family as she was growing up plus all other Alice memorabilia. Some of the staff at The Tate had dressed up as The Queen of Hearts, The Mad Hatter and other characters from Alice in Wonderland, they organised a table to look like The Mad Hatter’s Tea party and we had some pictures taken together. Also In November I was invited to a The Liverpool Academy of Arts to an exhibition by two local artists called ‘A Christmas Carroll’ which featured various paintings of Alice. It was a very enjoyable night, I read a poem called 'Life Is But A Dream', other people also read different things that night and they were all very funny. One man came dressed as The Mad Hatter and there were cakes with a sign saying 'eat me'. June Lornie, the lady who invited me, kindly gave me an Alice picture to keep, my mum and dad also bought a couple more so I can remember my time as Alice. The pictures were really good and showed Alice in a way which children would like to see her I think.
November was a busy month! I went to Llandudno with my family to visit the other Alice so she could show me the Alice trail and the White Rabbit statue at the West Shore and the sculptures in Happy Valley. There were different images that had been carved out of wood, one Alice picture was made completely out of mosaics. Nicol’s mum made us afternoon tea, we had a great time and hope that they can come to our house for a visit next time.
Just before Christmas Keith Wright and his wife Elizabeth kindly invited my family and Nicol’s family to have breakfast with Father Christmas at the candle factory in Burwardsley, it was lovely, we each had our picture taken with Father Christmas and got the chance to make our own candles.
On Sunday 25th March I attended the official opening of The Lewis Carroll Centre, which is a new building at Daresbury Church where people can go to learn all about the history of Lewis Carroll. Firstly we had a church service to thank everyone who was involved in the project, then the centre was opened by the Bishop of Chester and the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire. Afterwards we had a buffet in the marquee. The Alice from Llandudno, Nicol, also attended with her sister and mum, so it was nice to see them again.
Also in March I visited Runcorn Town Hall to meet the Mayor and Mayoress of Halton and have afternoon tea with them. They were very friendly and told me all about their roles as representatives of Halton and I told them what I had to do as Alice and how I was chosen to become her. I was given a tour of the town hall and got to sit on the Mayor’s bench and bang the mallet. I was also allowed to try on his gold chains which were very heavy!!!! He told me all about the different things he had done whilst being mayor and was a very funny man. We had some pictures taken together and the local paper reported on my visit. Meeting the Mayor and Mayoress has been my most enjoyable thing to do as Alice so far and I was very lucky to receive a gift and some pictures off them through the post. I hope to see them again soon.
That is my year up to now and I can't wait for the rest of the year to see what is going to happen in the world of Alice.