Alice In Woodland

by Stephen Martin

This is the second year that the Crich Tramway village and museum has put on the Alice in Woodland event for the summer Bank Holiday (26th & 27th August 2012), and once again it was great fun.
     I caught the train from Sheffield to Derby where I changed for the Matlock train and got off at the nearest station intriguingly called Whatstandwell. I made the long climb up the steep hill well over a mile but with a spectacular view over the countryside below, and reached the museum around 1pm. It was a little drizzly but not pouring. There was only a trickle of people unlike last year which was heaving with visitors.
     The first Wonderland character I met in the woods was the Queen of Hearts (played by Annie Harris, who normally works behind the bar in the pub but was coaxed to get dressed up a few days earlier) and she was happy to pose for a photo. I said that I was happy to meet her on a cheerful day and that she did not intend to chop off my head.
     I met Alice (played by Hannah Postlethwaite, she was the sleepy dormouse last year), the Mad Hatter, and the March Hare making their way the willow weaved rabbit hole tunnel. They were happy to stop to pose for a photo but then had to quickly dash off to act out the Mad Tea Party scene. Although it wasn’t  actually raining at the time the weather was threatening, and so the performance took  place inside the marquee, where seats were set out for the families to watch, and after the children could be photographed at the table with all the characters.
     Alice and the March Hare waltz together to pass the time till the next performance which was certainly different and not in Lewis Carroll’s book, but perhaps should have been. The queen spotted a child seated on her throne and ordered her out or she would chop off her head. The little girl was soon up and running after her mum. The Queen and Alice kindly posed for a photo for me.