Weatherman Walking and Alice in Wonderland’s ties to Llandudno
Dr DeAnn Bell interviews with Welsh meteorologist, Derek Brockway of BBC’s Weatherman Walking to explain what Llandudno’s connections are to Alice in Wonderland.
What is Llandudno’s connection to Alice in Wonderland?
That is exactly what Derek Brockway wanted to know. A statue of the White Rabbit on the West Shore of Llandudno unveiled in 1933 by former Prime Minister David Lloyd George says that children’s author Lewis Carroll once roamed the shores of Llandudno with Alice Liddle, his inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was a friend of the Liddell family, including Alice Liddle, who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland.
The Liddell’s owned a holiday home on West Shore called Penmofra from 1862 until 1871. Although there is no written proof that Charles Dodgson ever visited Llandudno, there is a photograph of a man who could be Dodgson in front of the Penmofra house with Alice, her two sisters, and their governess, a photograph which was possibly taken by Dodgson and developed in Llandudno. The photo was gifted to Alice by Dodgson just after Alice in Wonderland was published. Although it was Dodgson’s imagination that came up with the stories of the adventurous Alice, it was Alice Liddell’s urgings that inspired him to finally write them into a book for her called Alice’s Adventures Underground. That book would eventually become Alice in Wonderland. Dodson was a long-time family friend of the Liddell family and it takes no great leap of faith to imagine young Alice and her sisters regaling Dodgson with their own stories of their adventures here in Llandudno. So, whether Dodson was here or not, Alice certainly was, and spoke of Llandudno with fondness hinting herself that Dodgson had visited her here.
Llandudno celebrates both Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell’s Wonderland
Llandudno celebrates both Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell’s Wonderland with 55 White Rabbit foot plaques creating a trail around Llandudno featuring beautiful views thought to have inspired scenes from Through the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland sculptures that seem to leap directly from the pages of the novel, and of course Alice inspired tea shops and an ice cream parlour that the Mad Hatter himself might recommend. It is sure to make anyone’s imagination take a flight of fancy. Weatherman Walking featuring Llandudno will debut in Spring 2021.