Llandudno is extremely proud of its association with Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. The fact that he was probably a paedophile with an unhealthy interest in Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the Alice character in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, seems to have passed the population by. It certainly bypassed the local council, who a while ago commissioned a series of statues of various Alice characters to form the ‘Alice Trail.’
Not to put too fine a point on it, they’re all terrible, with the possible exception of the Red Queen, and even that’s not something you’d want in your front garden.
Alice looks like Carrie about to get medieval on people’s arses at the prom night. Genuinely creepy. Creepy also describes the Cheshire Cat. This is so creepy that Moses the Wonderdog gets spooked by it, which isn’t too surprising considering that its eyes appear to glow at night. I’m surprised small children don’t burst into tears on sight.
The White Rabbit is odd simply because of the proportions. It looks as if he suffers from some terrible developmental affliction. More worryingly, he appears to be holding a large knife in his right ‘hand.’ I don’t recollect any mention of his having a Ted Bundy approach to life. Do you?
The Mad Hatter is just plain weird. It looks like some stoned* hippie from the 60s where the ravages of time and drugs have taken their toll. I can remember audience members at Gong gigs looking like this. Not much of a role model for teenytinies, I’d say.
The most genuinely freaky ones are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. These are located in Haulfre Gardens about halfway along the ‘Invalid Walk’ up part of the Great Orme. If you aren’t an invalid when you set out, there’s a reasonable chance you will be by the end. Incidentally, the Walk links to the Igam-Ogam Path if you’re interested.
Back to the Dum and the Dee. These are really good ones to threaten the children with. They are astonishingly ugly. Susan and I both spent some time trying to figure out who they looked like. Then light dawned. Dead ringers for Warren Clarke, aka Det Supt Andy Dalziel. He’s been dead for four years too, and even so may look in better shape the Dum and Dee.
I think they missed a chance here. I think one of the statues should be called Tweedledim as an homage to Clarke’s role in A Clockwork Orange.
*Of course, the Caterpillar was a stoner, I suspect. That rider is just for Susan.