The Beach House to celebrate Alice in Wonderland anniversary

Alice in Wonderland in character at The Beach House.
Alice in Wonderland in character at The Beach House.
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Follow the white rabbit to Roker to mark a literary milestone.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, The Beach House is hosting a series of activities based around the iconic tale.

Author Lewis Carroll was no stranger to Sunderland’s shores.

It’s believed that the Walrus from his poem The Walrus and the Carpenter could have been inspired by a stuffed walrus he saw in Sunderland.

And the bronze statue of the beast in Mowbray Park still maintains this link.

A more established link is that the author often spent university holidays staying with his relations Herbert and Margaret Wilcox, who lived in Highcroft, in Whitburn.

It’s believed that he did some of his writing on the clifftops and that he composed Jaberwocky on the beach.

While in Whitburn, he made frequent trips to see his sister Mary, wife of the Rector of Southwick, the Rev Charles Collingwood.

To mark the area’s links with the celebrated children’s author there will be a day of arts and crafts on Saturday, June 20, at The Beach House, hosted by SAFC mascots Samson and Delilah. They’ll be joined by Alice and the White Rabbit, who’ll be on hand to help visitors make their own props and launch a creative writing competition that will run throughout the summer.

 Then, on Saturday, July 18, The Beach House will host a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, where visitors can dress up and take part in a variety of games and activities, including Alice in Wonderland-themed wordsearches and spot the difference.

 Samson, Delilah and Alice will return to host a cupcake decorating competition on Thursday, July 20, with a day of summer games, including beach football, volleyball and rounders, taking place on Thursday, August 13. The summer of celebrations will end with a White Rabbit treasure hunt in and around The Beach House on Thursday, August 27.

 Gary Hutchinson, director at 1879 Events Management, which operates The Beach House, said: “Alice in Wonderland is still one of the most beloved children’s stories and is particularly popular in the North East thanks to Lewis Carroll’s links with Sunderland.

 “We thought it was only fitting then that we mark the book’s 150th anniversary with a series of activities that the whole family could get involved in.”

For details, Tel. 565 9473.