THERE was a touch of madness about Oxford on Saturday as the city was turned into a wonderland for Alice’s Day.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the publication Lewis Carroll’s famous novel Alice in Wonderland, first published in November 1865.

As part of its annual celebrations, the Story Museum and more than 20 other Oxford institutions laid on special activities across the city centre.

The Oxford Times:

From left, Alison Moran (Rosebush), Isaac Moran (eight, as Turtle), Sebastian Cowburn (10, as Cheshire Cat), Rosalind Cowburn (Queen of Hearts), Andy Cowburn (Mad Hatter), Joshua Moran (eight, as a hedgehog), and Imogen Cowburn (11, White Rabbit)

Each inspired by one of the book’s 12 chapters, they saw visitors sample a “frabjous” food fair at Oxford Castle, dance a Lobster Quadrille at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History and seek advice from a caterpillar at the recently-opened Weston Library.

At the Story Museum in Pembroke Street, there was a tea party where 150 different incarnations of Alice gathered to launch the day.

Actor Mark Stevenson, of London-based Teatro Vivo, roamed the streets as a “gryphon” with other members of the tea party on their way to dance the quadrille.

The Oxford Times:

Robin Berry (White Rabbit) and Sarah Finegan (Queen of Hearts), of Teatro Vivo


The 42-year-old, who also came to the city for Alice’s Day two years ago, said: “It’s been a really fun and joyous day, because it’s brought us back to where it all began and everyone has been really up for giving things a try.


“I love the fact the streets have just been taken over by nonsense.”


Actress Jonia Miller, who came as the Mock Turtle, complete with a fabric shell on her back, added: “It’s the first time I’ve come along and people have really been open and very sweet.


“I have been greeted with smiles everywhere, which is really nice.”

The Oxford Times:

Alices in the Story Museum's courtyard with Fiona Fullerton

The celebrations also marked the day, 153 years ago on July 4, 1862, when Carroll – whose real name was Charles Dodgson, an Oxford mathematics don – first told the story to Alice Liddle and her sisters that would become his now-renowned classic.


Three years later, it was published and fast became popular, with even Queen Victoria said to be a fan.
It was clearly a favourite of the Moran family, from Oxford, and the Cowburns, from Cambridge, who both turned out in fancy dress.


Imogen Cowburn came dressed, in a home-made costume, as the rabbit running late who first leads Alice to her adventures.


The 11-year-old said: “There have been all kinds of things to do today, it’s been really fun.”
Alison Moran, 47, who came as a talking rose bush, added: “It’s for mad people really.”

The Oxford Times:

Fiona Fullerton cuts a 150th birthday cake

The 42-year-old, who also came to the city for Alice’s Day two years ago, said: “It’s been a really fun and joyous day, because it’s brought us back to where it all began and everyone has been really up for giving things a try.

“I love the fact the streets have just been taken over by nonsense.”

Actress Jonia Miller, who came as the Mock Turtle, complete with a fabric shell on her back, added: “It’s the first time I’ve come along and people have really been open and very sweet.

“I have been greeted with smiles everywhere, which is really nice.”

The celebrations also marked the day, 153 years ago on July 4, 1862, when Carroll – whose real name was Charles Dodgson, an Oxford mathematics don – first told the story to Alice Liddle and her sisters that would become his now-renowned classic.

The Oxford Times:

Jim Fish as the Knave

Three years later, it was published and fast became popular, with even Queen Victoria said to be a fan.

It was clearly a favourite of the Moran family, from Oxford, and the Cowburns, from Cambridge, who both turned out in fancy dress.

Imogen Cowburn came dressed, in a home-made costume, as the rabbit running late who first leads Alice to her adventures.

The Oxford Times:

A performer with Teatre Nu, of Barcelona

The 11-year-old said: “There have been all kinds of things to do today, it’s been really fun.”

Alison Moran, 47, who came as a talking rose bush, added: “It’s for mad people really.”