Lewis Carroll plaque set to be unveiled in terrace

AFTER four years of hard work Whitby Civic Society will unveil its final, fully-restored blue plaque tomorrow.

Each of the 17 plaques have been beautifully restored to their blue and antique-gold glory by committee member Richard Cooke and the final one to be put back in place will be the one dedicated to Lewis Carroll.

Richard, who honed his skills since starting an apprenticeship in 1950, has lovingly worked his magic on all the plaques.

Lewis Carroll’s, which has been in his garage for safe keeping for a number of years, will be put back into position on the wall of number five East Terrace.

There will be a short ceremony commemorating the return of the plaque from 2pm.

The hotel, between Kirby’s and The Royal, which used to be called Barnard’s, was left empty for some time but has now been purchased as a hotel and tea room and renamed La Rosa and will open to visitors again from Monday.

Lewis Carroll, real name Charles Dodgson, stayed here in rooms on seven visits, the first being in 1854 – a very important year for him as he had articles accepted in the Whitby Gazette and he also studied mathematics in the town. This resulted in him being awarded a BA first class honours degree in Mathematics.

He attended St Mary’s Church and knew the town well. His last visit to number five East Terrace in 1871 was with other members of his family who came to celebrate his brother’s wedding in Sleights.

The new owners of the hotel are keen to dedicate their tea room to Carroll’s world of Alice and his other famous and well-loved works.

Malcolm Barker, a former Whitby Gazette reporter and editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post – who performed the unveiling of the plaque 10 years ago – will be there to recall the event which included a performance of the Mad Hatter’s tea party by children from West Cliff School.

Elizabeth Cheyne, events secretary at Whitby Civic Society, said: “It is great this plaque is going back up as Lewis Carroll is very important to Whitby. He visited the town many times and we have good reason to believe he may have based some scenes from his experience’s here.

“The new owners of the hotel where the plaque is placed are keen to keep the Alice connection which is fantastic.”

Whitby mayor Coun Steve Smith will be on hand for the unveiling.