Published: 06:00, 03 January 2021
An Alice In Wonderland maze painted on the seafront at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey has been removed because of health and safety fears.
Families were surprised over the Christmas break to discover that one of the Island's newest attractions had disappeared from the promenade.
The giant maze had been painted by Sheerness artist Richard Jeferies during the summer as part of a series of public art works for Minster parish council.
It had proved popular with youngsters as they encountered characters like the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts from the 1865 novel by English author Lewis Carroll.
But the attraction has now been removed, leaving just a huge circle of cleaned concrete.
Grandmother Pam Griffiths said: "I saw it being jet-washed. I thought they were just cleaning it."
But Swale Cllr Cameron Beart said: "It was removed because it was dangerous. Every time it was wet, kids were slipping over on it."
And Ian Arnell, Swale council's seafront manager, added: "We advised the parish council to remove it after a few accidents on it."
Cllr Ken Ingleton who chairs the parish council admitted: "We were asked to remove it.
"Apparently youngsters were slipping on it although it was supposed to have non-slip paint."
He added: "I always thought it was in the wrong place and on a slight slope. We are looking at putting it somewhere else but we haven't decided yet. It was down to health and safety."
Mr Jeferies, a father-of four who has also painted a tribute to Turner's Fighting Temeraire on the seawall at Minster and a number murals at Sheerness including a giant bee and a beach scene, refused to comment.
He said: "You will have to speak to Minster parish council about this."
As Alice might have said, curiouser and curiouser...