Published 17th August 2012
The so called Alphington Ponies or the Durnford sisters were a tragic Torquay couple – originally of means their father ran off with their governess and left them in difficulties. They were engaged to two brothers one of whom shot the other in a hunting accident then took his life in grief, from this point they became somewhat unhinged.
They began to dress (unfashionably) identically and wore ‘doll-like’ faces; perhaps most importantly for the Victorian sense of decency they wore dresses above the ankle. They were robust walkers always taking the air arm in arm, just as well as when times were hard they had to give up their ponies.
Who in their right mind felt it was ok to use the unfortunate sisters as ambassadors for Torquay, I am unsure, but I hope that they were not around to witness their fame? My final thought is if a spot of ankle was indecent, what would the moralists think if they visited the resort today?
Staffordshire Pottery Figures - The Alphington Ponies