Wimbledon’s well known for its tennis tournament, held once a year in an exciting flurry of media attention, athlete analysis and of course cheering on of the British greats!
If you can’t get tickets to Wimbledon (quite likely unless you queue for hours), you could always take the second best option and get yourself down to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum – the LARGEST museum in the world.
And let’s face it: it’s a fantastic place to visit. Holding artefacts and exhibits that date all the way back to 1555, there’s memorabilia from lots of famous players from Victorian times, to the current day. The exhibitions change seasonally and visitors can even experience the atmosphere of Centre Court (except for when the Grand Slam’s in full swing of course!)
At the moment the exhibition on show is an exploration of tennis on the French Riviera from the 1890s to the 1930s. The exhibition includes a vibrant collection of posters, photos and graphics and treats visitors to an insight into the history of the tennis culture on the Riviera. We don’t often hear about this; but the Cote d’Azur attracted a lot of tennis greats during this period. These include the Renshaw twins in the 1880s, who won eight Gentleman’s Singles Championship titles between them.
As well as this, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum collection has more than some 15,000 objects which tell the story of lawn tennis as a competitive sport and hobby, as well as the history of the event. The collection consists of a range of cups, plates, medals and prizes that are drawn from three centuries. There are also costumes and textiles that chart the evolution of tennis dress and the influence of changing fashion trends. This collection includes shorts; shirts; dresses; hats; shoes as well as accessories by famous fashion houses. There’s also a collection from Venus Williams, who launched her own label, EleVen, in 2007. As well as this, there’s an array of artefacts from rackets to rolling machines which illustrate the technological advancements in the game, such as Slazenger who’ve supplied balls to the All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1902.
When attending the museum you’ll experience an amazing multi-dimensional tour of the traditions, rich history and successes of Wimbledon. Visitors can benefit from touch screens, audio guides in many languages and can also take a tour of the grounds, gaining access to restricted areas that are normally closed to the public. The museum’s opening times are from 10am to 5pm and tours are daily, except for a period around The Championships. During the tournament, which runs from 24th June to 7th July 2013, the museum’s open to tournament ticket holders at an extra charge.
So what are you waiting for? Make sure you get yourself down to check out the museum as soon as you can to soak up the atmosphere! There’s plenty to do in Wimbledon and its local areas – don’t miss out…