Whether your time was spent punting along the River Wandle, picnicking in Wimbledon Common, enviably sniffing the neighbour’s barbecue or waiting to see what you are sure will be the ‘Match of the Century’ to justify the 3,000-strong queue, we can all agree that this particular British Summer has been one to remember...
Amongst the sweltering temperatures and the Pimms-laden picnics, the borough of Wimbledon saw a small part of its culture and history celebrated. In 1968 the New Wimbledon Theatre was under threat, with a lease about to expire and a desire by Merton Council to close it down. 50 years on the group responsible for saving it celebrated their success once more with a gala evening hosted by Don Maclean.
Also celebrating are the tennis players of New Malden. After “construction delays [and] issues with hot weather” prevented them from being ready in time for summer, the new pay-for-play tennis courts at Beverly Park are finally open. With the good weather still in-tact and a free trial period valid
Perhaps you were one of those lucky enough to survive the arduous journey to the ticket office at Wimbledon, filled with anticipation.
While Wimbledon may only pique our interest once a year, there is much more to the Wimbledon Foundation than many might realise. In an effort to help improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing through physical activity, The Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and The Championships, has awarded grants totalling more than £64,000 to local communities. The Get Set, Get Active Fund helps cover items such as equipment and kits, coaching fees and venue hire.
The strawberries may almost all be eaten, the cream more regrettably so, but one unexpected feature of Wimbledon will carry on surviving thanks once again to the charitable actions of the Wimbledon Foundation. Once they have provided the perfect backdrop to the quintessential sporting event of the year, once the last set has been won and racket laid down, the flowers and plants at Wimbledon are generously shared with a number of good causes. This year more than 2,500 plants were donated to 10 local charities.
While we are nearing that time of the year where small-talk veers from the unbearable heat to the miserable cold, there is time left for one last hurrah. With temperatures set to reach 25C this weekend, don’t bring out your woolly sweaters just yet. Keep those deck chairs out, sunscreen at the ready and see to any last-minute ice runs, because soon it will be time to say farewell to what was, and still is, a Great British Summer.