During this years Easter break I took the opportunity to visit the Wimbledon Museum
and take a tour of the grounds of Wimbledon. Entry to the museum costs £5.50 for adults
and £3.50 for children (U16), and if you want to take a guided tour of the grounds
this will cost you £12.75 and £10.75 respectively and this includes entry to the museum.
For more information see the
Wimbledon Museum section of the official Wimbledon site.
An Eye Opener
I would definitely recommend both. The tour itself lasts about one and a quarter
hours and our guide was both enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable. What you immediately
notice as you embark on the tour, is just how different Wimbledon is from the scenes that you see
during the Wimbledon fortnight. Gone are the
glamour and glitzy surroundings, to be replaced by what can only be described as something that
resembles a building site. The photograph shows the scenery outside the
famous Centre Court. Of course the main
thing is that during the fortnight, SW19 does indeed look the business, and the
scenes we saw ensure that these standards are met year after year. An eye opener nevertheless!!!.
Building Work On Centre Court
One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to go inside the Centre Court and the
recently rebuilt number one court. Plenty of work was been carried out on the legendary Centre
Court in preparation for the 2002 Championships, with both the Royal Box and the area where the
players family and staff sit, in the process of being renovated.
A Scene From Court 1
The scene was slightly different on the new number 1 court. As you would expect there was
no need for any work to be carried out on this arena given that it has only been in use
for a couple of years.
The Players Interview Room
The tour took us through the grounds and we were able to see some of the outside courts
and the newly built number 18 court. We were also taken inside the Millenium Building
where we were shown the main press room where the players are interviewed after
a match. The room itself consists of around 150 seats for the worlds media, and the
player is given a large desk in which they sit at, in readiness for an interrogation. Not an ideal situation
for the player who has just lost a match!!! Inside this building are the players
changing rooms, but perhaps the only disappointment of the tour was that on the
request of the players entry to these facilities was forbidden.
Back outside we were shown the infamous Henman Hill, located outside Number 1 Court
where many tennis fans stayed to watch Timothy during his quest on last years
Championship. Wonder how many other people are lucky enought to have an hill named after them?
Overall the tour was good value for money, regardless of whether you have
or haven't been to the Championships. The museum too was fine value (although
photography was banned) and the Wimbledon trophies, and rackets and items
of clothing from past and present players were just some of the artefacts on