Welcome to the community

The Wimbledon Society

The Society

Founded in 1903, The Wimbledon Society is committed to protecting all those local amenities which contribute to our quality of life.

Community facilities and the built environment of open spaces, parks and buildings form a fundamental part of our lives. The Society has played a key role in the enhancement and protection of these vital facilities since its inception.

Civic Societies provide an army of volunteers from their ranks of members, who bring time, skills and commitment in seeking the preservation of the best of our heritage for now and for the future. Societies such as ours form a truly independent body of opinion acting entirely for the community benefit and, importantly for today, are free of political or commercial influence.

This homepage links to other main pages. We hope our site will provide you with all the information you may seek about Wimbledon and the Society. Most of all, we hope that, if you feel about our Town as we do, you will join the Society and help us to continue to provide a strong and effective voice in the community.

The Wimbledon Society is a Registered Charity, no 269478.

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Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire: The story of shooting on Wimbledon Common will open at the Norman Plastow Gallery on Saturday 17 January 2015. Running until Sunday 12 April 2015, it will be showing every Saturday and Sunday from 2.30–5.00pm and on Wednesdays from 11.30am–2.30pm.
Duels were fought on the Common much earlier but in 1860, Earl Spencer, Lord of the Manor and a founder of the National Rifle Association, offered it for the NRA’s inaugural meeting. First opened by Queen Victoria, the event became popular in the social calendar.
Together with shooting competitions, there were extra sporting events and musical entertainments.The meetings grew in size and scope until, by the late 1870s, there were nearly 2500 entrants for the Queen’s Prize. The NRA flourished at Wimbledon for nearly 30 years before moving to Bisley in 1890, the end of an era.

Richard Milward Local History Prize

This new biennial prize commemorates the work of Wimbledon’s notable historian Richard Milward (1924-2006). The first award was made by The Wimbledon Society during Bookfest October 2014 for an article or essay with a local historical connection. On 6 October 2014, the Society hosted the event at Cannizaro Hotel, when Professor Richard Tait gave a talk and judged the Prize.

By happy coincidence, Professor Tait read Modern History at New College Oxford, as did Richard Milward, whose memory the prize commemorates. Richard Tait was also a Research Fellow at St Edmond Hall, Oxford, and later worked as a producer and editor at the BBC, for whom he edited Newsnight, and at ITN, where he edited Channel 4 News before becoming its Editor-in-Chief. He was a member of the BBC Board for six years and is Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University.

Read more information about the Prize here, including terms and conditions.

        First Prize         Kirk Bannister  for      
New Wimbledon - A story of suburban growth and metropolitan expansion l851 - l891                                                                
The area under study is that laid out in the 1891 Census commencing with No.1 the Broadway continuing along the right hand side of such Broadway and Merton Road to its Junction with Kingston Road and the north side of such to Hartfield Road and along the east side of thereof to its Terminator at the Prince of Wales Hotel including all the roads alleys and dwellings within this area  Fig.1 Modern OS Map (Source: Ordnance Survey 2005)          
Click on the link below to read the essay

        Second Prize   Glenys Taylor  for

Keeping Up with the Joneses - The history of St John's Cottage  (7 & 7A Copse Hill) 1858 to l950s

A record of characters of public note active in manufacturing, and also in the sport of tennis and the academic subject of phonetics both of which were new arrivals on the scene emerging towards the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century.

Click on the link below to read the essay

Local events diary

Useful quarterly listing of local events

Storage Facility

Our Museum has a rich collection of material, and we do not have enough display space to show many interesting items. Storage of these items, and of a range of other Society material - eg, display panels, books, leaflets - has been a concern we have now addressed. We are pleased to announce a new agreement with Big Yellow Storage Company, New Malden, which has offered us a generous deal. This will allow us to create secure off-site storage for a wide range of our materials, and free up prime space in the Museum. More information on Big Yellow's storage facilities can be found by clicking on their logo shown below.