History of the Society

Wimbledon is a famous London suburb with a most interesting history. Norman Plastow, President of the Wimbledon Society explains.

Once an insignificant village on top of a hill, Wimbledon became important from Tudor times as one of the homes of three great families, the Cecils, the Churchills and the Spencers. The presence of such families encouraged wealthy politicians, businessmen and even foreigners to settle in large mansions round the Common, away from the noise and smell of London. Their custom led to the opening of shops in the Village and to work for tradesmen and servants.

The village was transformed into a suburb when it became a railway junction in the 1860s.

By 1905, Wimbledon was big enough to become a Borough and the home of the Lawn Tennis Championships, the reason it is surely one of the world‘s most famous suburbs within a capital city. In 1965, it was joined with Merton, Mitcham and Morden in the London Borough of Merton but it has not lost its character and in 1988, Wimbledon F.C. won the F.A. Cup. In 2012 it hosted tennis as part of the London Olympics, more than 100 years after filling the same role in the Olympics of 1908.

The Society‘s Local History Group meets on the first Friday of every month, except August, at the Museum in The Ridgway. Starting at 8.15 pm, the meetings cover a wide range of topics of local interest.

For much more comprehensive video coverage go to www.wimblefilm.com with full details about the DVD "Inside Wimbledon". This is available for sale at the Museum and local retail outlets.