I visited the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, better known as Wimbledon last September. The first thing that strikes you about the place is the colour coordination—green, purple and white. The colour combination prevails in buildings, seats, flowers–everything.
But I am getting a little ahead of the story. Like all things, let me begin at the beginning.
It was almost 2.30 pm on a cloudy day in September 2009 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon. A group of about 12 people had gathered outside the souvenir shop for a pre-booked guided tour of the Club’s premises.
One of the group members looked at the watch and said, ‘Time’, almost like a tennis umpire. Almost on cue, a suavely dressed man strolled up to the group and introduced himself as the guide for the 2-hour tour. After a quick welcome speech, he asked each group member where he/she was from.
As each member said where he or she was from, the guide welcomed them again to the tour, by adding a little personal note. “And where are you from?” the guide asked me.
“India”, I said.
The guide’s eyebrows shot up. “We don’t get too many of you here. You all seem to prefer Lord’s.”
I smiled sheepishly and muttered an apology on behalf of my fellow Indians’ appalling lack of taste.
This rather strange beginning apart, the tour of Wimbledon was perfect—informative, thorough and sometimes cheeky, all liberally laced with a British sense of humour.
Here are some photographs from that memorable afternoon at Wimbledon.
The Championships begin later today and Wimbledon will be teeming with tennis fans, and will not look as empty as they do in the photos here. Won’t that be a wonderful sight?
P.S.: I did not tell the tour guide that I had visited Lord’s that very morning. 😉