Wimbledon's heritage: A century of Christmas greetings
The season of goodwill is one of the few aspects of Wimbledon life that has remained basically the same for the past 100 years.
Back in the early years of the 20th century, the Wimbledon Village Club produced a sepia Christmas card showing the Village Hall entrance in Lingfield Road. Since 1916, the building has also hosted what was originally called the Wimbledon Museum of the John Evelyn Club.
Today it is simply the Museum of Wimbledon with its entrance at 22 Ridgway and, run by Wimbledon Society volunteers, it opens free of charge every Saturday and Sunday.
The Museum of Wimbledon produces Christmas cards every year, now of course in glorious colour rather than sepia. This year’s card depicts children playing in snow at West Place on Wimbledon Common, painted by local artist John Field. The contrasting cards are shown here:
Christmas decorations too date back a long way in Wimbledon. But today’s electric lights have succeeded the bunting that bedecked the streets a century ago.
This photo shows the Christmas scene around 1908 when a carriage driven by Santa Claus and advertising Teddy Bears from Tooting passed the old Wimbledon Town Hall:
Bunting also hung across the street at the other end of the Broadway in Merton, below, as Christmas shoppers went about their business the previous year.
The Wimbledon Society is working with the Wimbledon Guardian to ensure that you, the readers, can share the fascinating discoveries that continue to emerge about our local heritage.
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