FAREWELL TO THE EDITOR Tony Matthews has resigned as Editor of the Wimbledon Society Newsletter primarily for family reasons after six years in post. To Norman Plastow, President of the Wimbledon Society, and other respected senior figures who have always shown their friendship, kind support and full appreciation of his work he offers sincere thanks. A Wimbledon Society member since 1993 and professional journalist for some 20 years before that, Tony was invited to take over the Newsletter early in 2009. Under his editorship it always ran to a full 12 pages with contributions from the widest possible range of volunteers. This invariably aimed at balance between local history, planning, exhibitions, the Museum, natural history, lectures and other activities in order to interest as many members as possible. By-lines for contributors were used in recognition of their hard work on behalf of the Society.

The Newsletter was widely commended for its readability and much greater interest during those six years as it evolved from a largely text-based information sheet of varying size into a mini magazine filled with pictures as well as articles and most recently full colour on both covers. Tony matched this with PR activity on the Society’s behalf, using both the traditional local press and online media including of course Facebook. As well as editing and designing the printed edition, he created an entire archive of all existing Newsletters over the previous 50 years on the Society’s website at www.wimbledonsociety.org.uk.This now provides an invaluable resource for researchers and anyone interested in the past achievements and activities. Additionally, to help bring Wimbledon’s history to life, he arranged the site’s first ever use of video clips with Norman Plastow explaining how a once rural Surrey village became one of today’s most popular London suburbs.

Nor did it all stop there. Assisted by technical expert Jo Bund, Tony created an entirely new oral history archive for the Museum of Wimbledon’s own website at www.wimbledonmuseum.org.uk, This now offers visitors a wide choice of sound and text interviews with the voices of those recalling personal memories of a historic Wimbledon now long gone. It is a valuable gift to posterity and future generations of residents.

From 2011-14, Tony supplied a regular series of Heritage articles to the online Wimbledon Guardian newspaper at www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/heritage on behalf of the Wimbledon Society, occasionally assisted by local historian and writer Clive Whichelow. Now preserved in archive and also accessible via the Museum website, this is a window on the past, providing yet another invaluable resource for anyone interested in the many famous people and events associated with Wimbledon and its immediate locality over centuries. Nothing like this existed before online.

Finally, backed by Local History Group Chairman Charles Toase and others, Tony produced several published books for the Society’s sales portfolio and gave talks at the annual Wimbledon Bookfest. As well as highlighting local heritage, these all provide continuing potential income sources for the Society as well as subject matter for the Museum’s travelling talks service. Tony personally authored Cannizaro Beyond the Gates, Heritage Tales – 52 Stories of Wimbledon and Chester House. He also brought Dr Elspeth Veale’s scholarly Wimbledon’s Belvedere Estate to publication after years of delay.

All are available at the Museum of Wimbledon and Wimbledon Books in the Village. If you haven’t already done so, you are urged to buy copies.