London, UK, 18 June 2012: A new plaque to celebrate the holding of the first Wimbledon Championships in 1877, as well as the 1908 Olympic Tennis event, was unveiled at the former home of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, in Worple Road, Wimbledon.
The site is still in use today as playing fields for Wimbledon High School and the new plaque is due to be unveiled on Monday 18 June (4.30pm-5.15pm) one week before the start of the world’s premier tennis event and with the London 2012 Olympic tennis event to be held at the All England Club only a few weeks later. Heather Hanbury, Headmistress of Wimbledon High School; Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, and Cr David T Williams JP, Mayor of Merton, will perform the short ceremony.
Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “As our former home Worple Road occupies a special place of affection in the All England Club’s history. The return this year of the Olympic tennis for the first time since 1908 offered us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our heritage at Worple Road and we are delighted to have commissioned this new plaque to tell that story.”
Heather Hanbury, Headmistress of Wimbledon High School, said: “We are immensely proud of our connection with the history of tennis in Wimbledon and with the Olympics in this special year. Watching our girls play on the site, 104 years on, reminds us how lucky we are.”
The Mayor of Merton said: “‘This is a unique place of sporting legacy and a time when the eyes of the world are turned again to London and Wimbledon’s place in it.”
The inscription for the plaque reads:
WIMBLEDON HIGH SCHOOL
THIS SITE AND PAVILION WERE THE GROUNDS OF THE ALL ENGLAND LAWN TENNIS AND CROQUET CLUB FROM 1869 UNTIL THE CLUB MOVED TO THE PRESENT SITE IN CHURCH ROAD IN 1922. THE FIRST LAWN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1877 WAS HELD HERE, AS WAS THE LAWN TENNIS EVENT OF THE 1908 OLYMPIC GAMES.