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Red Teddy

Red Teddy and his family were saved by their psychic spaniel Merry when a bomb hit their home at 10 Melbury Gardens in Wimbledon in 1944.  Visit the museum to see him and read more about him here.

Joseph Toynbee’s book

Joseph Toynbee’s 1863 book “Hints on the Formation of Local Museums”. Toynbee was a doctor and founder member of the Wimbledon Village Club. He hoped that Club and Museum would enable Wimbledon residents to “take part in one of the most delightful of duties viz the conveyance to the minds of others of an interest in those pleasing and elevating subjects from which, happily, [their] own minds derive gratification”. Sadly Toynbee died young, before he was able to make his dream museum a reality, but his book inspired the generation who founded the museum in 1916.

Read or download the book here
A rare elm wood table specially designed for beating the dough to make the crisp biscuits very popular in Georgian times.

Georgian Biscuit Brake

Our beautiful Georgian Biscuit Brake is about 300 years old, and a very rare survival. It is an elm wood table specially designed for beating the dough to make the crisp biscuits very popular in Georgian times. It had a special giant “rolling pin” mechanism. In 1925 the museum’s first curator, Margaret Grant, observed a similar one in use in Glasgow, also made of wood. Later Victorian examples were made of iron and steel. It came from Wallis’s Bakery at 45 Wimbledon High Street, on the corner with Lingfield Road. It was in use there for more than 200 years before being donated to the museum.

Coronation Mug

This gorgeous Coronation Mug commemorates the crowning of King George V and his wife, Mary of Teck, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom in 1911. It was donated to the Museum on 1st October 1917 by Miss Bather, the daughter of Dr Francis Bather, who was the first chairman of the Museum Committee.

Spencer Manor House

This beautifully detailed model is of the Spencer Manor House, later known as Wimbledon Park House, the last of Wimbledon’s lost manor houses, demolished in 1949. Local historian Matthew Hillier has explored the house’s history and its connection to the author Raymond Briggs, best known for ‘The Snowman’ and ‘Father Christmas’.

Read more here
William Wilberforce blue plaque

William Wilberforce Plaque

This plaque was created in memory of William Wilberforce, who led the parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade. It was commissioned by the Wimbledon Society in 1959 and made at Wimbledon College of Art. There is an identical plaque on the stable wall of Wilberforce’s house on Southside, marking the last remaining part of the house where he entertained Pitt, and other parliamentary colleagues.

Wimbledon Station Stag

We are delighted that Isabelle Zhizhi Southwood  has kindly donated the maquette of her stag sculpture in front of Wimbledon Station to the museum. In 2012 Isabelle responded to the open call from Merton Council to create a sculpture for the new station forecourt. At the time she was a sculpture student at The Slade School of Fine Art, and was inspired by the grand architectural stag on Stag Lodge as well as the history of the common.  This maquette presented in her mother’s vintage Biba suitcase was her winning submission.

Read more here

Where’s your head at?

‘Where’s your head at?’ is a collection of clay heads exploring the relationship between facial expression and mood. It has been created by students at Cricket Green School, a school for children aged 4-19 with special educational needs and disabilities in Mitcham. The works were devised in Shed 13, a purpose-built art studio at the school led by Artist in residence Harriet Crisp. The heads display a variety of expressions, some easier to discern than others.

Wombles in the museum

Wombles

We have a number of Wombles in the collections, including a full set of McDonald’s “Happy Meal” Wombles from 1999. The Wombles are long time residents of Wimbledon Common, first written about by Elisabeth Beresford in “The Wombles” published in 1969. With their environmentally friendly motto “Making good use of bad rubbish” they were way ahead of their time.