2nd February to 24th March 2024 – open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 to 5pm. Free entry.
A special exhibition exploring the rich heritage of the Wimbledon Village Club and Lecture Hall. Over the years the building has witnessed a full spectrum of experiences, providing piety and sobriety, shelter and camaraderie, conviviality and revelry. Visitors will discover the building’s links to Wimbledon’s history and the colourful characters who have crossed its threshold.
Many people walk past the door at 22 Ridgway and wonder what goes on behind it. This exhibition explores this important hub of Wimbledon Village since its foundation in 1958 as the Wimbledon Village Club and Lecture Hall. It was established as a Victorian-era endeavour aimed at luring people away from the pub, with a noble ambition: to elevate local intellect and moral standing. Within its walls, the reading room, library, and lectures fostered an environment of “rational and social enjoyment,” a sanctuary for intellectual enrichment.
Wimbledon Village Club endures today as a much loved community centre, and the building also became a home for the Wimbledon Society which was one of the first local conservation societies in the country and Wimbledon Museum, devoted to keeping local history alive. Over the years the building has experienced ups and downs, including being rescued from closure on more than one occasion, and housing homeless families whose houses were bombed during the Blitz.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to view ‘Where Town Meets Country,’ a newly commissioned short animation film illustrating Wimbledon’s history.
Scenes, Seen and Unseen
As part of the exhibition, there is a black and white photographic series capturing portraits of building’s public spaces as well as places usually hidden from view, taken by local photographer Shamani Surendran.