Our supporters are combining to reinforce a Wimbledon connection that turns back the clock to the 1970s by unveiling a lasting legacy to the Wombles – and here at our Plough Lane home!
Members of WiSH (Wimbledon in Sporting Heritage) are at the forefront of exciting plans to unveil the Orinoco & Womble Bench on Saturday 9 July. The wood-carved Wombles sculpture will be unveiled outside the stadium, close to the gate three entrance, at 11 am, as part of a schedule of activities to commemorate the occasion.
It’s sure to bring a smile to those in attendance, but there will be a serious edge to it all as organisers have arranged a community litter pick and recycling event. Volunteers will be recapturing that famous Womble spirit as the lovable creatures apparently spent their days helping the environment by collecting rubbish on Wimbledon Common!
With the help of the Dons Local Action Group, the litter pick will spruce up the area around Plough Lane, including the banks of the River Wandle, and the aim is for it to become a monthly clean-up.
John Lynch, Managing Director at WiSH, said: “This will be a fun event that families can enjoy, but it’s also for a real community cause as we launch a litter-picking activity that we hope will become a regular event.
“We are delighted that members of the Beresford family are coming along to do the grand unveiling and we will be making history as it will be the first Womble installation in the country – and right here at Plough Lane.”
In keeping with the Wombles mantra of re-use and recycle, the bench and statue will be made from fallen and replanted Oak.
The Wombles animation, based on a novel by the late Elisabeth Beresford, gained national popularity when it was broadcast on TV during the 1970s. It was based on members of her family, represented by their alter-egos of Orinoco, Bungo, and Aldernay. There will also be an opportunity to meet Uncle Bulgaria – the original Womble from the 1970s Keep Britain Tidy campaign – and Madame Cholet. Of course, our very own Haydon will also be on the scene!
The event will run from 9 am until 6 pm at our stadium and in line with it being a real family occasion WiSH members will be handing out special commemorative shirts to children. As well as live music, the Wombles from the Lane CD will be launched.
There will also be stadium tours, including a look at the Greatest Story exhibition, plus raffles and prizes, so there’s plenty of incentive to save the date in your diary!