In the late nineteenth century, women played tennis in corsets and their clothes weighed about 10 ½ lb – the equivalent of nearly five bags of sugar.
I went to Wimbledon to explore the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and to see the courts ahead of the start of the championships next week (settings for exciting athleticism are never usually anything to do with my normal Thursdays!).
I was lucky enough to be given a private tour of the courts.
The scoreboards haven’t changed since Djokovic beat Federer and Bouchard was defeated by Kvitovà last year.
It all seems so quiet at the moment.
Transfixed by the perfect lawn…
The calm before the storm!
In the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum the history of tennis, tennis kits and equipment is laid out.
Of particular note is the current exhibition: ‘Powerful Posters: Tennis and Advertising 1893 – 2015’.
Over 600 striking posters are on display, most of which are adverts for tennis gear, although interestingly some demonstrate how images of glamorous and sophisticated tennis players appeared on posters that promoted everything from fashion to mountain resorts and even milk!
This letterpress poster is the oldest in the museum:
Even one of my favourite films, ‘Les Vacances de Mr Hulot’ used the famous tennis scene to promote the film!
Back in the main museum you can see the Gentlemen’s Changing Room from 1901.
And you can walk your way through the different tennis kits of each decade.
Keep your eyes on the prize: the trophies!
It’s an amazing place to visit.
I’m very much looking forward to Wimbledon now!
Tennis… tennis… Tennyson. I’ve involuntarily recalled the last few lines of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘Rosalind’:
‘My Rosalind, my Rosalind,
Because no shadow on you falls,
Think you hearts are tennis balls
To play with, wanton Rosalind?’
For those interested, my tennis dress is from Joules (it’s so comfortable! A must-have for this Summer)
And my fun strawberry silk scarf is from House of Fraser (in the sale!)
And my minty-blue colour jumper is from Hobbs (it makes the perfect Summer knit and very soft thanks to the cashmere)
To fully embrace Wimbledon Tennis mode, bake these delicious Lemon Tennis Biscuits.