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Wimbledon Museum will present a special exhibition exploring the rich heritage of the Wimbledon Village Club and Lecture Hall Building from its Victorian origins to the present day. The exhibition will run for eight weekends from Friday 2 February to Sunday 24 March 2024.


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 1858 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.

Wimbledon Museum Director Jacqueline Laurence said, “We are thrilled to present this exhibition, a tribute to the legacy encapsulated within 22 Ridgway. It’s an opportunity for all to uncover the vibrant narratives that have shaped Wimbledon’s identity, highlighting the resilience and unwavering community spirit demonstrated within these walls.”

The exhibition was designed by Louise Hung, who came to the UK from Taiwan in 2018 to study illustration at Kingston University, and completed her MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art last year. She volunteers both on Wimbledon Common and for the museum, and she has also introduced a collaboration with current Illustration Animation students at Kingston University, been involved in school workshops and visits, and has run a book-binding workshop.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Wimbledon Museum is launching a new animation film ‘Where Town Meets Country’ illustrating the history of Wimbledon. It will be released on its website and on social media channels on Friday 2nd February, and can be viewed at the exhibition.


The short animation was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Merton Council. It was conceived and made by Denhams Digital in collaboration with museum staff and interviews with local residents.

Film director Charlote Barton said: “With a wide-open brief to make a film about the history of Wimbledon (that had nothing to do with the tennis) and would encourage people to visit the museum, I needed to speak to lots of different people to understand what they thought was important about the place. This was their patch, their history. My job was to edit their thoughts into one overarching idea for the film.“

The finished film explains the local topography and the hill that both divides and unites Wimbledon – the town and the village, the narrative of the common, the grand manor houses and the transformative effects of both the railway and the water mains.”

Special exhibition Behind That Door: Unlocking the history of 22 Ridgway runs from 2nd February to 24th March every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2.30pm to 5pm, with free admission. 

You can view ‘Where Town Meets Country’ on the museum’s website from Friday 2nd February.  Visitwww.wimbledonmuseum.org.uk and follow on Instagram @thewimbledonmuseum

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