The Queue is a tradition as integral to the Championships as strawberries and cream, or predominately white clothing.
In 1927 queues started outside the ground at 5 a.m. and more than 2,000 people were turned away. In 1991, when heavy rain caused the game to be delayed to the Middle Sunday for the very first time, the queue stretched for 2.4 km outside the grounds.
The Queue is a very organized affair: on your arrival, an Honorary Steward hands you a numbered card (this custom was started in 2003 after having huge problems with queue jumping in the previous year) and a 40-page booklet called A Guide to Queueing for the Championships.
A ‘Code of Conduct’ applies to the queue, which is kept in check by the Honorary Stewards. The code includes a non-reservation policy, where people queueing must be present in person and may not place equipment to hold their places.
You can find all the info about the queuing experience on the Wimbledon official website.
Wimbledon Museum’s latest exhibition, The Queue, explores the traditions and history of the Wimbledon queue and offering visitors an interesting insight into the very British queueing experience.
The exhibition includes tips for potential Wimbledon queuers and a display of objects collected from queueing over the years. Here are a few pics I took during my Wimbledon guided tour (sorry for the bad quality):
This story by wil6ka was published on the Lomography website on January, 2009.
This Summer a long time dream of me came true – at least superficially;) I was always a tennis-crack in my teenage years, spent more time on the court than anywhere else. Back in the days I worshiped Boris Becker and imagined being a pro and playing in Wimbledon. Well, the story turned otherwise – but I played last Tuesday for the first time in six years, afterward my ass was aching – but this is another story.
Anyways, I was in London this Summer and totally accidentally the Wimbledon Tournament was happening at the same time. So decision was easily made to go there. The thing was, during the day I had to work and I could only show up with friends in the early evening. And once we got there by tube we found out, that is a quite a challenge to get in. A queue of maybe 10 km was exposing itself (and I am not exaggerating). I heard about the passion of the english lining up in queues, but this was too much. But what can you do? we lined up and we gut a brochure, how the rules of lining up are…Isn’t that amazing?
The were selling merch with the message “I was queuing up in Wimbledon” and strawberries with whip-cream. After two hours we made it inside and smelled the air of history. Unluckily most of the stars had packed their stuff and enjoyed their “Feierabend” in their whirlpools. But I was there: I queued up for Wimbledon.
More pics on the Lomography website.