4 Things To Know About Wimbledon
As the oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is renowned for its traditions – delicious delights and war facts feature, so why not add your own tradition by way of afternoon tea? Cheltenham loves a sport celebration, and with Wimbledon being held since 1877, there are plenty of facts to share on the topic. We are hosting a special afternoon tea offer just for the occasion.
This year’s tournament starts on Friday 14th July and ends on Monday 16th July 2018.
Ball Boys & Girls
Without the assistance of ball girls and boys, the tournament would not run half as smoothly. The brief for the role is certainly demanding! As well as being physically fit, they should not be seen – they are expected to blend into the background and get on with their task quietly. You will spot ball girls and boys, or BBGs, in teams of 6. There will always be 2 at the net and 4 at the corners. During the day’s play, these hardworking teams will rotate one hour on court and one hour off and it’s certainly worth their while to participate. Not only can they earn around £150 for two weeks’ worth of work, these 250 boys and girls can get up close to their tennis heroes. 1977 saw the introduction of the first ball girls, and it wasn’t until 1980 that the first mixed teams of ball boys and girls became commonplace.
Strawberries & Cream
Whether you believe that this delicacy started in 1877, or you adhere to the notion that serving strawberries began in 1953 (sans cream until 1970!), everyone agrees that strawberries and tennis both signal the welcome arrival of summer. Wimbledon sources the highest quality strawberries from Kent, and you might be surprised to learn that in 2017, 34,000kg of strawberries were eaten along with 10,000 litres of cream. This is one tradition that will never change.
Since the tournament’s debut in 1877, every player has worn an all-white uniform during play. This became a firm rule in 1963 but has since faced some resistance from players over the years. There have even been a few boycotts! In 2014, a 10-part ‘decree’ was issued that included the terms that there was to be no off-white or cream, that a single trim of colour could not exceed 1cm in width and that visible coloured undergarments were not permitted under any circumstances (including visibility caused by perspiration!)
During the war, the people of England needed something to look forward to. The championships of 1946 went ahead, though there was no qualifying event – players were selected on merit and then invited to compete. World War II saw a total of 5 bombs hit Centre Court, destroying 1,200 seats. One of these bombs hit on 11th October 1940 and damaged a corner of the competitors’ stand. Sadly, it took 9 years to fully restore the court but it can now hold 15,000 fans.
If you are unable to attend Wimbledon this year, why not join us for our exclusive Wimbledon Afternoon Tea? Served 3pm – 5pm from June 1st – 22nd July, you can get in the spirit of the game and enjoy some themed afternoon tea treats. After all, everybody loves afternoon tea – Gloucestershire is the perfect place in which to enjoy it. Ellenborough’s Wimbledon special costs only £25 per person, you can upgrade your tea and enjoy a glass of Champagne, a cocktail, or a gin & tonic for £32.
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