A vast expanse of forested parkland in south-west London, Wimbledon Common is also home to the burrow of those pointy-nosed furry (and extremely environmentally-friendly) creatures known as The Wombles.
Created by the late author Elisabeth Beresford, the Wombles apparently have their origin in a walk Ms Beresford took with her children on the Common during which one of them referred to their location as Wombledon Common.
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common – who include Bungo, Orinoco, Tobermory, Miss Adelaide, Madame Cholet, and Great Uncle Bulgaria – appeared in more than 20 books written by Beresford with the first, The Wombles, published in 1968. They’ve also starred in a couple of TV series, made a number of other TV appearances, released some albums and even had their own stage show and a movie, Wombling Free, released in 1977.
Much of the action in the books takes place on Wimbledon Common (which along with the adjoining Putney Common covers some 460 hectares) where they all live in a burrow, recycling rubbish they find discarded by humans.
Features of Wimbledon Common include the Wimbledon Windmill Museum (see our earlier post on it here) and a number of ponds including Rushmere Pond which lies close to Wimbledon Village and probably has a medieval origin.
For more on Wimbledon Common, check out www.wpcc.org.uk.
For more on London’s parks and gardens, see David Hampshire’s London’s Secrets: Parks & Gardens.