Each year, news reports about colossal amounts of strawberry consumption hit the headlines during The Championships. A look at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum’s postcard collection shows that the public fascination with Wimbledon and food goes back to the early days…
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This explains the popularity of picture postcards from The Championships, particularly in the first quarter of the 20th century when the use of postcards exploded. They became a standard method for transmitting short messages which could be delivered cheaply and reliably and they were also purchased as souvenirs, with the time period seeing the first golden era of postcard collecting.
The fact that the refreshment facilities were substantially upgraded seven times in the 44 years that The Championships were held at Worple Road shows just how integral food has always been to the Wimbledon experience. What’s more, the 27 food outlets available during The Championships today are a testament to the fact that this has not changed although the amount of food consumed has rocketed due to the event’s ever-growing popularity.
On average, 12 000 kilos of poached and smoked salmon, 32 000 portions of fish and chips, 190 000 cups of tea and coffee, 230 000 glasses of Pimm’s and a whopping 28 000 kilos of strawberries, amongst other food products, are consumed each year!
But not to worry; whilst Wimbledon is now the largest single annual sporting catering operation carried out in Europe, visitors can rest assured that the quality of the strawberries has not changed since the Worple Road days. Freshly picked Kent Grade1 strawberries arrive at the Grounds at 5.30am for close inspection so that spectators can fully enjoy the delicious treat that has long been a symbol of The Championships at Wimbledon.
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