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Spotlight On: Fielders

Having been recently awarded Best Arts and Crafts Store in South West London (in the 2021 UK Enterprise Awards hosted by SME-News), we’re shining a light on small, independent and family owned business Fielders. With eye-catching window displays that add a pop of colour and character to Wimbledon Hill Road, find out more about the go-to destination for DIY and crafty inspiration.

1) Tell us more about Fielders and how you begun..

Fielders was founded in 1928 by brothers, Ernest and William Fielder who bought a small booksellers and stationers in Wimbledon for their wives. Most of the photographs of ‘Old’ Wimbledon available in the archives of the Wimbledon Museum and Merton Library were taken by these two brothers and their father George Fielder. The company is now run by one of George’s great grandsons, Ian Fielder and is the oldest retail business in Wimbledon that is still under the same family ownership and management, as when it began.

2) What kinds of products do you offer?

As a destination for quality fine art materials, Fielders stock an ever-evolving range of craft materials and a have a brilliant in-house framing workshop staffed with 3 professionally qualified framers. Find everything inside from croquet kits, acrylic paints, sketchbooks, pretty ribbons, face mask fabrics and lots more.

   

2) With Halloween around the corner and Christmas fast-approaching, what can we expect to see in store?

We are running a Pumpkin Decorating competition for kids this Halloween and kicking off the Love Wimbledon Hocus Pocus trail from our front doors. Pop inside for lots of black-and-orange-themed crafts and keep an eye out for our upcoming Christmas Wreath Decorating Challenge. Pick up our wooden stags and deers (made from brown paper) and have a go at decorating them in your own festive way – whether with paint, decoupage or décopatch paper.

With great quirky products available such as seafood-themed croquet kits and timber modelled oceanic scenes, you’ll never struggle with DIY inspiration for any events when at Fielders – however strange or wonderful!

3) Can you provide any creative ideas for upcycling?

There really isn’t much that cannot be freshly painted with sprays or acrylics! How about an old bike painted in neon pink for a Cancer Research charity ride? Add a pop of colour to a plain bedroom wall with hanging origami art or create your own macrame wall decor. Our staff are always on hand to help our customers’ creative ideas so pop down and have a chat with us.

4) What are some of the most interesting things that you’ve seen your customers create, using products from your store?

Recent “makes” have included painting tree stumps in Wimbledon Town Centre, making bug brooches from Origami paper, and our framing department is currently framing some rock fossils. Last week we were asked to frame a “green man” latex mask, a Grayson Perry silk scarf and a Watford football shirt!

 

Fielders is located at 54 Wimbledon Hill Rd, SW19 7PA and offer 10% off to students and NHS staff. #LoveLocal and visit the store today.

 

Spotlight On: New Wimbledon Theatre

An iconic landmark in Wimbledon Town Centre for over 100 years, New Wimbledon Theatre was forced to close last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has recently re-opened with a stellar line-up of performances including musicals, comedy, family entertainment, dance, drama and their upcoming legendary annual pantomime.

The theatre is also home to the Studio, where you can watch epic entertainment from new writers, comedians and producers in an intimate setting. Offering a wide range of performances to enjoy up close and personal, from comedy to drama and three topical new shows from hot writers this season.

We chatted with Nick Parr, Theatre Director, to find out more about their big return!

Tell us a little bit about New Wimbledon Theatre and the Studio.
The New Wimbledon Theatre opened on Boxing Day 1910 with our first ever panto, Jack and Jill. With over 1,600 seats, we’ve welcomed some of the biggest stars of stage and screen over the years. We’ve also become a popular filming location, and you may spot us in some of your favourite films and TV shows. The Studio is a great 80 seat black box theatre where we are able to host the best in comedy, new writing and our very own Fringe festival #FromTheFringe which will return in 2022.

How does it feel to re-open after such a long time?
It’s great to be back, we believe this is the longest closure the theatre has ever gone through – 503 days. It first closed during WW2 for a brief period around 1940, and then again when there was a change in management. We’ve got a great programme of shows, bringing Wimbledon the best of the West End in the main house, and some great new writing in the Studio with our Premieres season. The team here can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best.

What upcoming shows are a must-see?
We have a wealth of shows direct from the West End including Jersey Boys, School of Rock and Dreamgirls. We will also be rocking out with Bat Out of Hell and We Will Rock You.

What can we expect from this year’s panto?
Lots of laughs! Shane Richie stars as Dick Whittington and we cannot wait to have panto back after missing it in 2020. The ultimate magical pantomime adventure.

How have things changed since Covid-19?
We are operating paperless with e-tickets becoming the norm. There has been no change in capacity and we have been so pleased to welcome our audiences back in a safe way. To ensure the continued safety of our visitors and staff, currently, all attendees over the age of 18 will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 status to gain entry to the venue. You can find out more on our website.

 

Check out our What’s On pages for more performances and shows by New Wimbledon Theatre and remember to support our local arts in their return. #LoveLocal 

Get Booked for Autumn!

Wimbledon Bookfest, Merton Arts Festival, and Wimbledon International Music Festival all have a host of performances, images, talks and exhibitions happening in Wimbledon Town Centre this Autumn.

Tickets are now on sale for:

Wimbledon Bookfest Launch Event sponsored by Love Wimbledon with best selling author Joanne Harris, writer of The Strawberry Thief. Taking place in Merton Arts Space (in Wimbledon library) on the evening of the 3rd of October. Meet the Love Wimbledon team before the event and enjoy a complimentary welcome drink. Tickets available here

Wimbledon International Music Festival taking place throughout November. Catch some mash up music with acclaimed Vivaldi meets Finnish Rock, Tosca Regents Opera and the Festival Finale taking place at Trinity Church, SW19 4AA. Find out more and purchase your tickets here

Merton Arts Festival. The ALL FREE art trail to enjoy in Wimbledon and Merton. Taking place over the two last weekends in September, read all about the trail here.

And don’t forget our Arts and Crafts Market on The Piazza on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. Enjoy FREE activities and shop from an array of original and hand crafted work from hand picked local artists and designers. Find out more here.    

 

Wimbledon Rainbow – Culture at its most vibrant!

A new rainbow crossing has landed in Wimbledon to celebrate the town’s inclusivity, welcome its first LGBT+ bar, and support this year’s Pride in London events.
Love Wimbledon BID, worked with Merton Council to install a Rainbow Crossing in Wimbledon Broadway next to New Wimbledon Theatre and the recently opened CMYK bar. The multi-coloured crossing has been created in the design of the Rainbow Flag – which has been adopted, across the globe, as a symbol to celebrate the LGBT+ community and its diversity. The crossing aims to delight and bring a smile to everyone using it, whilst sending out the Welcome to Wimbledon message.

Helen Clark Bell, the Chief Executive of the Love Wimbledon bid, said: “The bright, beaming rainbow that has landed on Wimbledon Broadway celebrates Wimbledon’s new LGBTQ bar which is a beacon of the town centre’s inclusive community. Building a sense of pride in Wimbledon has been a key objective for Love Wimbledon. What better way to celebrate this than to have a rainbow pedestrian crossing installed outside CMYK, the first LGBTQ Bar in Wimbledon.”

Cabinet Member for Women and Equalities, Councillor Laxmi Attawar said: “We are really proud to have created a Rainbow Crossing in our borough to show a blaze of colourful support for members of the LGBT+ community. We want to extend a warm welcome to the CMYK bar which is a wonderful addition to the diverse cultural offer we have in Merton.

Patrick Lyster-Todd, Secretary of Merton LGBT+ Forum, said, “This is an amazing and symbolic undertaking by the London Borough of Merton, not just to mark this year’s Pride in London but also the opening of Wimbledon’s first LGBT+ bar and club, right at its centre. I have been there several times already and it is the most welcoming, fun and safe place for all, with marvellous staff – but our local LGBT+ community must now rally around and support it wholeheartedly so that it becomes a vibrant new home for all of us.”

Charlie Walker the General Manager at the CMYK bar, said he and his staff are delighted with the welcome they have received in Wimbledon. He said: “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”