The Wombles Are Back!
New artwork to change the landscape of Wimbledon Town Centre
Graffiti is an ongoing challenge for many town centres, including Wimbledon.
Love Wimbledon has collaborated with The Wombles, to create a high-profile piece of wall art, as part of a wider environmental campaign to articulate how we can all ‘Love Where We Live’.
The wall, where the new 3.5-metre high and 15-metre long mural sits, was previously a hotspot for unsightly graffiti. This project, supported by South Western Railway, has hugely enhanced the experience along the busy railway path, providing a great selfie opportunity for pedestrians with Great Uncle Bulgaria. Following their return from hibernation in January to raise environmental awareness, the artwork depicts all our favourite Wombles characters hard at work painting the wall to cover up the graffiti underneath.
Wall before artwork began
The mural is located adjacent to the busy rail and tram lines, to the south of Wimbledon Station, which bring in residents, travellers and commuters from surrounding areas and the South West of the country. The presence of such prominent and vibrant art along the railway path, acts as a unique identifying feature, helping to differentiate Wimbledon from other town centres and strengthening the bond between the town and those nearby.
Our funding can make a real difference to town centres, improving community experiences and cheering up urban areas. It’s good to see The Wombles back in Wimbledon and we are sure the commuters passing to and from Waterloo will love it!
– Mark Youngman, Customer and Communities Improvement Fund Manager, South Western Railway
Having such vivid art in our town, associated with a variety of cultural and environmental notions, is key to placemaking and strengthens the identity of Wimbledon as a town centre. Now more than ever, consumers need encouragement to #LoveLocal and in order to continue the positive footfall trend that Wimbledon has seen in its recovery from Covid-19, we must work hard to enhance the vibrancy of the town. Having free art which is situated outdoors and open to all, does exactly that.
Art can do so many things including bringing a smile to people’s faces and spreading key messages. In times of Covid-19, outdoor art, or as we like to call it ‘A Gallery Without Walls’, is even more salient as we appreciate what we have locally even more.
– Sally Warren, Strategic Marketing and Placemaking Adviser, Love Wimbledon
This type of imagery resonates with the local community and creates a highly-engaging, fun piece of artwork which features characters that many will remember from their childhood, both on a local and national level. A modernised style was chosen to ensure that the project also appeals to the new generation, via a more urban-suburban stylistic aesthetic.
Up-close detail of the artwork in process
As well as being another strong addition to the budding art scene in Wimbledon, this mural meets the wider aim of bringing free art for all into the local community and developing a gallery without walls within our town. Wimbledon is already home to a street art feature titled ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ which aims to raise awareness of the decline of British birds, and the UK’s first Rainbow Crossing, which was installed to celebrate the town’s inclusivity and welcome its first LGBT+ bar.
This project is the second of its kind, through a partnership between Love Wimbledon and The Wombles, which aims to bring the positive message of community environmentalism right to the heart of Wimbledon Town Centre. The first campaign saw large display boards take over the main ticket hall at Wimbledon Station, with encouraging sustainable messages for consumers including ‘Travel Smarter’, ‘Reduce/Reuse/Recycle’ and ‘Go Green’.
You can find this great mural painted in its full glory along the railway path overlooking the railway tracks in Wimbledon Town Centre. Simply walk down the side of Little Waitrose and behind Tuition House offices or in the ticket foyer of Wimbledon station.
Remember, there is always more to Wimbledon than meets the eye.
Signage in Wimbledon Station Ticket Hall