This post is my lessons learnt:
- Arrive early, we arrived at 9:00 and were 8,700 in the queue, had we been half an hour or an hour earlier we would have probably gained access to the ground.
- Queuing is hard work, take something comfortable to sit on and plenty of food and drink - the burger vans were selling bottles of water for £1.50 and it only gets more expensive inside the grounds.
- The toilet facilities were actually very clean – a huge relief.
- The grounds open at about 10:30 and around 12:00 there is a big decampment and people are led closer to the grounds – they take you from this lovely grassy field where you have plenty of space to spread out, where the kids can play football and sit in the shade and make you stand on a plastic roadway which is about 3 metres wide for, potentially, 5 hours. There are some places to cop a squat but it is far from comfortable – why having something to sit on is important.
- Once the show courts have started play at 13:00 and people have taken their seats another wave of people are let in. If you don’t get in during this time you are in for a long wait as it then becomes one-in-one-out.
- The stewards are pretty good at estimating how long it might take you to get into the grounds and at crowd control – they’ve done this for many a year and can judge the queue. They also know what capacity allowed for that day, this varies from day to day depending how many corporate tickets or presales have been made.
- The overnight campers are hardcore! They were setting up camp from 10am.
- Queuing for Wimbledon is like a form of torture, you gamble with yourself – if we haven’t moved by 12:00 we’ll go home, we moved. If we haven’t moved by 14:00 we’ll go home, we moved. If we don’t move in the next 20 minutes we’ll go home. We did move but not far enough so we went home.