Ernest Waldron West, 1904 - 1994
The Wimbledon Queue, 1960's
The Wimbledon Queue, 1960's
21st July 1960

signed and inscribed

pencil and charcoal on paper
101.60 x 203.20 (40 x 80 in.)


Queueing has long been established as a particularly British trait, and nowhere is this more exemplary than in the Wimbledon Queue. In a typically ‘British’ fashion a ‘Code of Conduct’ applies to ‘The Queue,’ kept in check by the Honorary Stewards. The code includes a clear non-reservation policy where those queueing must be present in person and may not place equipment in lieu of themselves. For well over a century, Wimbledon has attracted more spectators than it can accommodate. In 1927, over 22,000 spectators were present on the first Saturday – a new ground record of the time. Queues started outside the Grounds at 5 am and over 2,000 people were turned away. Later, in 1991, Wimbledon experienced one of the wettest first weeks on record and the Sunday became a unique day in Wimbledon’s history with play taking place on Middle Sunday for the very first time. The queue stretched for 1.5 miles outside the Grounds and a carnival atmosphere ensued with a special programme and full catering facilities. Today, the Association of Wimbledon Honorary Stewards is responsible for crowd management, acting as ‘hosts’ to the public. Organisation is key to the smooth running of the process and amongst the stewards’ duties are directing, advising and offering guidance to visitors inside and outside the Grounds.