Diary of a Wimbledon Queuer: Part 1

Find out what it’s like to be in the Wimbledon queue during the middle weekend of Wimbledon 2013.

June 2014 Update from GSG: I’m currently watching Wimbledon on TV from Melbourne and have no reliable information about updates on the Wimbledon queue, arrival times etc. For information, please tweet @ViewfromtheQ 

Although a friend provided wonderful tips for me to share on my blog in A Newbies Guide to the Wimbledon Queue I’ve never actually queued for Wimbledon. As I’m not someone who can wait patiently in a line, I don’t think I’d be at all good at it. And although I understand that there is a big tradition behind the queue, I’ve often wondered why they don’t sell more tickets online like the other slams do. But, be that as it may, as the queue is a key way to get show court tickets and ground passes, I have total respect for the thousands of people who spend time there every day of The Wimbledon Championships.

To give you info about the queuing experience, intrepid queuer Catherine is shared updates live from the queue in 2013 which published here on the blog.

Catherine arrived in the queue on Friday night with the aim of getting show court tickets for Monday. Follow Catherine on Twitter @scattydove

Friday 28 June

Great tip for keeping your hair tidy:

Just been for french plaits in my hair. One less thing to worry about while i’m queuing!

Arrival time at the queue:

Arrived at queue at 10.30pm.

Just in bed at midnight after wrestling with tent in dark.

Got ticket No.1892 for tomorrow but will relocate for the Monday queue tomorrow as Fri night is too early for Mon queue cards. They allow queuing but only distribute queue cards on a day by day basis. We will leave the main queue and form a new separate queue for Mon on Saturday morning when the rest of the people start moving to go into grounds for Saturday’s play.

Dont expect much sleep whilst i’m here. Well after midnight and still plenty of chatter. Waking and packing up starts from 5am.

Catherine's home for the next six days

Catherine’s home for the next six days

Saturday Queue Card

The Saturday Queue Card

 

Saturday 29 June

I slept on and off through the night. We do usually set an alarm to wake us at half four so we beat massive left luggage queues.

The Queue at 5.30am

The Queue at 5.30am

Early arrivals for the Saturday ticket queue

Early arrivals around 5am for the Saturday ticket queue (at around 8.30am there were approx 100 people in the Queue for Monday)

Another view of the morning queue

Another view of the morning queue

Toilets for Queuers

Toilets for Queuers (two lots at opposite ends of camping/queuing area)

On keeping your phone charged while queuing:

There are no phone chargepoints. I have a portable battery to charge on the go, or there are lots of nearby coffee shops where you can plug your phone in. You can leave the queue once you have your card (and you can go to the loo before if you need to). I haven’t heard of a set time for being out but couple of hours is usually acceptable. I usually let my neighbour know.

The People who Keep the Queue Organised

The People who Keep the Queue Organised

Updated Saturday 2.30pm UK Time

Had scrambled egg on toast in a cafe on way into Wimby Town. Walk took about 25 mins in total.

Mel’s Note: I had a mental image that queuers had to pretty much stay in the queue but it turns out that they have room to move, as Catherine confirmed.

There is tons of flexibility for queuers. You can make friends with neighbours and talk to stewards and there’s plenty of freedom

Went off for a walk this morning by the lake in Wimby Park.

The lake in Wimby Park

The lake in Wimby Park

Moved into new queue this morning for Monday. Will get queue card tomorrow. Definitely in first 100

Greyhound Charity

Wimbledon Greyhound charity visit the queue every year, collecting donations and giving free doggy cuddles <3

How much food do you bring with you?

You can bring food or go out each day and buy picnic supplies or have a meal in Wimby village.

Today's lunch and tomorrow's breakfast courtesy of Morrisons in Wimbledon Town Centre

Today’s lunch and tomorrow’s breakfast courtesy of Morrisons in Wimbledon Town Centre

Wondering how to pass the time when you’re in the queue?

Here’s a few options: nap; read; play a game; eat food; read a paper; enjoy a drink with friends.

Things to do in the queue

What to do while you’re in the queue

Right now i’m soaking up the sun, reading my Kindle and listening to the happy hubbub of chatter. Perfect!

Queuing for a (hopefully) tasty fourth round Murray/Youzhny match on Monday!

How are the show court tickets allocated?

The first 500 in the queue get priority for Centre Court but if they want to see line up on Court 1, for instance, they can relinquish their Centre Court place. So you could be 700th in the queue but still stand chance of Centre Court if the front queuers opt for another court.

Saturday Evening Update

Nearly didnt get my queue card. Rach was napping in the tent so i went to read at nearby lake. Received call from Rach telling me cards were being handed out & i had to be back within 20 mins, otherwise i’d lose my place. This is despite us being told earlier that cards would come tomorrow. Thankfully made it back. Vital lesson learned though. Stewards are ruthless when it comes to The Queue.

Monday Queue Card

Queue Cards Arrived Early – No.28 for Centre Court!

 

Recharging various batteries in Southfields Starbucks. Always good and reliable for a seat, drink and socket.

Southfields Italian food

Italian Food Time at Southfields

Matches are screened everywhere. All eyes are on this one tiny TV!

Matches are screened everywhere. All eyes are on this one tiny TV!

Getting through the evening with a few games of Black Jack

Getting through the evening with a few games of Black Jack

Off to bed early to read then (hopefully) sleep. It’s been a loooong day. No wake up call tomorrow as is Middle Sunday.

Off to bed with no wake up call

Off to bed with no wake up call

Read more about the queue including what to do during the middle Sunday rest day in Diary of a Wimbledon Queuer: Part 2
 

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Comments

  1. Catherine says

    Hi Sasha

    Thanks for the comment 🙂 I’m not there anymore. Came home after the mens quarter finals on Wednesday night, so am unable to say how the queue’s looking. Not sure if you’re aware but you can’t get a centre court ticket for the finals by queuing. You should hopefully get a spot on the hill though 🙂 Hope you both have fun x

  2. Sasha says

    Hey, love to read all good and funny information about queue, as me and my friend plans to do it tonight for tomorrow’s final. What’s the update from down there? Hope to see u round! 🙂

  3. Catherine says

    Hi Chad. Ha. How embarrassing. My “friends” put some rather fetching screenshots on Facebook of me squinting at my camera (because the sun was shining in my face all afternoon) while I was taking pictures of Murray. Definitely a great reward for a weekend of queuing! We got courtside tickets for the men’s quarter finals on Wednesday too. Just amazing!

    I’ll be absent from the queue next year sadly 🙁 But I definitely recommend you go and do it. Best experience ever.

  4. Catherine says

    Carl – Really sorry I didn’t reply to this. Had to be really careful to preserve my battery power so was mainly working on Twitter. Did you manage to get grounds tickets? You’re good for one if you arrive at about 6am usually (or when the first underground train starts running).

  5. Chad says

    I’ve just spotted you in the crowd during the Murray-Youzhny match (wearing fetching Union Jacks on your head!), which I’m sure is a fine reward for your Queue efforts! 🙂

    See you maybe at The Queue 2014!

  6. Carl says

    Hey thanks for sharing – really enjoyed reading your queuing guide & diary! I’m heading down to The Queue early tomorrow (Mon) morning with my friend who’s come back from abroad to visit me; obviously we’re well aware that there’s no hope in hell of us getting a show court ticket, but what sort of time do you think we should arrive if we wanted to be certain of getting into the grounds?

  7. Catherine says

    Hi Ben
    To be honest i’m not sure. I know a few who are in the queue now (inc me) will be going back after Monday’s over for Wednesday. Imagine it’ll start filling up tomorrow night (especially if Murray wins).