Underground, overground, wombling free

20 Nov

We are very lucky in London to have such fabulous parks.  I’ve written before about Henry VIII’s favourite hunting ground, Richmond Park, and the gorgeous Lido in Hyde Park but we also have many, many less well known open spaces, most of them accessible by tube.

Wimbledon Common is a beautiful heathland stretching, with Putney Common, for over 1,000 acres, most of which are a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).  It is home to a wide variety of bird, animal and plant life and as a Common, it’s open to everyone 24 hours a day.

It is also famous to anyone who grew up in the UK in the 1970’s as the home of the Wombles.  These small, pointy-nosed, bear-like, creatures, whose names were chosen by sticking a finger in a huge atlas, were the original upcyclers.  They would creep out onto the Common when everyone had gone home and clear up the mess humans had left behind.  Uncle Bulgaria, Tomsk, Tobermory, Orinoco and friends would then turn the humans’ rubbish into all kinds of useful contraptions.

The Wombles were a huge phenomenon, with books and a TV series, Wombles clubs in schools, which went out at weekends picking up rubbish and every child knowing the words to the insanely catchy theme tune.  All together now “Underground, overground wombling free, Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we…”

We’ve got a couple of the books at home, so whenever we visit Wimbledon Common, the children go Womble hunting.  We haven’t found any yet, but the Common is spotlessly clean…

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more lovely travel pictures, click here


9 Responses to “Underground, overground, wombling free”

  1. Heather 20/11/2009 at 11:09 am #

    Looks lovely

  2. Liz (LivingwithKids) 20/11/2009 at 12:24 pm #

    When I was a kid we were taken to meet the Wombles – there was a special event on at Canizaro Park, also lovely – and I wouldn’t dance with Tobermory. Madame Cholet was always my favourite. The litter message was really cool, they should recycle them!

  3. TheMadHouse 20/11/2009 at 12:40 pm #

    I have been singing along since I read the title. I am a child of the 70’s.

  4. Hot Cross Mum 20/11/2009 at 7:07 pm #

    I used to live near Wimbledon so walked often on the common. I was always a tad disappointed not to spot a Womble. I am a firm believer that they really do exist. So much more believable than Nessie!

  5. Lora 20/11/2009 at 8:11 pm #

    These are wonderful photos.

  6. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak 20/11/2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Gorgeous photos! And look! A Womble! In that top picture! I swear!! x

  7. Tim 21/11/2009 at 5:28 am #

    I have a tape of my sister and I singing the Wombles theme tune aged about six… She does the percussion.

  8. Dominique 21/11/2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Wombles? Thanks for sharing the story…now I’m wondering what the song sounds like!

  9. Dawn/LittleGreenFingers 23/11/2009 at 6:37 pm #

    Wonder no more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ2mJPSccvo

    Love the idea of womble hunts – but I do hope you will release them after capture. They’re an endangered species.

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