The Wimbledon National Trust Association was founded in 1982 and currently has around 340 members in and around South West London.
Meet a member
It was much too easy when I retired early to spend the bulk of my life in front of the telly, and for the discerning viewer I think UK TV has a lot of very interesting and educational stuff to offer. I wanted to make friends locally (so often Londoners have worked centrally and their colleagues are far-flung). I particularly love history, art and architecture, and visiting sites rather than just reading about them. I don’t drive and had been to all the National Trust properties I could easily get to by public transport (rather few) so a group which had regular coach outings to some of them was just what I wanted and just what my local Wimbledon National Trust Association could provide. I went along to one of their monthly meetings, back in 2009, and decided they were just the people for me – very warm and welcoming, with a broad age range, mainly female and retired it has to be said, but all still with lively, enquiring minds. It was nice to think that even when I became scarcely mobile and coach outings got beyond my capability there would still be somewhere stimulating to go nearly every month to hear an interesting guest speak on any one of a great variety of topics.
I like the idea that the profit from our group’s activities helps to maintain National Trust properties, as do our visits to them – and to other places that need our financial support to survive. It is also nice to be able to share one’s experiences immediately with fellow travellers and enthusiasts.
We are lucky enough to have all London’s wealth of historic buildings on our doorstep and some very distinguished National Trust properties within easy driving distance, and amongst those most visited are Ham House, Polesden Lacey and Churchill’s home, Chartwell. My favourite Trust places are probably the Lake District, preferably with a snowy coating, and dramatic Lindisfarne Castle, with its beautiful Lutyens interiors, but they are bit far from Wimbledon. Weekends and weeks away with our group have introduced me for the first time to such marvels as Kingston Lacey, a wonderful house with a magnificent collection of works by old masters set amidst gardens of delightful variety. Countryside, castles, stately homes and gardens, and so much more - the National Trust is the splendid guardian of a great variety of treasures I could hardly have found a more congenial way of exploring.