July 3rd 1961
Sorry it has been such a long time since you got a letter. I’ll explain all the pros and cons later on. All in all I have been having quite a time to tell you about.
Thanks for your letter (no36). You don’t half sound energetic matey. Makes me feel quite exhausted reading about the tennis and the cricket and the squash and the swimming. Now there’s li’l ole me who doesn’t walk anywhere when there is a bus route or a car around. And nowadays the nearest I get to tennis is watching it. ‘Especially over these last two weeks.
For years and years I’ve been saying I’ll get to Wimbledon eventually. Brother, I’ve finally made it. I went with a girl from work Thursday evening, more or less at a moment’s notice. She always wanted to go, I’ve always wanted to go, so, we went. I’ve never enjoyed myself so much, it was marvellous.
We thought, because it was such a gorgeous day the place would be packed so we had resigned ourselves to sticking to the outside courts and some of the lesser games. We strolled into the main part and saw a few people queueing for the free standing room on the Centre Court so we joined them. In less than five minutes we were inside watching a men’s doubles match between (wait for it, I haven’t got the faintest idea how to spell these crazy foreign names.) Pietrangeli and Soyrola v Hare and Cooghlan – I think it was. I found another advantage of being tall there. I could see everything but my friend is only 5’2” so I had to give her a running commentary. It was uncanny walking into the Centre Court. Everything looked so familiar from tv. I knew where exactly where everything was, the scoreboards, the royal box etc but the tv is in black and white, so it was the colour that hit me. The gorgeous green of the court itself and the colours of people’s clothes, well, it was really something.
We stayed and watched that match for about 45 mins but the sun was getting too much for me, so we had to come out.
We didn’t really know where we were going but we walked around a bit and started watching another match. Some people came out by the gangway we were standing near and gave their tickets to the chap standing at the top, who turned and asked if anyone wanted tickets at a shilling each. We grabbed them cos our feet were killing us and we were longing to sit down it wasn’t til we sat down, three rows from the front that we looked at the tickets and found we were on Court no 1. We found out afterwards that anyone leaving can give their tickets up to be sold in aid of the National Playing Fields Association. We were in the right place at the right time.
We watched the Russians playing Reed and Ulrich. It was a good match but the Russians deserved to win, in my opinion anyway.
Oh yes. I’m well on the way to becoming a tv star now. When Lesley got home her mother informed her that she had been in Centre Court and that she was with a ‘tall girl.’ It seems when the old BBC cameras were whizzing around the spectators it picked out us.
My next ambition regarding Wimbledon, one day I’ll get seats and spend the day up there. Did you know, the are a pound each for Centre Court and 10/- for no1?
Well, I suppose that’s enough about tennis. You’ve probably been there anyway.
Point of interest: A Japanese woman, or she might have been Chinese, got on my train this morning and she was wearing a cheong-sam, which looked a bit odd because she was wearing a Western short jacket with it.
There was a documentary on birth control on television the other night. So I turned the tv off pretty sharpish before it came on. I wouldn’t have minded seeing it if I had been by myself. But I get very conscious of my family sitting around. So, bang went a bit of education. Still, there’s always a certain person I know, ready to give enlightenment on most subjects.