Most of the time people move to a new area without looking back, but Wimbledon seems to make an impression on those who have lived there.
SW Londoner spoke to former Wimbledon residents and asked them what impression the area left on them, as well as what would make them come back.
Better job commutes, cost-efficiency or being close to family were some of the main reasons for moving away.
According to Merton Council data, the Wimbledon Park and Village wards registered a population of 19,440 people in 2017, compared to 19,270 in 2015, a less than 1% increase.
When living in Wimbledon, Miguel Meirinho resided in Worple Road and taught disabled children. He decided to become an airline pilot and moved to Greenwich.
Mr Meirinho, 30, said: “I love a lot of things about Wimbledon. You can make friends more easily than anywhere else in London.”
He added: “You can find the quiet you need after a hard day’s work, or simply a good franchise restaurant or cafe with no queues – and you can’t put a price on that.”
Careers might force some to move, but for those who enjoy living in a vibrant area, Wimbledon might just not be the place for them.
Retail manager John Allan, 38, used to live in Church Road but since last year has been based in Acton.
Mr Allan said: “Wimbledon simply wasn’t attractive enough for friends to come visit me.
“I would tell them that it had great parks and restaurants but we always ended up meeting in central London, which didn’t make the area very convenient for me in the end.
“Now I’m on the Piccadilly line, which is much faster than the District line that serves Wimbledon.”
Mr Allan remembered the summertime as his favourite time to live in Wimbledon.
“The area was buzzing and I didn’t have to wake up super early to go to the tennis tournament,” he said.
He said he would be tempted to move back to Wimbledon if the area had better shopping facilities.
Nurse Maria Gale, 27, lived in Lambton Road until September this year and now lives in Stratford to be closer to work.
She said: “Most of my family still lives in Wimbledon, so I visit the area quite often and find that I miss it because of how spacious it is compared to the small number of other areas where you can afford to live in London.
“It’s easy to feel part of a united community in Wimbledon.”
Ms Gale believed Wimbledon to be more expensive than her current area, but said the proximity to areas like Clapham and Balham justified the price of living in the ‘south west London gem’, where she hoped to move back to one day.
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