Stag sculpture unveiled outside Wimbledon Station


Tennis fans will be among the first to be greeted by the highly anticipated sculpture, unveiled by the Mayor of Merton yesterday.


By Lucy Jordan

Tennis fans will be among the first to be greeted by the highly anticipated Stag sculpture that was unveiled by the Mayor of Merton outside Wimbledon Station yesterday.

The privately funded sculpture is the final part of ‘Destination Wimbledon’, a £2.5 million project, funded by Transport for London, Network Rail and South West Trains, to give Wimbledon Town Centre a facelift.

Onlookers were also treated free coffee and cakes provided by local businesses, as well as dance performances by local dance group ‘Dancebites’, who kicked off and closed the ceremony.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a good stag party,” said Paul Windsor, Chairman of ‘Love Wimbledon’, who gave a congratulatory speech along with the Mayor of Merton, the Leader of the Council, and representatives from TFL and South West trains.

At three meters high, and three in length, the steel sculpture was created by local artist Isabelle Southward and was selected from a number of other local submissions, in consultation with residents.

“Many people have asked, ‘Why a stag?’” said Isabelle. “It was my aim to link the town and the village historically, architecturally and socially- in a way that residents of Wimbledon would be able to recognise, reminding them of the heritage of their town.”

Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Williams, said he hoped the artwork would quickly become as popular as Wimbledon’s other famous sculpture, which is now 20 years old.

“We are proud to welcome the stag to Wimbledon. We hope he will be as affectionately regarded as the Two Fat Ladies and become an iconic meeting place for years to come,” he said.

Further improvements to the town as part of the ‘Destination Wimbledon’ project will include a reconfiguration of the junction of Wimbledon Bridge with Alexandra Road, to enable a diagonal pedestrian crossing, like that of Oxford Circus, new paving, tree planting and new street furniture.

“As residents of the London Borough of Merton we are blessed to have both urban and rural surroundings on our doorstep,” said Leader of the Council, Councillor Steven Alambritis.

“The Stag is the perfect way to remind us that when we have finished our shopping among the hustle and bustle of our vibrant town centre, we can wander up the hill and enjoy the peace and calm of Wimbledon Common.”

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