Tidy Bag

Orinoco visits Wimbledon shopping centre

Orinoco Womble showed off his glossy new look on a visit to Wimbledon town centre on 11 February.

He took an afternoon stroll through Centre Court shopping centre, pausing to greet some of the passers-by, before walking up to the railway station and posing for photos in the forecourt.

There was a precarious moment when, in the gusty winds of Storm Ciara, Orinoco’s head was blown back to a whiplash-inducing degree. But after taking a minute to recover from the shock, he was happy to continue his photoshoot.

Groups of teenage girls on their way home from school shrieked with excitement as the Womble walked past them, while boys tended to act cool and indifferent - though one boy loudly exclaimed, ‘Oh my god!’

Younger children - including a baby - were more open to being introduced to Orinoco and having their photo taken with him. Two young boys were especially lucky to chance upon him, as their mum said they were big Wombles fans, and the younger boy was even wearing his own red scarf.

Unfortunately, one little girl was scared when Orinoco walked towards her, and she started crying. (A familiar scenario for many children of the '70s, who recall being distressed by unexpectedly large Wombles.)

One person who was particularly bewildered was a Centre Court security guard, who had no idea what I was talking about when I asked whether he knew where Orinoco Womble would be appearing, so I found myself explaining what a Womble looks like!



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