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!
— Tidy Bag – Wombles (@TidyBag) February 11, 2020
Orinoco's coming home! He will be in Wimbledon tomorrow, February 11th at the @CentreCourtShop centre in Wimbledon from 3.30pm – 5.30pm. Don't miss him! – Great Uncle Bulgaria. pic.twitter.com/1OGFKIjOMO
— The Wombles (@womblesofficial) February 10, 2020
There was a Womble in Wimbledon Shopping Centre this afternoon, my daughter thought it was a dog and then got totally terrified. I think the Wombles might need some 21st century PR.
— Helena Towers (@HelenaTowers) February 11, 2020
I had a great day out in Wimbledon this week. I met lots of lovely folk, visited my namesake lane and almost blew over in the wind! Where should I go next? ? ? – Orinoco pic.twitter.com/tVelSO6sse
— The Wombles (@womblesofficial) February 16, 2020
I had a great day last week wandering around Wimbledon. Those moving staircases will take a bit of getting used to, though. – Orinoco. pic.twitter.com/O8f2NeXcRv
— The Wombles (@womblesofficial) February 17, 2020