It’s the time of year for filling in your Wimbledon ballot application form. Forms can be nasty and complicated, but we’re here to help you.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to use that scary interweb thing. You can’t apply online, no sir. We prefer to attempt to transpose your spidery lettering into our creaking old computers ourselves – we find it leads to fewer mistakes. You can’t even print your application form from the interweb. What we’d like you to do, please, is write your address on a large envelope, put a stamp on it, and put it inside another, larger envelope, (or you could fold the first envelope if you prefer, to make it smaller, so that it fits inside the second envelope) put another stamp on the outside envelope, and send it to us. Then we’ll send you a form.
When you get the form, please carefully follow these steps:
1) Please enter your surname in the boxes marked “Surname”. Even if it’s a weird surname like “Smiths”.
2) Please indicate your title in one of the boxes marked Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss. If you’re a Dr, sorry. If you’re a Mx, try again, in about fifty years.
3) Please enter your initials in the boxes marked “Initials”.
4) Please enter your Christian first name in the boxes marked “First Name”.
5) Please enter your telephone number in the boxes marked “Tel. No.”
Note: “Tel. No.” is a commonly used abbreviation for “Telephone Number”.
6) Please enter your post code in the boxes marked “Post Code”.
7) If you live in a house with a number, please enter your house number in the boxes marked “House No.”. We have provided sufficient boxes for any street number up to 999,999. Or 99,999A. Or even 99,999Z. Leave out the commas, though.
8) If you live in a flat with a number, please enter your flat number in the boxes marked “Flat No.”. We have provided sufficient boxes for any flat number up to 999,999,999, so there will be room for your number unless your block of flats is large enough to accommodate the population of China, with a separate flat for every man, woman and child.
9) If you live in a house with a name, stuff you, you middle class git. Your sort isn’t welcome at Wimbledon.
10) Please enter your address in the boxes marked “Address”. Please do not use abbreviations. If you write “Gloucs” instead of “Gloucestershire” we won’t have a clue what you’re talking about.
11) Please enter your signature in the box marked “Signature”.
12) Please enter the date in the box marked “Date”.
13) Please POST your form to: AELTC, PO Box 67611, London, SW19 9DT. This is best achieved by putting your Public Ballot Application Form in an envelope, writing the address on the FRONT of the envelope, and putting a postage stamp on the TOP RIGHT HAND corner of the envelope.
14) If you are successful in applying for tickets, you must use the tickets yourself. Both of them. One for you, one for your bag.
We hope you find these instructions helpful. Our experience is that tennis fans really aren’t very bright. Champagne and strawberries anyone?
The All England Lawn Tennis Club
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Limited
and to be honest, we prefer croquet. Nasty, noisy game, tennis.
Postscript 9 September 2019. Good heavens, did someone actually read this? Here is the new procedure as of this year:
Oh, and there will be a terrible global pandemic in 2020, so you won’t be able to go anyway. You mark my words.