Wimbledon Diary: Forget the pigeons, take aim at the car park charity pests

The Diary was once shot in the ankle with an airgun pellet, and while it did sting a bit, it wasn't serious. Now is not the time to go into the details of the incident but the situation involved a Catholic priest, a big dog with scary teeth and the front yard of a presbytery in Kisumu in western Kenya, at night.

The point is that an airgun pellet, believe us, needn't be that dangerous, but it can be a deterrent.

So now that the Wimbledon marksmen are no longer shooting pigeons ("Even though they're still swooping on Centre Court," fan Rachel Turner assures us), might we suggest that the shooting boys are sent to Car Park 10 instead to pop a few warning shots?

The £25-a-day parking fee is bad enough. But the mob-handed charity ticket sellers who have both doors covered as soon as any car stops are a pest. We are as keen on saving the children as the next diary. But this just isn't the kind of genteel behaviour expected of the world's best-organised sporting event.







Set your watches by the weather prophets of SW19

The Diary is mightily impressed with Wimbledon's ability to predict the weather in a country where it is a notoriously tricky business, as Michael Fish will attest. At the start of the day on Wednesday the word from Wimbledon was that Roger Federer's match with Marat Safin would not get on court until 4pm, which is almost exactly when it began. Uncanny. And during yesterday's rain-hit women's semi-finals the predictions were equally accurate, with forecasts suggesting rain would stop within five minutes and the sun would come out. And lo and behold. Bingo. Clouds clear, sun shines. Maybe someone within Wimbledon HQ has a hotline to the Big Man?



Also, the All England Club should be congratulated on the way the lines of communication are kept open with the punters who are advised, via the many Tannoys, when the covers are coming off and when play is to resume. Hats off. Maybe the world of cricket could borrow a leaf? You can often sit at Lord's with a tiny puddle at deep-square leg keeping the players in the pavilion, and the public in the dark.

Gurkhas – smart, effective, highly motivated and courteous

The Diary asked a few days ago whether it was the Gurkhas' warrior mentality that made them ideal to guard car park No4 at Wimbledon. John Whitwam, the managing director of G4S Gurkha Services Division (which supplies the staff, all ex-Army Gurkhas) rang yesterday to tell us: "Yes, but it's not only that. They're always effective, highly motivated, smart and courteous." G4S also supply Gurkhas to guard the UK's Critical National Infrastructure, including power stations. Fascinating.

Robson looking good to recreate Wonder Years on court for Britain

An eagle-eyed colleague has pointed out to The Diary that Britain's new junior tennis heroine, Laura Robson, 14, is the spitting image of the actress Danica McKellar, who famously played Gwendolyn "Winnie" Cooper, the love interest of main character, Kevin, in one of the biggest TV hits of the late '80s and early '90s. We can only hope that Laura's great progress here is the beginning of her own "Wonder Years".

Mad on the Mound

With no more Centre Court tickets available to overnight queuers until the end of the tournament, our daily fan feature switches to focus on an early arrival each day on Murray Mound.

Name: Sharon Ashton.

From: Shropshire.

Age: 50.

Occupation: Practice nurse.

Arrived on the mound: 12.30pm.

Who are you here to see? We're going on No 1 Court later.

Why? Because those are the tickets we got. We'd rather have been here for Nadal-Murray.

What's the best hill you've ever sat on? It's in Rome, the Capitoline Hill. We had a lovely picnic there last Spring.

Today's random question – did you see Murray lose to Nadal and have you ever seen such a spanking? I saw it on TV. It wasn't the biggest spanking. Murray will have learnt a lot of lessons. Nadal was sublime and he'll beat Federer.

If the All England Club served a pigeon that has been slaughtered at The Championships, would you eat it, if it was prepared nicely, perhaps roasted and dished up with scrummy seasonal veg? If they told me the source, no. But I had a friend at university who killed a pigeon on his windowsill. He made it into curry and that tasted nice.

Suggested Topics
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss