Recent News

Mayor Becomes Honorary Member of the Club

Traditionally an all-male Club, The Hastings Winkle Club has taken the rare decision to invest current Hastings Mayor, Councillor Judy Rogers, as an Honorary Member. The ‘induction ceremony’ was held last Saturday ( 30th. ) on board ‘The Enterprise’ fishing lugger in the Fishermen’s Museum in Rock-a Nore Road, Old Town.

Honorary Membership of the famous 117 year old Winkle Club is only given in exceptional circumstances and Judy Rogers joins a select band of women, including the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, to be offered the honour.

Vice Chairman of The Hastings Winkle Club, Richard Stevens, explained ‘ Honorary Membership is only considered when the candidate is thought to have made an outstanding contribution to our Club, our local community or to the Country as a whole,’ he said. ‘The current Mayor applied in the correct fashion and our main committee voted overwhelmingly to accept her as an Honorary Member.’’ It was recognised that Judy Rogers has worked tirelessly whilst performing her role as Hastings First Citizen and she deserves every praise for that and the support she has shown not only for the Winkle Club but for countless events, Clubs and organisations operating within Hastings,’

The Mayor said ‘ I feel very proud and honoured to have been accepted as an Honorary Member of the historic Hastings Winkle Club and will continue to offer them all the support I can.’

The ceremony itself was conducted by Richard Stevens and The Mayor received her winkle and membership card from Winkle Club Chairman, Richard Read. Ian Porter BEM was also part of the induction team.

Several members of Judy Rogers’ family attended the ceremony as did members of the Winkle Club itself.

Winkle Club President’s 90th Birthday

Officers and Committee members arranged a special luncheon last Wednesday 24th. September to celebrate the 90th Birthday of their President, Sir Kenneth Warren.

Sir ‘Ken’, a former member of parliament for Hastings has always maintained strong links with the town and the Winkle Club in particular. Michael Foster, High Sheriff of East Sussex was also present and congratulatory greetings were sent by Amber Rudd M.P. and Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce (Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports). Pictured are Sir Ken Warren surrounded by Winkle Club members toasting their President’s great achievement.

Photo by Sid Saunders

Local Councillor Becomes a New Member

At the start of the Winkle Club’s Annual Putting Competition during Old Town Week, Cllr. James Bacon (new Old Town Councillor) was made a member of our historic Club in the presence of the Mayor, Cllr. Judy Rogers.

The competition itself raised £350 which included a £100 donation from the Adventure Golf Management. We are most grateful to them and all monies raised will go to LOCAL good causes.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex is Winkled Up!

Peter Field, The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex was successfully ‘Winkled Up’ at a reception in Battle given by The High Sheriff of East Sussex, Michael Foster DL. Both Peter and Michael are members of our famous Club. Hundreds of dignitaries and friends of Michael Foster were in attendance at the reception in Battle Abbey when Vice Chairman, Richard Stevens, took his opportunity to pounce.

The Lord Lieutenant did not have his winkle with him but was excused a fine as it was deemed that he was ‘in working gear.’

This early exemption rule came into being when most of the Winkle Club’s members were Hastings Fishermen. ‘I am sure another opportunity will present itself before too long,’ said Vice-President Richard Stevens. ’The Lord Lieutenant accepted the challenge with good grace.’

New Members

New members of the Winkle Club include:

David Sooner, Charles Ball, Mike Raxworthy and Carl Farrow.

Here are some photos of their recent induction on Winkle Island

Winkle Up!

Other News

The Hastings Winkle Club held its AGM in early April as usual and were pleased to discover that we have managed to raise more money for LOCAL good causes than has been the case for many a long year. More than forty clubs and other organisations were chosen for donations and we have been able to ring-fence a useful sum for distribution during the forthcoming financial year. All good news. We elected our Officers and Committee members for the ensuing year though they do look remarkably similar to last year’s committee. Like many voluntary organisations we could do with some new and younger blood.

We held our Spring Social in May and thanks are due to the fabulous Band: ‘Loose Ends’ who are fronted by our Honorary Secretary. All the Raffle Prizes were donated by members and the evening raised over £1,000. We also continue to give ‘Talks’ to various organisations about the fascinating history of our 116 year old Winkle Club. These seem to be well received and usually attract a donation for our charitable funds.

There was also some very sad news in June when we learned of the passing of Lady Fleur Boyce, the wife of our Patron, Admiral of the Fleet, the Lord Boyce. Fleur had always provided great support to the Lord Warden and was a good friend to the Hastings Winkle Club. We were represented at her funeral and she will be sorely missed.

After an immense amount of planning, we coordinated Hastings first Jazz Festival on June 4th / 5th. Although Saturday evening wasn’t to everyone’s taste, Sunday afternoon was superb. The sun shone and the music dazzled the enthusiastic audience on the Stade Open Space. Jazzfest was a free event and only possible due to the hard work of our Fundraising Committee and our very generous sponsors. Thank you all. Many of the local Pubs supported the Festival with their own Bands which added to the success story. We do need more volunteers though if Jazzfest is to return next year.

We attended the Blessing of the Sea at the Lifeboat Station and are pleased to see that the wartime Lifeboat, the Cyril & Lillian Bishop is being brought back to Hastings by Deeday White and Friends.

As Summer struggles to emerge, The Winkle Club looks forward to visiting our friends at the ‘Churchill Hotel’ in Marble Arch, the Lord Warden’s Reception at Walmer Castle and then Planning for Pirate Day and Old Town Week.

We have a Putting Competition at the Adventure Golf Courses on August 3rd. from 6pm and our Winkle Tossing Competition on Winkle Island on Monday August 1st. from 2pm until 4pm. Please come and support us.

If you would like to book a ‘Talk’ or volunteer to help us at any forthcoming events please give Ian Porter a ring on 07974 081582 .

Let’s hope for a summer that is kind to us all for that will enable Clubs like ours to raise even more much needed resources for our Hastings Community.

Until Next Time!


Wow! What a Winkle Jazzed-Up Weekend That Was!!

The first ever Hastings Winkle Club ‘JazzFest’ provided a feast of music over the weekend on the Stade Open Space and hopefully raised a useful sum for Winkle Club local good causes. Winkle Club spokesperson and Vice Chairman, Richard Stevens said ‘Saturday evening wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but the ‘avante – garde’ duo were the Council’s choice and there was no question that they had a certain following. I think it is fair to say that Sunday afternoon was complete with sublime music and brilliant sunshine which is always a bonus. The Winkle Club took a huge risk by agreeing to fund all the upfront costs of ‘JazzFest 1’ and thankfully it would seem that this has paid off. Our thanks go particularly to Mike Raxworthy who managed to secure some top Jazz ensembles who absolutely wowed the crowd on Sunday afternoon and early evening.’ Pauline Lindsay, who chairs the Winkle Club’s Fundraising Committee said ‘ It was hard work but I think it was all worth it.’ ‘We were blessed with Sunday sunshine and some absolutely great music. I feel like lying down in a dark room but Jazzfest 1 was a huge first for the Winkle Club.’ Garry Fellows, event organiser said ‘We could have done with more support and help but all in all things went well. As to whether we do all this again, we will just have to see.’ Chairman of the Winkle Club, Richard Read said ‘ There was a huge amount of work went in to this and people got a fantastic weekend for free. I hope we can do it all again but we do need far more volunteers and helpers.’ Richard Stevens said ‘ This JazzFest Weekend could not have taken place without our generous sponsors and only a few people realise how much effort and hard work goes in to producing a brilliant event such as this.’

Christmas Time to Remember

19th December 2016

The Hastings Winkle Club is coordinating a special Christmas Event under the title of ‘Christmas Time To Remember.’ The idea is to commemorate and recall those who served in the Lifeboat Service (RNLI) locally or loved-ones who were Fishermen, Coastguards or Winkle Club members. The event will take place on Saturday December 19th at 6.30 pm and will begin with a lantern lit procession from the Priscilla MacBean site in Old London Road down All Saints Street to Winkle Island.

The procession will be lead by a lone piper and representatives of the organisations concerned will follow on. There will be an Act of Remembrance, Carol Singing and hot soup will be available on Winkle Island.
Vice Chairman of Hastings Winkle Club, Richard Stevens said ‘In order to collate the details of those to be remembered, we will be placing a number of boxes at strategic locations in the Old Town. Cards will be available to complete with the names of those who served and a space will be provided for an individual message to recall the loved-one and/or family member to be recalled in this way. Eventually all the cards will be tied on to Trees of Messages which will be placed on Winkle Island.’ he said.

If anyone cannot access a ‘Remembrance Message Box,’ details can be left on the Winkle Club’s web or Facebook site or by emailing: or by phoning: 07974 081582. A card will then be completed by one of the Winkle Club Team. The ‘Message Boxes’ will be in place by the end of the month in the Lifeboat Station Shop, The Fishermen’s Museum (Rock-a Nore Road), the Fishermen’s Protection Society and at John the Cobblers in the High Street. Pauline Lindsay, Chair of the Fundraising and Promotions sub Committee said ‘Christmas is a special time for us all and we want to give family members the opportunity to remember Seafarers, Lifeboat men, Coastguards and Winklers who are no longer with us. At the same time our community will be given the chance to express its gratitude to them all.’