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Welcome to the Original Winkle Club

In the year 1900 a small band of enthusiasts came together with the main idea of helping others less fortunate than themselves. During the many years they created this unique organisation which has been of such inestimable value to the town and makes all who have come into the club proud to be members.

The Winkle Club is an internationally famous charitable organisation formed by Hastings fishermen to help the less fortunate families of Hastings Old Town. The club’s headquarters, located at the Fishermen’s Club, opened in 1882. The building was given in trust for the use of Hastings Fishermen; the ground floor area, now used as the bar and clubroom, was initially used by the fishermen for making and repairing their nets.

Apart from some specially selected local residents, Winkle Club members have included a few very illustrious personalities such  as Lord Montgomery, Sir Winston Churchill,  the Duke of Windsor and many others.

Each Winkle Club Member (or ‘Winkler’) carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘Winkle Up’. Failure to do so results in a fine which goes towards local charities.

Sir Winston Churchill receives his gold winkle. Photograph by Gifford-Boyd.

Below, Sir Winston Churchill Gets The Winkle, Hastings Old Town (Pathe News, 1955)