Latest News

6th January 2023

Annual Supper 2023

The Hastings Winkle Club marked the beginning of its 123rd. Year by holding its traditional Annual Supper. The return of this event was greeted with much enthusiasm by the Club’s membership as the pandemic prevented the Supper from taking place in both January ’21 and January ’22.

When the Club was founded in 1900, it had the simple aim of trying to raise enough money to give Hastings Old Town Fishermen’s children a Christmas Party. It transpired that enough was raised to not only give the Christmas Party for the children but also to provide the Fishermen with a Supper.

These traditions are still maintained and the Children’s Party 2022 attracted some 70 children who enjoyed food, games, entertainment and a present from Santa.

On Friday January 6th around 70 members gathered at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association for this year’s supper, followed by a comedy performance courtesy of comedian and Honorary Winkle Club member, Adger Brown and then an auction and a raffle.

The evening raised over £1,000, a very useful sum for Winkle Club charities and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

Winkle Club Chairman, Christian Burton said ‘ This Supper marks the start of what we all hope will be a normal fundraising year and please everyone be generous as all the money raised goes to LOCAL good causes.’

25th December 2022

Christmas Carols at Old Hastings House

Members of the Hastings Winkle Club, were joined by Mary Lipscombe from the Hastings Philharmonic Choir as they kept up their tradition of singing carols on Christmas morning to residents of Old Hastings House in the Old Town. 

Winkle Club President Richard Stevens said ‘ We are very grateful to Mary and members who gave of their time to continue a tradition that goes back over 40 years. 

The residents are always so pleased to see us on Christmas morning.’ 

18th December 2022

Winkle Club Christmas Draw at EHSAA

On Sunday 18th December we unfortunately had to cancel our time to remember carol service on Winkle Island, Our Christmas draw still went ahead at the E.H.S.A.A. Club

Our Chairman Christian Burton and other committee members had the chance to induct some new members into the club.

2nd December 2022

Honorary Member

Andrew Blackman, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, being made an Honorary member of the Hastings Winkle Club by the club’s Secretary Reg Wood and other members whilst at the official opening of the Isobel Blackman centre.

Photo by Kevin Boorman

8th November 2022

The loss of our Club Patron

The Hastings Winkle Club were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lord Boyce on the 6th November, The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and the Club Patron.

Lord Boyce became First Sea Lord in 1998 and was chief of the Defence Staff, serving at the time of the Iraq war in 2001.

Richard Stevens, President of Hastings Winkle Club, recalls accompanying Pam Brown OBE who was Mayor of Hastings from 2004-05, to the Installation Ceremony of Lord Boyce as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He succeeded the Late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother who was also Winkle Club Patron. Hastings as the ‘Head Port’ within the Cinque Ports played a prominent role in the Installation Ceremony and Lord Boyce was soon convinced that he should become Winkle Club Patron.

‘As Colonel Commandant of the Special Boat Service and a serving sub-mariner himself, Mike Boyce was used to dealing with people from all walks of life.’ Said Richard Stevens.’ He was particularly proud of his Winkle Club patronage and always carried his gold winkle with him when making one of his frequent visits to our town. He would say to me ‘ I’ve come prepared’ In anticipation of being asked to ‘Winkle Up !’ says Richard. As Patron, he unveiled the Blue Plaque on Winkle Island in the heart. of the Old Town and also inaugurated the newly refurbished Winkle Island, providing the funding for one of the new benches.

Every year, Mike Boyce invited a delegation from the Winkle Club to Walmer Castle when he was in residence there, to an Evening Reception which was always much appreciated and valued.

‘Lord Boyce will be much missed within not only our town of Hastings but throughout the whole region of the Cinque Ports’ said Richard Stevens ‘and we all await the eventual appointment of his successor by the King, whom we hope will also welcome a strong association with Hastings Winkle Club.

16th October 2022

Visit to Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat

Today some of our committee members visited Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat to meet the crew and take a look at the new life jackets 🛟 they have recently purchased from our donation.

Our members took a tour of the boathouse and had a discussion with the crew about the boats and the equipment they use and how they manage to continue to raise funds to keep this totally independent rescue boat service afloat.

With help from charitable donations fundraising events like their open day and the charity shed PLIRB continues to assist HM coast guard and the RNLI saving life’s at sea.

Our committee really enjoyed their time at the boathouse today and got a chance to see how our own fundraising and donations to local good causes gets used.

8th October 2022

Maintenance and Repairs

Our committee members gave up their time on Friday morning to carry out essential repairs and maintenance work on Winkle Island. The wishing well has now been repaired after it had recently been broken into and the flagpole has now been turned and secured in its new position, following a request from our flag master.

8th September 2022

We Mourn the loss of our Queen, Honorary Member of the Club, May She Rest in Peace.

WINKLE CLUB MAKES A GRAND TOTAL IN OLD TOWN WEEK

Hastings Winkle Club’s events during Old Town Carnival Week made a record £1,000 plus for their charities. The ancient game of Winkle Tossing was held on the Tuesday on Winkle Island and proved ever popular with a total of more than £200 raised in only 1 and a half hours. Contestants lined up for their opportunity to toss winkles into different sized containers. The eventual winners and ‘Champion Tossers’ of Old Town Week were Jimmy for the seniors and Kalap was ‘Junior Tosser.’

On the Thursday, the Club organised its Annual Putting / Crazy Golf Competition which attracted a record number of competitors and secured a record £900 for Club Charities which are all local good causes. Trophies were awarded in the Senior section to Dave Horncastle and Nick Harman who shared top spot for the men and Danielle Hoad who was the top Lady and overal winner with a score of 32 also picking up the Dave Morley Award. Top Juniors were Taylor Smith for the boys and Amy Horncastle for the girls. Event organiser, Stuart Homewood, said ‘ It was great to see so many people taking part in both the Tossing and the Putting Competition and we were thrilled at the record amounts raised. The Winkle Club’s thanks go to the management team at the Hastings Adventure Golf for once again generously allowing our competition to take place. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all who took part.

4th June 2022

HASTINGS WINKLE CLUB’S JUBILEE TREE PLANTING

The Hastings Winkle Club made its contribution to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations by commemorating and planting a symbolic Oak Tree in Alexandra Park on Saturday June 4th.

The Queen’s ‘Green Canopy’ initiative aims to see 1million trees planted across Britain and Club stalwart, Bill Wicking, was determined that the Winkle Club would play its part.

Bill gave particular thanks to the Hastings Council Officer, Chris Wilkins, for his help in suggesting a suitable tree and identifying a place in Alexandra Park for it to be planted. He also thanked one of the Club’s Vice Presidents, Phil Furner, who had donated the cost of the Oak Tree.

The Act of Commemoration was carried out by Father Ronald Partridge followed by the unveiling of a plaque. In attendance were Winkle Club President, Richard Stevens, Vice President, Ian Porter, Chairman, Christian Burton and Secretary, Reg Wood. Watching the proceedings was an enthusiastic gathering of Club committee members, ‘Winklers’ and their guests.

17th December 2021

Fusion Christmas Charity Fundraiser

On the 17th December Fusion Dance Academy held their Christmas Charity Fundraiser Show 🎄🎉🎁🎅🥳🩰🎭

Fusion have been one of our beneficiaries over the past few years providing a wide variety of dance classes from street dance to Ballet & Tap for all age groups (Tots to Teens). This year Fusion decided to donate the funds raised at their Christmas Charity Fundraiser to the Hastings Winkle Club, They Raised an amazing £323.02 for the Hastings Winkle Club with every penny going straight back into the local community.

BIG thank you to Denise, Evie, Jazz, Chloe, Ewan and all the Fusion family for your generosity, some of our committee attended the show and said it was amazing to see how much work time and effort goes into organizing these events for the local youngsters.

9th April 2021

Death Announced Today of Prince Philip

Prince Philip was made a member of the Hastings Winkle Club on the 28th October 1966 when he accompanied the Queen to our town and they had their luncheon in Hastings. He was presented with a Gold Winkle and the Club Secretary at the time, accompanied by the then Club Vice President, John Burton ( Grandfather of current Chairman, Christian Burton ), also gave him ‘an ordinary winkle’ saying: “Here you are Sir; one for week-days as well.”

Her Majesty The Queen had been presented with a gold winkle brooch when she visited Hastings as Princess Elizabeth in 1951.”

Prince Philip has remained an Honorary Member of the Winkle Club for 70 years now and I was privileged to meet him twice when Mayor of Hastings and also as Chairman of East Sussex County Council. I also saw him when accompanying the Queen at the late Queen Mother’s funeral which my wife and I attended.

The Winkle Club will be sending a letter of condolence to Her Majesty the Queen and the Club Flag will be flown at half mast on the day of the funeral.

26th March 2021

Winkle Club News

As we all look forward to the end of lockdown and a return to some kind of normality, The Hastings Winkle Club is hoping for a year in which it is able to concentrate once more on its core aims and objectives.

Several applications have already been received by the Club requesting donations and all these will be considered carefully by the Club’s committee. Inevitably, however, in common with the whole charitable sector, fundraising has been negligible during the past year of enforced restrictions so the Club’s donations to strictly local good causes will be limited to smaller amounts than might normally be the case.

Nonetheless, the Winkle Club feels confident that it will be able to help a range of Hastings area community organisations and will begin looking at potential beneficiaries at the Club’s April ‘virtual’ committee meeting.

The Club received some national publicity recently as part of the fall out from the ‘Harry and Meghan’ interview with Oprah Winfrey. Two or three of the Club’s senior officers were ‘door-stepped’ by a tabloid journalist with a determination to produce a quirky yet critical article aimed at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who have not yet been presented with the gold winkle and brooch especially bought for them. This jewellery was purchased thanks to the generosity of a few members and did not rely in any way on Winkle Club funds. Suffice to say that the Club  hopes that the presentation can still take place should the Duke and Duchess revisit Sussex in the future.

Spring is now officially with us and the Winkle Club has plans for a variety of Summer and Autumn events if all goes well. If you would like to learn more about our historic Club, please visit our website : winkleclub.org and donations can be sent to our H.Q. C/O East Hastings Sea Angling Association, The Stade, Hastings, TN34 3 FJ.

15th December 2020

Hastings Winkle Club’s Christmas Tree of Gratitude & Seasons Greetings

The historic 120 year old, Hastings Winkle Club which is based in the Old Town of Hastings has seen many of its fundraising plans being cancelled or at best postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Along with many other charities, the Winkle Club has seen a sharp downturn in its income during this extraordinary year.

Nonetheless the Club still managed to make small donations to several local good causes as well as to The Friends of the Conquest Hospital, The Hastings Foodbank and Surviving Christmas.

On Winkle Island in Hastings Old Town, The Winkle Club installed  a Christmas Tree of Gratitude and Glad Tidings which they hope will bring good cheer to the whole community.

The Tree was both grown and the whole project organized by Winkle Club Stalwart and Old Town Carnival President, Bill Wicking who had the idea of decorating it with not only the traditional lights etc. but also with messages of gratitude to all who have helped our communities through this very difficult and challenging year.

Hastings Winkle Club Chairman, Christian Burton, said ‘ We hope that this ‘Christmas Tree of Thanks’ will brighten up  Christmas a little for all those who see it and be a public display of gratitude for the support network we all depend on in such difficult times.’

Winkle Club President, Richard Stevens, added ‘ Our Historic Club is run entirely by volunteers and this project shows the determination of our membership to continue its long tradition of helping local good causes and showing support for our community even as we all battle against the current crisis.’

The Club also plans to sing Christmas carols outside Old Hastings House Residential Home which is located at the top of the High Street, on Christmas Day with a socially-distanced Choir.

This is  another tradition which goes back some 40 years. The only difference this Christmas will be that the Winkle Choir will not be able to sing inside the building but residents will watch and hopefully hear the carol singing from their lounge windows.

8th November 2020

The historic 120 year old Hastings Winkle Club held its own socially-distanced Remembrance Ceremony on Sunday 8th at Winkle Island in Hastings Old Town.

Wreaths were laid and the 2 minutes silence observed. Only senior members of the club were permitted to attend in line with the current lockdown restrictions.

Chairman, Christian Burton, read the poems “In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow” and “For the Fallen”

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly”
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”
JOHN McCRAE
 

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

LAURENCE BINYON

Winkle Club President, Richard Stevens recited The Kohima Epitaph

“When you go home, Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, We gave our today.”

JOHN MAXWELL EDMONDS

18th August

I hope you are keeping well in these difficult times. As you will appreciate up until this month the club has not been able to hold any functions or do any fundraising this year due to the current restrictions.

It was, therefore, a relief and a joy to be able to hold our annual crazy putting event during Hastings old town week. This was a fun event which raised around £300 for the charity.
 
Thanks to all members who took part.
 
As a result of the restrictions we have not been sending out our seasonal newsletters as there was very little to report.
 
However, I can give you an update of what has been going on behind the scenes.
 
You will be aware that our former President, Sir Kenneth Warren, sadly passed away in June 2019. A number of us attended his memorial service in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey on Thursday 30th January 2020.
 
A plaque has been made in his honour and this will be placed on one of the benches on Winkle Island in due course. Once we are able to hold a ceremony his family will be invited to attend along with Winkle club members.
 
I am very pleased to report that Richard Stevens has been elected as our new President.
 
After many years of loyal service, Ian Porter has stood down as our Treasurer. Having worked alongside Ian for the past few years I have seen how dedicated and diligent he has been in the post and we wish him well with his retirement.
 
Our new Treasurer is Roger Williams who has been a club member for over 40 years and a member of the committee. We wish him all the best.
 
Sadly we haven’t been able to hold our annual donations evening this year. The club have prioritised its donations to those most in need this year. A sum of £5000 was given to the Conquest hospital for the staffs welfare and £1000 was donated to the foodbank.Looking ahead we have booked our annual supper night for Friday 7th January and we are expecting the annual Children’s party to take place. We have also booked the music festival for 2021. Details to follow in due course.
 
We have had a number of new members wanting to join and we will be holding a mass induction as soon as possible.
 
The clubs future is looking bright and the committee, lead by our enthusiastic Chairman Christian Burton, are working hard to ensure the clubs proud 120 year history is continued.
 
Kind regards and Winkle up!
 

Reg WoodHon Secretary