Recent News


The HASTINGS WINKLE CLUB  has made a substantial donation to the ‘Covid-19 Conquest Hospital Staff Well-being Appeal. The Appeal, organized by the Friends of the Conquest Hospital, seeks to provide extra support for those working at the Conquest during the current crisis.

Many hospital staff are working long and unsocial hours and the canteen and café are operating restricted hours while the crisis persists. As a result, it is often difficult for staff to reach shops especially those who are working late shifts.

The Appeal aims to provide food, drinks and snacks free and even grocery shopping for some staff unable to access shops. Other much needed items for hard pressed staff are foldaway beds, reclining chairs. Fridges, microwaves, kettles and toasters for instance.

The Friends of the Conquest wrote to the Hastings Winkle Club asking if there was any way in which they could help with the Appeal. Chairman of the Winkle Club, Christian Burton said ‘As soon as I received the letter from the Friends, I contacted the other Club Trustees via email and we all agreed that a substantial donation should be made. We all wanted to show our support in a practical way for our amazing NHS staff’ he said.

President of Hastings Winkle Club, Richard Stevens said ‘Our Club has as its stated aim and objective ‘to help local good causes’ and in these unprecedented times, nothing could be more appropriate than demonstrating in this practical way our enormous support and gratitude for the selfless service being given by our NHS staff and others within the caring environment. The Club is more than pleased to be able to respond to the Friends of the Conquest’s ‘ Staff well-being Appeal’ at this extremely difficult time for us all.’

The Winkle Club has also donated towards the Hastings Foodbank which is struggling to meet demand during the Covid-19.

Remembering John Scollay

On the 2nd of February at 12:00 on Winkle Island, The WInkle Club will be  having a short service and an unveiling a plaque in memory of John Scollay, a much missed Winkler.

You can download a copy of our latest newsletter by clicking here.

Kids Christmas Party  (ages 4 to 8)

Saturday 14th December – 2.00 pm

This years event is for children age 4 to 8, It starts at 2.00 pm with a procession from Winkle Island to the East Hastings Angling Association,  where the party will take place from 2.30 pm.

2.00 pm Procession from Winkle Island
2.30 pm to 4.00 pm Party (Entry by ticket only.)

Tickets are available from the anchor pub or fisherman’s museum.

Christmas Time to Remember (Carol Singing and Wreath laying.)

Saturday 21st December – 6.00 pm

On Saturday evening ( 21st. ) Hastings Winkle Club holds its ‘Christmas- A Time to Remember’ event at which it recalls those who make their living from the sea but also those who continue to protect, warn and rescue those who risk the might of the ocean.

Particularly in peoples minds will be those who have served or continue to serve in the RNLI. Her Majesty’s Coastguard Service, Fishermen, The Pett Level Rescue Boat and of course Winkle Club Members both past and present.

This year, however, organisers point out that this is very much a community event for the town during which loved ones can be remembered and respected whether seafarers or from different walks of life.

At 6.00 pm there will be a short ceremony by the Cyril and Lilian Bishop restored lifeboat and then the procession will form up at the bottom of Harold Road at 6.30pm.

The church bells will ring as the procession, lead by a loan piper, will make its way along All Saints Street to Winkle Island. Once on the Island, carols will be sung and wreaths will be laid. There will also be the poignant unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the life of John Scollay who was a stalwart of both the Winkle Club and the RNLI. Members of John’s family will carry out the unveiling.

Once formalities are concluded, refreshments will be served to all in attendance.

We hope members of our community will come and show their support for all those whose lives revolve around the demands of the sea and those still remembered for their special contribution to our coastal town as a whole both currently and in years gone by

Christmas Day Carol Singing

25th December – 10.30pm

This has become a tradition on Christmas day.  We meet at  Old Hastings House  at 10.30 am for an 11.00 am start.

Everyone is welcome,  singers, non singers, old and young, family and friends.  please come a long to support this long standing event.

Annual Supper

Friday 3rd January 2020.

This is an event not to be missed. The supper will include a entertainment a and raffle.  Please remember that this event is included as part of your membership.

If you haven’t renewed you subscription, please download a copy of the newsletter as it contains the renewal form, and if you know other potential members, why not email them a copy?

“Biddy the Tubman Blue Plaque Unveiling Event”

The unveiling of the blue plaque in memory of Biddy the Tubman took place on Sunday 11th August at 3.30 pm at 17 West Street Old Town Hastings.

Putting Competition

On the evening of Wednesday 7th August, the Winkle Club held its annual putting competition teeing off at 6 pm. The venue for this event was Hastings Adventure Golf along Marine Parade. Whether the competitors were Grand Master’s of putting or just looking to have some fun, they all found this to be an enjoyable evening.  


The historic Hastings Winkle Club organised a variety of events for Old Town Carnival Week with all proceeds going to the Club’s chosen charitable good local causes. The Club inducted four new members on Winkle Island on Tuesday with the support of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. This was immediately followed by the reenactment of the ancient game of Winkle Tossing where contestants pitch winkles in to different sized containers. The eventual winner was Stuart Ramsay who defeated runner up Stuart Homewood in a play-off. ( Photo attached with the winners ‘work of art ‘ which he/she keeps for a year. ) The Junior ‘Tossing Victor’ was Martha White.

The annual Putting Competition was held on the Wednesday thanks to the generosity of the Adventure Golf management and some impressive scores were put together. Trophies were awarded to Michael Taylor ( Best Male Score ), Jacqui Rose ( Best Female ) and in the Junior Section Freddie Novis  and Amy Horncastle shot the best scores and lowest round totals.

Vice President of the Winkle Club, Richard Stevens said ‘ The Winkle Club is very pleased with the support received for these two fun events and more than £400 was raised for the charitable purposes that the Club supports which is excellent news.’

The Winkle Club also has a float in this year’s carnival procession,

An interesting story is that the Float was designed and predominately built by Bill Wicking who is Vice Chairman of the Hastings Winkle Club. This year’s carnival theme was ’50 Years of Carnival’…. Bill Wicking had a ‘Best in Show’ award in the 1969 Carnival ! An extraordinary achievement.

The ‘Float’ won 1st Prize in its Class.

Well Done Bill


The Winkle Club was extremely saddened when it learned of the death of our popular Club President last June. Now begins the difficult task of finding Ken’s successor.

The Club feels that this appointment should not be made in haste and ideally after the Memorial Service for Sir Ken. ( Date still unknown. )

The Trustees will eventually decide who our next President should be but will take into account the views of the Advisory Committee and of course the membership.

To this end, if any member has any suggestions to make as to who they feel would make an appropriate Club President, please forward names for consideration to The Secretary, Reg Wood, Hastings Winkle Club, EHSAA, The Stade etc……. or Email our Secretary on ……………

The Club will probably seek to agree and appoint a new President who will take up office in the New Year.

Annual Donations and presentations evening

On the evening of Sunday May 19th, the Winkle Club held its annual Donations Evening.

Proceedings began with Fundraising Committee stalwart, Pauline Lindsay receiving the rarely given accolade of Honorary Membership for outstanding service to the Winkle Club.

As a key member of the Fundraising Committee, Pauline is involved in the organization of such major fundraising events as the Jazz and Blues Festival on The Stade.  This year’s Festival runs throughout the first weekend of June : See program for details. 

Following the presentation to Pauline, some 36 representatives of a variety of local good causes received a cheque from the Club to help them continue with their good work. These included groups and organisations who provide activities and support to both young and old and to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Pictured are Pauline receiving her winkle and membership card from Club Chairman, Christian Burton and representatives from three of this year’s beneficiaries. These are ‘The Coastal Twirlers,’ Mollie Green from The Fellowship of St. Nicholas’ and a representative from Parchment Trust / Friary Gardeners who provide a stimulating environment, including a horticultural project for people with profound disabilities and learning difficulties.

Annual Supper January 2019

Some 75 members of the historic Hastings Winkle Club gathered last Friday (4th) at the East Hastings Sea Angling Association for their Annual Supper and to celebrate the Club’s 119 years as a Charity which raises money for local good causes. Chairman, Christian Burton explained how the Club had been able to help over 40 such causes during the last year alone.

A carvery style meal was enjoyed by all courtesy of the Angling Association’s in-house caterers and the evening also included a cabaret set from top comedian, Adger Brown, an auction and a raffle.  Trophies were presented for Best Collection by a Pub (The Royal Albert), Best Collection by a Club (The St. Mary’s Club) and Best Company Contribution which went to Homewood Leisure.


In addition, A Best Individual Effort Award was made to Mike Raxworthy who arranged all the musical content for last June’s Hastings Jazz Festival which raised more than £7,000 for Winkle Club Charities.

Six new members were inducted during proceedings and a Silver Winkle awarded to Ian Porter and a gold Winkle Pin to Pauline Lindsey for their outstanding contribution to the Club’s work.

The Supper Evening itself raised more than £1,000 with Christian Burton thanking all who attended in his closing remarks and adding ‘ The money raised this evening has started the ball rolling for what I am sure will be another successful year for our great Club.’

4th January 2019

‘The Winkle Club Choir’

‘The Winkle Club Choir’  sang to residents of Old Hastings House in the Old Town on Christmas morning, This tradition goes back more than 30 years and this year The Mayor and Deputy Mayor also attended. The choir was lead and conducted by Mary Lipscombe of the Hastings Philharmonic.  ‘We almost sounded professional and we really enjoy this annual tradition and thankfully so do the residents of Old Hastings House.

Richard Stevens, Hastings Winkle Club Vice Chairman.

Complete ‘Make-over’ for Joan’s Room

Each year, Old Town Charity, Hastings Winkle Club, is able to select at least two local good causes to receive a rather more substantial grant than is usually the case. One of this year’s fortunate beneficiaries was Hastings & Rother Voluntary Association for the Blind and they chose to use their donation to renovate and revamp one of the bedrooms at their residential home, Healey House, for the blind and visually impaired.

Senior members of the Winkle Club were on hand to unveil a plaque and to meet current occupant, Joan Winchester, 94, who said how pleased she was with the newly decorated room and its furnishings.

Chief Executive of Hastings and Rother Voluntary Association for the Blind (HRVAB), Fieona Farrier-Twist said that her organization was both thrilled and delighted at the generosity shown by the Hastings Winkle Club and that Joan’s was the first room to receive such star treatment under their ‘Project Renovation’ scheme at Healey House, Upper Maze Hill.

16th September 2018

Hastings Winkle Club plays a round for charity.

On Wednesday evening, as part of Old Town Week, the Hastings Winkle Club held its Annual Charity Putting Competition.

An enthusiastic gang of Winkle Club members, friends, family and supporters gathered at the Adventure Golf Courses on the seafront. The high standard of play even made for an exciting ‘Play-Off’ in the Adult section. After a tense finish, Melissa Howe and Lily Springall were the victorious Juniors and Half-Marathon Man, Eric Hardwick won both the Adults and the Dave Morley memorial trophies.

Winkle Club Vice Chairman, Richard Stevens said ‘We are very grateful to John Scollay and Stuart Homewood for organising the Competition and for the generosity of the Hastings Adventure Golf management.’ The evening raised around £500 for Winkle Club local good causes.

3rd August 2018

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.’


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