Hastings Senior Men’s Forum

ON April 22 we had an illustrated talk from Richard Stevens on the Hastings Winkle Club.

He informed us that the Winkle Club was formed in 1900 by fishermen who met at the Prince Albert and also at the Royal Oak. First thoughts it would be called the Acorn Club, but then someone walked in with a bucket full of winkles and that decided the name would be Winkle Club.

Everyone was issued with a winkle and hence forth if a member failed to ‘winkle up’ they would be fined 1/2d and if the winkle was lost they would be fined 6d, a lot of money in those days. It was custom in the early days for children to parade behind a fisherman’s band at Christmas and Easter and all money collected by the club was issued to a local ‘old town’ charity.

Fundraising has continued ever since. Many notable people have joined the Winkle Club. Winston Churchill was enrolled in September 1955 on board the RX278 The Enterprise. The late Queen Mother, our present Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been enrolled into the club.

A large winkle as a symbol has been erected on Winkle Island and the club continues to raise money for charity to this day.

There will now be a summer break and the next meeting of the Forum will be held on Tuesday, October 7.