Hastings Winkle Club

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The club has been busy throughout the autumn and early winter months with the usual variety of fundraising activities and events.

The club’s aims and objectives remain very simply to raise as much as we can for local good causes. We now enter the club’s 115th year which is quite extraordinary and must set a record for a small local charity.

At the end of September we held the Fantasy Island event on Winkle Island with musicians giving their time freely and we had the usual array of stalls which ranged from hook-a-duck for the children to a tombola and cake stall. For the weekend of the Seafood and Wine Festival, Winkle Island remained a colourful attraction and we raised around £1,000.

In October, we had a speaking engagement in Sedlescombe and also our very successful Autumn Social. Another £1,000 was raised thanks to members generosity and as a result of our secretary’s band Loose Ends providing the entertainment entirely free of charge.

The club supported the refurbishment and siting of the former lifeboat, the Priscilla Macbean, in Old London Road and certainly those concerned have provided a stunning welcome to the Old Town.

December saw the Children’s Christmas Party take place in conjunction with the High Street Traders and 50 children had a great time with entertainment.

The Plough at Westfield held a Christmas Evening with carols, mince pies and mulled wine and the raffle takings were all given to the Winkle Club. This was a lovely evening and enjoyed by all who attended.

On the Sunday before Christmas, we delivered some 50 Christmas parcels to local deserving recipients nominated by our committee. The parcels contain basic foodstuffs and seem to be much appreciated.

On Christmas morning, the Winkle Club Choir sang carols in Old Hastings House for their residents, a tradition that goes back more than 30 years.

On January 5 we held the annual Winkle Club Supper in the East Hastings Sea Angling Association. More than 100 members attended including the Mayor of Hastings who has become a member and past MPs for Hastings ,Michael Foster and Sir Kenneth Warren. Comedian Adger Brown entertained the supper-goers and a raffle and auction raised £2,000.

On January 19 we spoke to retired NHS workers at Bexhill Hospital and these talks are proving as popular as ever. If your club or organisation is interested in booking a speaker please contact Ian Porter on 07974 081582. Also if you would like to help the Winkle Club at any of its fundraising events do please give Ian a call.

The Wishing Well and Winkle Sculpture continue to provide useful income for the club and are now emptied on a much more regular basis. Don’t forget to drop your loose coins in to the sculpture when crossing Winkle Island and here the bell ring.

We now look forward to spring, our AGM and another Hastings Winkle Club Year of raising funds for local good causes. A Happy New Year to you all.