Hastings Winkle Club

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As we move into the winter months, the Winkle Club looks back on a successful Autumn period and Festive Season.

It was in early September that we commemorated the 60th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill becoming a member by watching Pathe News coverage from 1955 and by listening to Glynn Gifford-Boyd, from the local family of photographers, who was present on Winkle Island when Sir Winston received his gold winkle.

Later in the month, the Island was transformed into ‘Fantasy Island ‘ for a day ( in conjunction with the Seafood & Wine Festival ) complete with music, dancing and side-shows etc.. Close on £1,000 was raised as a result.

October began with a Social in our H.Q., The Fishermen’s Institute,and we were very grateful to the ever-popular ‘Loose Ends’ for providing the entertainment. Again a very useful sum was raised mainly from the Raffle takings, with all prizes donated by our generous membership.

We have now formed a small ‘Fundraising & Promotions sub-committee’ which has come up with many new ideas to help us raise money for local good causes and it is proving to be very successful.

On Remembrance Sunday in November the Winkle Club laid wreaths at both the Town’s Act of Remembrance in Alexandra Park and at Holy Trinity Church, Claremont.

Throughout the Autumn we have continued to give talks to various Clubs and organisations about the Winkle Club’s history and its hopes for the future.

December is always a busy month for our club and December 2015 seemed even busier than usual. On Saturday 12th we presented the Hastings Motor Boat & Yacht Club with a Certificate of Appreciation for their kind donation of £600. This was part of the money raised during their Golden Anniversary Year and we are most grateful to them.

On December 16th we attended the Christmas Evening at The Plough in Westfield where all the Raffle takings were donated to the Winkle Club.

Saturday December 19th turned out to be one of our busiest and yet most significant days of our entire year. We joined forces with the High Street Traders to help with the Old Town’s Children’s Christmas Party complete with procession from Winkle Island to the venue for the Fish & Chips plus entertainment.

In the evening, we held ,for the first time, a Remembrance Procession and commemorative event recalling those who served in the Lifeboat and Coastguard Services or who were Fishhermen or Winkle Club members. A poignant few words were said before the lantern-lit procession, lead by a lone piper made its way down All Saints Street as the church bell tolled.

On Winkle Island where wreaths were laid, Trees of Messages were in place as a tribute to seafaring loved-ones who are no longer with us. The Winkle Club intends to make this ‘Christmas Time to Remember’ an annual event.

The evening of the 19th concluded with a gathering in the Fishermen’s Club and a Grand Raffle Draw. A BIG THANK YOU to all who helped throughout the day.

On Sunday December 20th, we delivered 50 Christmas parcels to deserving folk all nominated by committee members and/or local churches. Again thank you to all who helped with deliveries etc..

On Christmas Day, we kept up the long held tradition of singing carols for the residents of Old Hastings House and this time we were able to give them all a Christmas Card and a bag of sweeties which was rather nice.

Bringing us right up=to=date, we have just held another highly successful Annual Supper at the East Hastings Angling Association with top entertainer, Adger Brown, a wonderful meal,auction and Raffle. The Supper Evening raised around £2,500 towards Winkle Club good causes.

Now we look forward to Spring, our AGM and another busy, fun-packed winkle year ahead.

The Hastings Winkle Club wishes all members, supporters and Observer readers A Very Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year. Winkle Up!

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