Old Town wishing well reopens for public donations

Members of the Winkle Club and Rotary Club of Hastings by the wishing well

Members of the Winkle Club and Rotary Club of Hastings by the wishing well

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A MUCH-LOVED landmark in the Old Town that was vandalised has been fully restored and reopened.

The Wishing Well, on The Stade, a charity collection point run by Hastings Winkle Club, was smashed up by thieves at the beginning of last year who plundered the collection of cash generous passers-by had left for underprivileged Old Town children.

While the Jerwood Gallery was being built the wishing well was boarded off from public view. Builders discovered the damage when they returned to work following their festive break.

Winkle Club members were left reeling over the vandalism, as was the Rotary Club of Hastings, which owns the landmark.

It was feared the heartless thieves had got away with as much as £1,000 of loose change, built up over previous months.

But after a complete renovation the wishing well was reopened on Friday amid Winkle Club and Rotary Club members.

Richard Stevens, vice chairman of the Winkle Club, said: “Local people were saddened when the wishing well suffered such vandalism and both the Rotary Club and the Winkle Club were determined to see it fully repaired and back in action as a much cherished Old Town fundraising feature.

“Now, thanks predominantly to the council’s Stade Development contractors’ Westridge Construction, the wishing well has been restored and once again will be able to provide a useful source of revenue for both local and charitable clubs.

“Fuller’s Engineering also contributed valuable work to the restoration project.

“We are particularly grateful to Westridge and Fuller’s Engineering for the great job that they have done.”

The wishing well was first opened in 1958, having been built by Hastings College Construction Department students.