Hastings Winkle Club were on the march on Saturday December 17 when the Club held its special Remembrance event in honour of all those from the Old Town who served in the RNLI (Lifeboat Service), as fishermen, as members of Her Majesty’s Coastguard or the Winkle Club itself.
This year, these key organisations were joined by representatives of the Pett Level Rescue Boat Service.
A short service was held at the beautifully lit Priscilla MacBean site in Old London Road with an address given by Father Ronald Partridge of the Old Town.
Then a procession formed up and led by lone Piper Jon Bartholomew, made its way along All Saints Street to Winkle Island.
Those taking part included the High Sherriff of East Sussex, Michael Foster, the Immediate Past Mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling and President of the Winkle Club, Sir Kenneth Warren.
Crowds on Winkle Island were entertained with seasonal carols and songs from Harmony One, a local group of singers.
Mary Lipscombe sang the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ before wreaths were laid on behalf of the key organisations.
Wreaths were also laid by the Pett Level Rescue Boat and the Vice President of Hastings Winkle Club, Phil Furner, who laid the Royal British Legion wreath. These proceedings were overseen by M.C. for the evening, Richard Stevens. (Vice Chairman of the Winkle Club).
Once the formal part of the evening was concluded, hot soup and rolls were on offer as people continued to listen to Harmony One.
Trees of Messages remain on Winkle Island, bearing the names of loved ones, family or friends who served in the RNLI, as fishermen, in HM Coastguard or as Winkle Club members.
Chairman of the Winkle Club’s Fundraising and Promotions sub committee, Fran Craig said: “We are so grateful to all those who helped organise this event and gave of their time freely and voluntarily.
“We thank those who actively participated and all those who attended. We are grateful to the Sea Cadets for helping with the wreath laying on Winkle Island.
“We know that this event means so much to the Old Town Community in particular for we all have much to be grateful for when we consider past sacrifices made by those who went before us.”
Pictures by Sid Saunders.