Where’s my winkle?

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week 2010. 6/8/10'Pirate Day''Bill Wicking.
Hastings Old Town Carnival Week 2010. 6/8/10'Pirate Day''Bill Wicking.

Old Town Carnival Association President and Winkle Club member Bill Wicking had an embarrassing moment during Old Town Week when he was caught without his winkle.

The incident happened during the Jimmy Read Memorial Bike Ride up Crown Lane last Tuesday.

All Winkle Club members must carry their Club Winkles at all times and produce them if asked by another club member to ‘Winkle Up’.

Sadly Bill was lacking in the winkle department, having left his at home and was unable to respond to the challenge issued by fellow club member Bob Shaylor.

“He was then informed of the serious consequences of riding up the hill without his winkle and was fined the customary £1 for not being in possession of his winkle.

Subsequently, several other members were found lacking in the winkle department and sentenced to rattling collecting buckets at the Winkle Club’s next Charity fund raising event- ‘ Fantasy Island , which takes place on Winkle Island during the Seafood and Wine Festival in September.

The Winkle Club is an internationally famous charitable organisation formed by Hastings fishermen to help the under-privileged families of Hastings Old Town. The club’s headquarters, located at the Fishermen’s Club, opened in 1882. The building was given in trust for the use of Hastings Fishermen.

Apart from some specially selected local residents, Winkle Club members have included a few very illustrious personalities such as Lord Montgomery, Sir Winston Churchill and the Duke of Windsor.

Each Winkle Club Member (or ‘Winkler’) carries a winkle shell which they must produce when challenged to ‘Winkle Up’. Failure to do so results in a fine which goes towards local charities.

Winkle Island, at the end of All Saints Street, has a giant sculpted winkle which also acts as a collecting box for the club.

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The Hastings