The Hastings Winkle Club held a special commemorative event to mark 60 years since Sir Winston Churchill was made a member of the famous Club.
The event, which was held on Sunday September 6, began in the Fishermen’s Museum, Rock-a-Nore Road. A packed crowd of around 300 had the opportunity to view Pathe and Movietone film coverage from September 1955 which showed Sir Winston coming to Winkle Island with Field Marshall Montgomery.
The film coverage showed Sir Winston, being driven into town by Field Marshall Montgomery, who was already a member of the Winkle Club, in his open top car nicknamed ‘Old Bill’ and being presented with his Gold Winkle, after which he said that joining the Winkle Club was one of the things he’d really wanted to do.
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.
At the commemorative event, Glyn Gifford Boyd, a Winkle Club member, who was there at the time of Sir Winston’s visit, spoke about what it was like on that day 60 years ago when 5,000 people watched Winston receiving his Winkle from the then Club Secretary. Then under the direction of Hastings Town Crier, Jonathan Bartholomew, the crowd moved to Winkle Island where a bronze plaque was unveiled by Hastings Mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling and Club President, Sir Kenneth Warren.
Winkle Club Vice Chairman, Richard Stevens, said: “I was very pleased that the Winkle Club were able to pay fitting tribute to Sir Winston, not just for his unique brand of statesmanship which secured our freedom at the end of the war but also in recognition of his particular fondness for the Hastings Winkle Club.” www winkleclub.webs.com.
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