How good to see substantial publicity being given to what you describe as ‘possibly one of the area’s most underrated and fascinating attractions’, namely the Fishermen’s Museum in Rock-a-Nore Road, Old Town.
Admission to the museum is entirely free and it has been known to attract 200,000 visitors a year which is really quite remarkable. Such a shame, therefore, to learn from your article that the museum is struggling financially.
So concerned were the Winkle Club at this situation that we immediately donated £500 towards its upkeep.
Your piece goes on to mention several Winkle Club connections with the Fishermen’s Museum displays and it is worth expanding on just one or two of those.
Sir Winston Churchill did indeed receive his Gold Winkle while alongside ‘The Enterprise’, which had been hauled up to Winkle Island.
What is not mentioned is that Winston was standing in General ‘Monty’ Montgomery’s car at the time and made his acceptance speech from this vantage point.
‘Monty’, already a club member, became the first person to winkle Sir Winston up.
You also describe ‘the original outfit worn by the former Cockle King’.
This in fact is the suit worn by Winkle Club member Wally Hoade and winkles are sewn into the material of the entire garment. Again, available for all to see on display.
It is also great to learn that the new Old Town Councillor James Bacon is the great great grandson of Biddy the Tubman whose Tub is also on display in the Fishermen’s Museum.
There is so much of interest within the former Fishermen’s Church, which was one of many reasons (excuse a little self-indulgence) why my wife and I had our wedding blessing atop the last Lugger built for sail, ‘The Enterprise’, the centrepiece of this wonderful museum.
As a community, we all must do our best to support the Fishermen’s Museum in whatever way we can.
Losing one museum in the Old Town is bad enough but to lose yet another would be disastrous. That must not happen.
Vice Chairman of Hastings Winkle Club
All Saints Street
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