The Winkle Club is an internationally famous charitable organization formed in 1900 by Hastings fishermen to help the under-privileged families of Hastings Old Town, in East Sussex, in the south of England.
The Winkle Club headquarters, located at the Fishermen's Institute, opened in 1882. The building was given in trust for the use of Hastings Fishermen; the ground floor area, now used as the bar and clubroom, was initially used by the fishermen for making and repairing their nets.
Apart from some specially selected local residents, Winkle Club members have included some very illustrious personalities such as the late Sir Winston Churchill., Lord Montgomery, Sir Norman Wisdom and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
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.
During special occasions, members of the Winkle Club gather together on Winkle Island at the foot of All Saints' Street. Winkle Island is the venue for many of the club's outdoor events. The giant winkle that stands on the pavement (see photo), was used as a collecting box in the past.
- Winkle Club Official Website
- Hastings Bygones
- The Stade and the Winkle Club
- 1066 Country and the Winkle CLub
- Sir Winston Churchill Gets The Winkle In Ceremony at Hastings. Pathe News
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