Wriggly Tin is Ninfield’s best kept secret

Wriggly Tin SUS-150915-093411001
Wriggly Tin SUS-150915-093411001

A Ninfield institution is celebrating 70 years despite some in the village never having heard of it or knowing its location.

Ninfield Working Men’s Club is nicknamed the Wriggly Tin in reference to its corrugated iron home located up an unlit and unmarked track off Bexhill Road.

Even members of the Cinque Ports Lindy Hoppers who had travelled from Tenterden to lead last Saturday’s celebrations had to stop at Ninfield Memorial Hall to ask directions to the club.

Club member John Dowling said: “One local in the Memorial Hall told the enquiring visitors “I’ve lived in Ninfield for 50 years and I’ve never heard of it.”

“To the members, however, Ninfield Working Men’s Club is part-and-parcel of a village way of life; a place of homely friendship, run by the members for the members.

“With no paid staff, overheads are low and a round of drinks with a price which harks back to yesteryear is a significant part of its attraction.

“Above all, the folk at The Wriggly Tin know how to party. Whether it’s the Christmas festivities for children or the summer barbecue, the Ninfield hospitality is always lavish.

“A scroll above the bar records the club’s origins. It reads: “This building was kindly donated by Mr C. Lade and converted voluntarily by members of the club and officially opened on Wednesday evening. November 14th 1945 by Mr Sparke, J.P. of Tanyard House, accompanied by the Rev H. Bradburn, Rector of Ninfield. A very pleasant evening was spent and was well attended by all members.”

“DJ Gypsy John providing a continuous flow of Fourties musical nostalgia with most members and guests in period costume. Member Paul Fuller was sharp-suited “spiv.”

“The celebrations lasted all weekend. Friday night’s live music was provided by The Exiles. Food included bangers and mash and spam fritters. Sunday saw the revellers return for a free barbecue. For the children there was a street party in the shelter of a marquee. “Ration books” enabled the youngsters to claim their BBQ fare to augment the jelly and cakes. Paper hats were made of newspaper and a magician entertained.”

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