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.”
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make our website your homepage at www.bexhillobserver.net
2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bexhillobserver
3 Follow us on Twitter @BexhillObs
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Bexhill Observer – always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.