By Andy Hirst, Special Correspondent
It’s a charity with a weird name but all its members have hearts of gold.
For Golcar Winkle Club has been raising money to help the village for decades and is doing a sponsored walk on the weekend of June 26/27.
A dozen intrepid walkers along with two support drivers will be walking from their beloved Golcar to Lake Windermere in Cumbria – a distance of 80 miles – over the two days.
The village is right behind them with sponsorship money rolling in – they have already raised £900 towards their target of £1,500 on Facebook with business sponsorship on top of that – and every penny raised goes back into Golcar. The club’s proudest and most visible achievement was building the war memorial in the centre of the village in 1990.
Golcar Winkle Club (GWC) has just festooned the village with England flags to celebrate the team taking part in the Euros and also provides the village with its Christmas lights and parties for those who would otherwise be alone. It stepped in to provide a meals on wheels service for the vulnerable during the pandemic.
GWC member Chris Betts said: “These are just a few of the great things we love to do and we don’t only raise money, we also love to give our time back. We are a purely voluntary organisation without administration fees or charges. Every penny raised is put back into helping people.”
Golcar Winkle Club was set up in 1980, inspired by the first ever winkle club established more than 270 miles away in Hastings, East Sussex, on the south coast in 1900 by a small band of Hastings fishermen who came together to help others less fortunate than themselves.
Each Winkle Club member – known as a 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.
Winklers include some of most famous names of all including The Queen, Sir Winston Churchill, Field Marshall Lord Montgomery, comedians Sir Norman Wisdom and Tommy Trinder and journalist Richard Dimbleby.
Chris added: “Inspired by the great work done by Hastings Winkle Club, several Golcar people decided to form our very own Golcar Winkle Club.
“With the help and support of the business community, kind donations and fundraising events, GWC has continued to help the people of Golcar ever since.”
Over the years GWC has helped people and families, especially those who have slipped through regular support networks.
The club has provided equipment for people with mobility problems, bought books and musical instruments for schools to encourage personal development, provided planters to brighten up the village and helps groups like the guides and scouts.
They are based at Golcar Conservative Club on Knowl Road in Golcar so if you want to contact them drop them a note there with your contact details and they’ll get back to you.
To sponsor the Winklers’ Walk to Windermere go to https://www.facebook.com/donate/915978098971933/
* Written by former Huddersfield Examiner Head of Content ANDY HIRST who now runs his own Huddersfield-based agency AH! PR specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting for business in Yorkshire and across the UK.