Polish-English friendship in Blackpool: traditions, history, and the reunion party

On February 3, the Blackpool Polish Community hosted a remarkable event known as the "Reunion Party." This gathering held special significance not only for the Polish residents of Blackpool but also for the English attendees with connections to The White Eagle Club until 1999.
Marek Radomski. Picture: Reunion Party, Blackpool Polish CommunityMarek Radomski. Picture: Reunion Party, Blackpool Polish Community
Marek Radomski. Picture: Reunion Party, Blackpool Polish Community

The festivities took place at the Blackpool Subscription Bowling Club, owned by Nick Kowalski, an artist, art teacher, and the son of a Polish veteran. The celebration was a symbolic union of history and contemporary connections, all centred around the deep-seated roots of Polish-English friendship.

The history of Polish-English ties in Blackpool runs deep. During World War II, soldiers from these distant nations fought side by side "for our freedom and yours." Post-war, a significant number of Poles, unable to return to their homeland due to various concerns, found a new home in the UK.

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The previously mentioned The White Eagle Club enjoyed immense popularity not only among Polish veterans but also as a unique cultural hub. It served as the venue for essential Polish celebrations and was an exclusive meeting place known for its delicious cuisine, where entry required donning a tie – a must-have accessory, and those without one could rent it for the occasion. If you're in Blackpool and don't recall this period of splendour, be sure to ask your parents or grandparents; you'll undoubtedly hear many positive memories.

The "Reunion Party" in Blackpool marked its second occurrence but is certainly not the last. For over two years, Arkadiusz Miedziak, Dariusz Bigaj, and Marcin Kubiński have been actively uniting history enthusiasts and those who hold a special place in their hearts for Polish-English friendship.

Soon, photos from the latest gathering will be available on the Blackpool Polish Community's Facebook page.

Everyone who would like to share stories of their ancestors connected to Polish-English friendship to reach out. Every story, memories, is valuable.

Anna Paprzycka

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