This is a video, audio and photo presentation of members of the local Polish community, starting from the upheavals of the WWII, which displaced millions of people, bringing some of them to the shores of United Kingdom, through their settling in, while they were unable to return to Poland, establishing their homes in Britain, embracing their new lives but also preserving their own sense of identity.
To celebrate Polish Heritage Days, which fall during the first weekend in May and have been introduced by the Polish Ambassador to the UK since 2017, The Signpost to Polish Success brings back to life memories of the Nottingham-based Polish community as captured in its archives. We present video and audio recordings of interviews as well as memorable photographs to ensure that our heroes can retell the stories of their lives and historical events they took part in or witnessed.
The 5th edition of the Polish Heritage Days provides a perfect reason for us to display recordings and photos which we gathered while creating „Our History – Our Story. Polish Heritage in the East Midlands” project in 2014.
While working on „Our History – Our Story” project we conducted video and audio interviews, copied photographs and registered other memorabilia. From our conversations with the elders we traced their arrival to the UK and the way they established themselves locally: how and where they would buy their first homes; what kind of industry they would work in; the organisations they established; the way they worshipped; the development of the Polish Centre, Church and School in Nottingham; the traditions they celebrated; and how they socialised. We presented information and materials gathered in the „Our History – Our Story Exhibition”, held from the 11th of April 2014 to the 24th of May 2014 in the Central Library in Nottingham. At the exhibition we referred to historical events such as the Victory Parade in 1946 and to the challenges of the Polish Resettlement Act from 1947. We also demonstrated the continuity of the presence of the Polish Community in Nottingham by introducing members of the younger generations of Polish migrants, ending with the post-2004 wave of EU arrivals.