Category Archives: News

Volleyball World Championship

The FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship is being held in Poland from 30th August to 21th September 2014. Venues include: Bydgoszcz; Gdansk; Katowice; Krakow; Lodz; Poznan, Warsaw; and Wroclaw. Sadly work commitments mean we can’t be there but will, of course, be watching Poland’s matches on TV. Here’s a photograph of our television screen of the opening round match where Poland beat Australia 3 – 0.

volleyball poland

Supporters at the volleyball match between Poland and Australia. Click to enlarge image.

Poles in the UK

Polish butchers shop

The BBC have just published a fascinating article about how Britain and Poland came to be intertwined.

“Britain entered World War Two because of Germany invading Poland. But it failed to save the country from Stalin’s clutches in 1945. So has a feeling of historic debt affected Anglo-Polish relations over the years?

I hear someone speaking Polish every day. On the train, in a shop, in the street. Ten years after Poland joined the EU, no-one knows for sure how many Poles live in the UK. The 2011 census estimated it at nearly 600,000.

But that doesn’t include those who stayed after the end of World War Two, or their offspring – people like me. In total, the UK is probably home to a million or more people who regard Poland as their ancestral home in some way. Yet Britain and Poland have no long standing historical ties, like Britain and Ireland or Poland and France. The 1931 Census showed only around 40,000 Poles lived in the UK. Poland did not open an embassy in London until 1929. So how and why did we all end up here?

When Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 it did so for only one reason – Germany had invaded Poland, and Britain had guaranteed to support her ally. The diplomat and writer Sir Nicholas Henderson, himself a former ambassador to Poland, called it “a fatal guarantee”.

It was unprecedented. Britain had never given such a pledge to an eastern European country. There had never been a special relationship with Poland. Even Winston Churchill was amazed.

“His Majesty’s Government have given a guarantee to Poland. I was astounded when I heard them give this guarantee,” he told MPs in May 1939, when still a backbencher.

So why did Britain do it? The answer of course …. … ”

The rest of the article can be read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28979789

Donald Tusk President of European Council

Donald Tusk

Poland’s Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, is to become the President of the European Council.

Poland’s centre-right Prime Minister Donald Tusk has been chosen as European Council president, replacing the Belgian Herman Van Rompuy. The job involves setting the EU’s broad priorities, chairing EU summits and forging agreement among often divided European Union member states.

Rumour has it that his replacement as Prime Minister of Poland will be Ewa Kopacz.

An extended article by the Daily Telegraph can be seen here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11066174/Donald-Tusk-the-new-head-of-Europe.html

Reggae Festival Poland

reggae Festival Poland

A poster for the annual reggae festival, which takes place in western Poland. Berlin is less than an hour’s drive west.

Music news: A three day Reggae Music Festival will take place between the 28th August and 30 August in the small town of Sulecin, Lubuskie, Poland. Attractions include the bands, Natural Mystic, Bongostan and Yelram; a Bob Marley inspired football tournament; a fire-eating show; and numerous other festival activities.

Check out the poster above for full details.

This event takes place not far from the rather larger annual ‘Woodstock’ music festival.

New canal to be built in Poland

Poland plans to build a new canal to bypass a stretch of coastline controlled by Russia. The canal scheme will cost an estimated €210 million (£167 million), and link the Vistula Lagoon in the north east of Poland with the Baltic Sea. Currently, all sea traffic from the lagoon and the busy port of Elblag has to travel through Russian waters to get to the Baltic Sea. The route of the new canal will cut through a narrow strip of land, which separates the lagoon from the sea.

Elblag port harbor poland

An early 1970s picture postcard of boats in the port harbour area in Elblag, Poland.

See also our pictures of pre-war Elbing / Elblag in the north-east of Poland.

Josef Pilsudski Banknotes

The National Bank of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski) has just issued a splendid new banknote featuring Josef Pilsudski to commemorate the Centenary of the Formation of the Polish Legions. The banknotes have a face value of 20 złoty.

Josef Pilsudski banknote

Two scans of the new 20 zloty Jodef Pilsudski banknote recently circulated by the Bank of Poland.

The front of each banknote features the image of Marshal Józef Piłsudski.

The reverse of the banknote depicts images of the Grand Cross of the ‘Order of Virtuti Militari’ awarded to Marshal Pilsudski, as well as symbols for the First Brigade of Polish Legions.

Woodstock Festival Poland

Polish music festival

The annual Woodstock Festival is coming soon to Poland. And this year the headline act is the classic rock band Budka Suflera. Dates: Thursday 31st July to Saturday 2nd August 2014. Location: Kostrzyn on the Oder. Be there or be square!

Woodstock festival Poland

Woodstock Festival Poland (Przystanek Woodstock) is a large summer music festival and quite possibly the largest open-air festival in Europe. Last year’s event attracted an estimated 500,000 people over the festival weekend. It has been taking place for the last twenty years now and is held every year at the beginning of August close to the German / Polish border just outside the town of Kostrzyn nad Odra in Lubuskie, Poland.

Bands that have performed at Woodstock in the past include: THE PRODIGY, PAPA ROACH, GUANO APES, TYPE O NEGATIVE, ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION, MACHINE HEAD, MINISTRY, THE DARKNESS, SABATON, HELLOWEEN, KILLING JOKE, DIE TOTEN HOSEN, TYPE O NEGATIVE, KREATOR, GUANO APES, CLAWFINGER, NIGEL KENNEDY, VADER, THE STRANGLERS, SHAM 69 and NIGEL KENNEDY.

The Festival is organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation.

There are cheap Easyjet flights to Berlin (less than 100 kms from where the event takes place) from many locations in Europe. This great Polish festival is not dissimilar in some ways to Glastonbury Festival in Somerset but happening in Poland and totally FREE of any cost!

Full details (in English) of the festival can be viewed at:  woodstockfestival.pl/en/

Canonization of Pope John Paul

News from Poland

The Canonization of Pope John Paul II has taken place and the Polish mint has issued a series of coins to commemorate the event.

canonization pope saint john paul

Canonization or canonisation is the act by which the Roman Catholic or Anglican Church declares that a person who has died was a saint. After this declaration the person is included in the list of recognized saints. To be eligible for canonisation by the Catholic Church, two miracles must be attributed to a candidate. In Pope John Paul II’s case these were his healing a case of Parkinson’s disease and later the healing of an otherwise terminal brain aneurysm.

The canonisation Mass for Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła) was celebrated by Pope Francis (with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), on 27 April 2014 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

canonisation pope john paul