- Polski Portal Informacyjny w Wielkiej Brytanii. Polish Community in the UK
Polska strona Wielkiej Brytanii

16/06/2003 19:52:37


THE POLISH FESTIVAL, now the regular yearly event organised by Federation of Poles in Great Britain takes place in July at Bletchley Park to mark the Polish contribution to breaking the Enigma codes.

Historical Background

In July 1939, at Pyry near Warsaw, a momentous meeting took place between Polish Intelligence officers and a small group of Representatives from the British and French Intelligence Services. Polish mathematicians Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rózycki and Henryk Zygalski handed over to the Intelligence Services of both countries reconstructed copies of the German ENIGMA machine together with details of the method used to break the ever-changing codes. These prized secrets were then taken to Bletchley Park, Britain's secret cryptography centre durings the Second World War, where - benefiting from many years of pre-war research by Polish cryptographers - some ten thousand specialists worked decoding intercepted German and Japanese messages.

It was Bletchley who initially recognised the achievement of the Polish mathematicians, who first broke the Enigma ciphers. To mark the 60th Anniversary of that historic rendezvous, Bletchley Park hosted First Festival in July 1999 under the generous patronage of Ryszard Kaczorowski, last President of the Polish Government in exile, and Sir Nigel Hobbs, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. The attendance of the Chief of GCHQ and Vice Admiral West together with representatives of the Intelligence Services of both Great Britain and Poland, generated widespread coverage in both the British and Polish media. Six thousand visitors came to Bletchley Park over the two days of the commemoration celebration.

In September 2000, on an official visit to Poland HRH The Duke of York presented an Enigma machine to Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek. In 2002 H.H.R. Duke of Kent unveiled a commemorative plaque at Bletchley Park.


Fot: Marek Borzecki

Each Festival has been organised around different themes:
 - 1999 Sixtieth Anniversary of Enigma
 - 2000 Poland, the place to holiday in
 - 2001 Poland's contribution to the Allied victory in WWII
 - 2002 The Odyssey of the 2nd Polish Corps/The Battle of Monte Cassino


Fot: Daria Tatarka

THE FIFTH POLISH FESTIVAL at Bletchley Park will be held on Sunday, 13th July.
There will be two themes: 60th anniversary of the tragic death of general Sikorski, and 85th anniversary of Polish Aviation. As in previous years, each theme will be subject of separate exhibition.

In this year programme there will be
- an open air Mass in Latin with a Latin singing youth choir
- late 1930 Fashion Show, with singalong in English and Polish
- Folk Dancing performances
- an exhibition of WWII military vehicles,
- 19th century lancers performing muster in their colourful uniforms,
- performances by 25 piece band,
- historical re-enactment groups and ATC cadets presentations.
The event will include a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

In the Mansion House itself there will be an exhibition on General Wladislaw Sikorski, Polish Prime Minister and Commander in Chief during WW II commemorating the 60th anniversary of his tragic death in Gibraltar and a lecture on the history of Polish Aviation accompanied by an exhibition on the subject. The Mansion will also house the Super Tombola.

In the large marquee set up opposite the Mansion House there will be a display of books, newspapers and periodicals both in Polish and about Poland, numerous stalls with Polish goods, arts and handcraft and various services provided for and by Polish community in UK. There will be an opportunity to taste and buy Polish delicatessen and specialities, brought specially from Poland for this occasion and learn about Poland and Polish community in UK. Exhibitors include Polish Tourist Board, various bookshops, and newspapers and numerous services.

On the day of the Polish Festival, we introduce a joyful, friendly atmosphere in addition to the many regular attractions at Bletchley Park. Today BLETCHLEY PARK is a museum with its Victorian Mansion, grounds, lake and diverse wartime buildings from wooden huts to bomb and gas proof brick buildings. Visitors can learn first hand from experts and volunteer guides the history and stories about Bletchley Park, where you can see: - a rebuild of "Colossus" the worlds first programmable electronic computer
- NEW FOR MID 2003 - a rebuild of a Bombe, the machine developed at BP to help break the Enigma codes. Also a reconstruction of a Bombe station.
- the rare Abwehr Enigma machine in a special exhibition in an original hut, telling its wartime history and its more recent "history" when it ended up in the hands of the BBC!

During the Polish Festival bilingual guides fluent in both English and Polish are available for tours of the museum. Tours run regularly from The Mansion and last about 45 minutes.

As it was proven in the previous years it is a perfect group and family day out. Historical event in magnificent scenery provided by Bletchley Park itself with lots of attraction, music, singing and dancing as well as Polish specialities and presentations.

We expect many visitors from all over the UK as well abroad. Everybody is cordially welcomed.

Bletchley Park Wilton Avenue, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB Tel. 0190 864 0404

The Bletchley Park estate is 200 yards (c300 meters) from Bletchley Railway Station in Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire (direct path opposite the station). It is located just off the B4034 Bletchley to Buckingham road, at the far end of Wilton Avenue, which is off Church Green Road.

DATE: Sunday 13 July 2003
TIME: from 10:30am to 5:00pm.

£ 8.00 - Adult
£ 7.00 - Concession and accompanied children aged 13 -16
Accompanied children 12 and under are admitted free

By Bus

National Express has regular service to Milton Keynes. From London Victoria Coach station first bus departing at 8.30 am. . Journey time 1 h 20 min. Return ticket £ 9.00

There are buses and coaches from all parts of Milton Keynes and beyond, arriving at Bletchley Bus Station. On leaving the Bus Station head towards the Railway Station and take the footpath to Bletchley Park, opposite the station entrance.

By Rail
Fast efficient service to Bletchley Railway Station from:

Milton Keynes Central (for InterCity connections), Coventry and Birmingham New Street.
From London Euston, direct service depart 9.41 am arriving 10.45

By Road
From the North or East

Find Saxon Street (V7, also marked B4034) and South towards Bletchley. Follow the signs towards Bletchley Railway Station. Go straight across the double roundabout into Buckingham Road (B4034). At the Eight Belles public house turn right into Church Green Road then take the first right into Wilton Avenue, which leads into the Park.
From the West
On the A421 look for the roundabout with the B4034 to Bletchley on the right, then look for the Eight Belles public house on the left.
From the South West
Enter Bletchley on the A4146, and follow the signs for Bletchley Railway Station. At the double roundabout on Buckingham Road turn left.
From the South
Enter Bletchley on the old A5 (V4) through Fenny Stratford, turn left at the Tesco store onto the B4034.

Free car parking
Coach parties: It is advised to call Bletchley Park directly to book on-site parking space (free of charge). Contact Linda Baulk tel: 01908645 755.

There is an organised coach tour from London. Booking required.
Departure: Polish Centre -POSK ( 240, King Street, Hammersmith London W6)
Time: 8.30 am
Price: £ 15 per person (inclusive of Bletchley Park entry fee)

           £   8 - children up to 12 years of age
Payment: in advance by cash or cheque
Booking and additional information: Federation of Poles in GB Tel. 020 8741 1606

Federation of Poles in Great Britain
240 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 0RF
Tel. 020 8741 1606 Fax 020 8741 5767

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