News

The Polish in Prescot

Polish immigrants and their reception by the local Catholic community are mentioned in some documents recently unearthed in the Archdiocese of Liverpool archives.  

They date from the end of the Second World War, when many people were displaced from their country of origin.  

Some 140,000 Poles were stranded in Great Britain, unable or unwilling to return to Poland, wary of sanctions under the Russian-backed Communist regime.

There were several camps in the Liverpool area that provided a temporary home for these ex-servicemen and civilian refugees, including one in the parklands attached to Knowsley Hall.  

Reports and correspondence in Archbishop Downey’s papers show that many local Catholic organisations made great efforts to help these uprooted people integrate into the life of their parishes.

There were some families among the refugees and military dependents, and at Christmas 1946 a children’s party was organised by Father Charles Horan, Parish Priest of Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph’s in Prescot.  

In return, the camp’s Polish military choir sang carols in Our Lady’s Church and gave concerts in the parish schools.  

At the same time the Catholic Young Men’s Societies arranged for local families in Prescot to open their homes on Christmas Day to the bored camp-dwellers sorely in need of company:  some of the hosts hoped to have someone ‘musically-minded’ or ‘keen on indoor games’, and the initiative was so successful that a few of the young Poles were more or less adopted by the Prescot families.  

Major Nowakowski expressed the gratitude felt by his fellow Poles ‘who were desperately in need of a friendly fireside and the greater warmth of real friendship’.
The mutual entertainments continued into the new year of 1947, and began to involve churches in St Helens and Wigan.  

The Catholic Teachers’ Society organised classes in English to assist the Poles in finding employment.  

Dances were organised by the Wigan Section of the Catholic Women’s League, and Winefride Boardman, their chairman, felt that they ‘brought laughter and a little happiness into the grey lives of these brave and unfortunate fellow-Catholics’.  

The camps were gradually closed as their occupants moved on, and although some of the Poles did eventually decide to return home to an uncertain reception, many more settled in England.  

The descendants of those on Merseyside and in Lancashire must still be grateful for the warmth of their ancestors’ reception some 70 years ago

 

  • Police appeal for information
    Merseyside Police have launched a urgent appeal for information after a man was stabbed to death on Broad Lane on Sunday lunchtime... Read more »
  • Dementia ward unveils new outdoor courtyard for patients
    A ward for adults with dementia in Knowsley unveiled its newly-refurbished courtyard and outdoor space for patients at a recent opening event.... Read more »
  • Ladies create history
    Prescot Ladies continued to create history as they represented Greater Manchester against the South Lancashire cup winners in a winner-takes-all Final held at Crosby... Read more »
- Share this page


EDUCATION

Stephen shortlisted for the TES Schools Awards 2019

Stephen Johnson from Northwood Primary School in Kirkby has been shortlisted for the School Business Manager of the year award at the Tes Schools Awards 2019.

The Tes Schools Awards, celebrates the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation... Read more »



WHAT'S ON

CADWA Womens Friendship Club

We have different speakers, fun quiz nights, socials with entertainers, theatre visits, days out and weekends away just for £2.00, no other fee. So if you are lonely, fed up? Just come along, a warm welcome awaits you by Jean. For details telephone... Read more »

BLOG

HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

June is a busy month with Men’s Health Week running from 10-16 June and Clean Air Day on 20 June.

Men’s Health Week is a great opportunity to think about simple steps you can do to improve your health and feel good.

It’s... Read more »


Posted by

on May 31st, 2019



More features


This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office