Southampton, Polish Capital of Britain

Southampton Communities: Polish

I have been meaning to do a series of all the wonderful different cultures that make up the people of my City for some time. With so many xenophobic comments about immigrants during the EU Referendum, I think this is long overdue.


According to the statistics of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, the first Polish refugees to Britain numbered just over 460 in 1851 and over 200 left the country.  At that time the general number of Polish refugees numbered about 800 people. The refugees from Turkey came to different English ports: Liverpool, Leeds and Southampton. Many of them decided to emigrate to US. There were further waves before WW2, in the fifties and in the early noughties. Polish immigrants now make up 10 per cent of the population of Southampton.

This programme was made for Channel 5 in 2014 when the biggest influx of Polish where celebrating 10 years of living in Southampton.

As well as the changes mentioned in the film clip, some of the changes I have noticed are the Catholic churches being full again on Sundays, family picnics along the rivers and on the common (something I haven’t seen since the sixties) and a great respect for the elderly – something I think the traditional English could learn from.



14 thoughts on “Southampton, Polish Capital of Britain

  1. Totally cool!. Southampton has got it going on. Most port cites seem to be more open. I had a class with a woman who had a theory: People who travel a lot tend to be more accepting of other people. The spots they travel to are more open from all the comings and goings of the travellers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The U.K. has very strong historical links with the Polish and we have been friends for many years. In Bristol we have a small but vibrant Polish community who live alongside immigrants from all over Britain, Europe and the world. It is part of the deep richness that we have. The chilling challenge we face in the coming months and years is to cherish, protect and celebrate that diversity. It is a challenge that will be easier for some than for others.

    A lovely and timely post. Thank you SOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: This One Place In Britain Will Be Crowned As The Polish Capital of the UK – Viral Hunt

  4. This post is beautiful – at SO many levels! Despite the fact that it made me shed a few tears (for all the right reasons, though!). Thank you so much for being the person you are, for inspiring others to open their minds and hearts in the way you do, and for spreading a bit of your lovely you so generously through your posts (and comments). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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