of Reading - and the Madjeski stadium is one of the major landmarks that comes
John Madejski owns Reading football club.
He had a Polish
father - who like so many others - fought for us in the Second World War.
that for this town - Polish immigration is not new.
It's just the numbers
that are different now.
Poles have long associations with the south of England.
Look at Reading
cemetery, for example, and you'lll sea scouts tending the graves of Polish soldiers.
are the English descendants of the Polish community that settled in the area after
The Poles who fought for the Allies found themselves stateless
when eastern Poland was handed to Russia, as Masia Nicpon, whose father fought
for the Allies, explains:
"We settled in camps... lived
in them for 12 years
became British ... but never forgot Polish traditions."
original Polish community in Reading numbered around 1,000.
With the new
influx, it's now 10,000.
The growth in the number of Poles has led one
local paper to bring out a weekly Polish edition.
This church is the centre
of the community and the first point of contact for many new Poles.
a welcome for the newcomers, there are some tensions, as one of the earlier immigrants
"I came over here eight years ago
arrivals get better resources than me... I don't understand."
no doubt the new influx has influenced the old community in other ways.
Polish Saturday school used to be a way for the English born children to learn
Polish language and history.
Now it's full of Polish-born children learning
most subjects - in their own language.
The Polish social club is also a
mixture of old and new.
Business is booming - new Poles have revitalised
church and social centre .. just adapting to doing things differently.
Reading's adapting too. Just this month - one local paper decided to produce a
polish edition - every week.
Join the debate - email our Inside
Out England message board in English or Polish and we will publish your comments.
We want your comments and experiences.
How do old Poles feel about new Poles
and the limelight on them?
What are the concerns and worries of old and
What's happening back in Poland?
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