Cannon Hall celebrates the historic links between Barnsley and Poland

An event at Cannon Hall Museum on Friday 21st June 2024 explores the stories and memories of the Polish Resettlement Camp and its residents and celebrates its connections to the country.


To celebrate and commemorate the historic links between Barnsley and Poland, Cannon Hall Museum is hosting an event on Friday 21 June, where members of the Polish community and the public can learn more about the history and heritage of the camp and the people who lived there.


The event features a talk by Julie Fearn, an author whose father lived at the Cannon Hall camp, and Melissa Gallimore, a curator who will share the history and significance of Cannon Hall and its collections. There is also a discussion panel where participants will be able to share memories and stories of the camp and its impact on their lives.


The event will also launch an archival book that will document the experiences and perspectives of the Polish community in Barnsley, which will be kept for future generations.


After the Second World War, thousands of Polish soldiers and their families who had fought alongside the Allies were unable to return to their homeland, which was under Soviet occupation. Many of them resettled in Britain, where they formed new communities and contributed to the social and economic life of the country. One of the largest Polish Resettlement Camps was located at Cannon Hall Museums. The camp housed around 1000 soldiers and their families from 1946 to 1960, and some of them decided to stay in Barnsley and the surrounding areas.


The event will be attended by a cross section of the Polish community from Barnsley and the surrounding areas. They include Polish students from Barnsley College, members of the Barnsley Polish Library, and descendants of the camp residents. A selection of traditional Polish cakes and pastries will be available for the guests.


Lynne Minett, Group Leader, Heritage and Museums said: “We are delighted to host this special event that will showcase the rich and diverse history of the Polish Resettlement Camp at Cannon Hall Museum. The camp was home to hundreds of Polish families who came to Britain after the Second World War and contributed to the social and cultural life of Barnsley and beyond. This event will honour their legacy and celebrate their heritage through stories, memories, and food. It is part of our commitment at Barnsley Museums to ensure our programmes are relevant and open to all residents of the borough. "


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