SWINDON’S Polish community invited the town to enjoy its vibrant culture for the third annual Polish Day.

People gathered at Queen’s Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon to enjoy Polish crafts, music, dance, games and cuisine.

Jarek Matschey helped to organise the event. He said: “It was a really pleasant day and lots of people enjoyed the food and drinks. This one was a bit more special because it was 100 years since Polish independence.”

Swindon Mayor Maureen Penny came to chat with guests alongside a representative from the Polish embassy. The day was intended to bring communities together and treat everyone to the nation’s traditional sweet and savoury delicacies.

Jarek, who estimates Swindon’s Polish population at 10,000 people, added: “There are two main groups of Polish immigrants who came to the country, the first during and after the war and the second generation after the EU.”

“The first generation kept their habits and traditions but the second and third generations lived all their life in the UK – they still have a good understanding of Polish culture but they are British citizens and their links with Poland will get weaker and weaker with each generation.”

Despite hoping to reconnect Polish families with their heritage at the event, Jarek was positive about his people’s ability to integrate into British life. He said: “That’s what makes this country so amazing – British people are very open to foreigners and very welcoming and that’s why so many people are coming here. One strong connection between Poland and here is religion, it’s part of the culture and it’s something you cannot separate.”