THOUSANDS of people gathered at Queen’s park on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Polish culture with music, traditional dance, cuisine and crafts.

For its fourth year the Polish Day aimed to promote diversity and integration in town.

Volunteer Marcin Hawrylo, who has been living in Swindon for more than eight years said: “It’s to promote our common history because we’re celebrating 250 years of diplomatic relations between UK and Republic of Poland. It’s a way for us to say thank you for having us here. Obviously, we are also very proud of our culture, our music, our cuisine. We want to get all Swindonians together and celebrate diversity with us and show how friendly and open we are.

“This event is just about having fun with anyone who wants to join us.”

Marcin estimates the number of Polish in Swindon and the surrounding areas between 10,000 to 11,000.

The day was also an opportunity for the Swindon’s Polish community to raise funds and upgrade the Polish community centre, on Walton Close.

Chairman of the Polish Catholic Mission Dorota Seweryn said: “The building needs renovation. It was built by the people who came in Swindon after the war over 60 years ago.

“The money we raise over the four years has been used to repair the roof, bought the land from the council but it needs more work, the church needs an extension.”

Dorota is also surprise and pleased by the number of people who turned up on Sunday. She added: “The first year we didn’t expect so many people to turn up and the second-year people were asking us to come back. It is nice to see many different nationalities every year.”