Groups aims to celebrate contribution of Polish nationals to Norwich

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area. Left to right, Jerzy Konstantynowicz, Adrian Zolkowski, Agata Mazurkiewicz and Richard Minkler. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

It is a small but significant community which has a long history in the city and has made a great contribution to Norfolk.

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area. Left to right, Jerzy Konstantynowicz, Adrian Zolkowski, Agata Mazurkiewicz and Richard Minkler. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

But now a group dedicated to celebrating the links between the Polish community and the county are set to create an archive of stories about its history and role in the area.

More than 2pc of those living in the Norwich city centre are Polish and many run their own businesses.

The Norfolk Polish Heritage Group, or Polonijna Grupa Z Norfolk, is looking to expand the county's knowledge about our Polish ties and create an archive of stories and historical journeys about how the Polish community was built in Norfolk.

Currently there is little known about the history, with no official records - but the group is working with the Norfolk Record Office to ensure that Polish culture in Norwich is remembered.

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area. Left to right, Jerzy Konstantynowicz, Adrian Zolkowski, Agata Mazurkiewicz and Richard Minkler. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017


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Chairman of Norfolk Polish Heritage Group Adrian Zolkowski O'dell, 72, said: 'The Polish community in Norwich is strong but no-one really has a handle on how many are here.

'I have tried to find it out and I know in 2011 2pc of 133,000 in Norwich were Poles but, in the last six years, there has been a great influx - so the number is probably greater than that.

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'We are working with the Norfolk Record Office to put together a collection of stories about Poles who have lived in Norwich and Norfolk and have made an influence to the county.'

The group has collected the Polish history in written accounts from Poles in the area and has started making audio recordings and videos with the aim of putting the archive in the Archive Office.

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area. Left to right, Jerzy Konstantynowicz, Adrian Zolkowski, Agata Mazurkiewicz and Richard Minkler. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

'We are trying to inform the local population and try to help in anyway we can integrate the two communities,' he added.

'The lives of hard-working Poles is now focused on their families and it can be hard to get involved in their heritage - but we want to celebrate it,'

'I know I didn't have a lot of interest in my history until I got older and it's fascinating.'

The group holds a range of events and socials throughout the year.

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area

Some of the Polish community business owners based around the Magdalen Street and Anglia Square area. Left to right, Jerzy Konstantynowicz, Adrian Zolkowski, Agata Mazurkiewicz and Richard Minkler. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

For more information, go to www.norfolkpolishheritagegroup.org/Home.php

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