Stories of Polish exile

You could say I belong to several tribes. This, however, must be my overall favourite. These people, their parents, their grandparents provided me with the moving story of Polish exile in my novel With Blood and Scars. Like me, these folk frequented Dom Kombatantów (Kombo’s in the novel) on Shrewsbury Street in Manchester.

Sadly, Kombo’s no longer exists, but fortunately the landlord of the Bowling Green in Chorlton allowed us our little get-together this year. What a superb evening. Join in with the singing! It was wonderful to see the familiar faces from my Mancunian Polish childhood.

Our accordionist, Paul Zaba, is an all-round talented musician and the grandson of two of the most socially active members of the post-war Polish family, Pan Jarosław and Pani Zofia Żaba. It’s thanks to their dedication and sense of community that we still feel such a strong bond with one another. We owe so much to that generation.