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British-Slovene Society picnic, Henley-on-Thames, 18th June

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After a gap of two years, the British-Slovene Society invites you cordially to its Annual Summer Picnic on Saturday 18th June. For the first time, we are gathering by our new kozolec (hayrack) on the outskirts of Henley-on-Thames.

Location is Gillotts Field, on Greys Road, RG9 1RZ. You can park for free near the entrance opposite Elizabeth Road, and also in Elizabeth Road itself. There is another entrance by the junction of Greys Road with Gillotts Lane. When you enter the Field, you will see our kozolec, made in the traditional style by Slovenian craftsmen and erected by them in January this year.

Bring a picnic, drinks, deckchairs, blankets, your kids, grandchildren and friends. If you make something particularly nice, you may wish to share it with others! It’s an informal occasion, and there is no fee.

We look forward to welcoming you from 12 midday onwards.

The Trustees


Summer Courses of Slovene in Slovenia

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Summer courses of Slovene language are organised in Slovenia, in person or online, for adults and children. Some grants are available.

Below is the message we received from the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad. See website 


  • Poletna šola slovenščine 2022 na spletu
  • Poletni tečaj slovenščine za otroke
  • 26. Tabor slovenskih otrok po svetu v Kobaridu
  • Poletna šola Slovenščina malo drugače
  • 17. Mladinska poletna šola slovenščine (na voljo so štipendije)


  • 41. Poletna šola slovenskega jezika (na voljo so štipendije)
  • 41. Poletna šola slovenskega jezika 2022 na spletu (na voljo so štipendije)
  • 29. Poletni tečaji slovenskega jezika na slovenski Obali (na voljo so štipendije)

Več informacij o tečajih, rokih za prijavo in možnostih pridobitve štipendij najdete na naslednji povezavi:


Birth of New Homelands Exhibition – in London from 23 April

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An exhibition telling the story of Slovenian refugees after World War II will open at the Slovenian Home (62 Offley Road, London SW9 0LS) on April 23rd. All are welcome!

From 4 to 6pm, with drinks and snacks. Welcome talk by KEITH MILES OBE. Performance by STELLA COBBSON.

Entitled Birth of New Homelands, the exhibition will last until 26 June. It was originally presented in Slovenia’s National and University Library.

T. 0044 (0)736 5353 900


In May 1945, there were conflicting emotions on Slovenian territory: on one side, an overwhelming joy at the end of the four-year slaughter, while on the other, uncertainty and fear. The winner made it clear what would happen with his ideological opponents. On the way over Ljubelj and via Pliberk, all members of the family joined the retreating home guard army. More than twenty thousand Slovenians left the country; among them were several intellectuals, politicians, many of them belonged to the social, cultural and educational elite of the country. They settled in refugee camps in Austria and Italy – most of them believed that they would stay there three weeks at the most. However, camp barracks became their home for many – they stayed there for three, four years, until they were finally accepted by a foreign country.

In such difficult and uncertain situations after they had lost their homeland and many also their relatives, it would be expected that they would succumb to their fate, or that indifference would prevail – yet, it was far from that! We are shocked by the upsurge of an exceptional life power and creativity; it is reflected in the publishing of original literary works, school textbooks, newspapers, reprints of Slovenian classic authors, historical studies and memories. The first Slovenian historical atlas was written in the camp … Only a few days after their arrival in the camp, a folk (elementary) school was founded, and two weeks later, a Slovenian refugee gymnasium was opened. Several lectures and courses were organised, and many singing groups as well; their singing impressed even the BBC, while their theatrical performances attracted spectators from near and far.

The exhibition, which was originally presented in the National and University Library in Ljubljana, presents a rich creativity of Slovenians in extraordinary situations, in connection with the amazing stories of individuals whose paths crossed in exile. They were often invisible in their native country; they were ignored and forgotten for a few decades. However, by stressing their Slovenian origin, they contributed to the birth of new homelands around the world.

Dr Helena Jaklitsch, Helena Janežič (NUK) and Lenart Rihar (Rafael’s Society))

Slovenia’s Order of Merit for Keith Miles

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Keith Miles, first Chairman of the British-Slovene Society, has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Slovenia by President Boris Pahor.

The citation recognised Keith’s “personal contribution to the international recognition of the Republic of Slovenia and merits in establishing, developing and strengthening relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the United Kingdom.”

Keith was the first official representative in the U.K. of independent Slovenia in 1991.

The ceremony took place on 31 March 2022 at Gornji Suhor in Bela Krajina in Slovenia on the annual Slovenian-British Friendship Day. Near this village, a Royal Air Force bomber was shot down in 1945. Local inhabitants helped rescue surviving crew members, and those killed were buried nearby.

Keith was due to take part in the ceremony, but at the last moment was prevented by Covid. In an address read out for him at the ceremony, Keith said: “Perhaps the most important thing about friendship is that it is a giving relationship, not a demanding relationship. Friends try to understand one another better and it is a bond of mutual affection.”

BSS Prešeren Evening with Vlado Kreslin – 26 March

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It’s time to celebrate again together! After a year’s break, the British-Slovene Society cordially invites you to our Prešeren Evening. We are delighted to welcome back the inspired Slovene singer/songwriter, Vlado Kreslin – performing for the BSS, live in London!

Saturday 26 March 2022. Drinks from 6.30 pm, dinner at 7.20 pm.

Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel, 12 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0HX (undergrounds Euston, Euston Square, King’s Cross, Russell Square)

After our traditional drinks, dinner and tombola, Vlado Kreslin will bring the evening to a climax as only he knows how.

Rates are:

Paid up BSS Members £53, non-Members £68, students and under-18s £33.
For that you will enjoy a drinks reception, a three-course dinner with wine, the concert and a tombola with all sorts of attractive prizes.

Note: if you become a Member now, you benefit from the Member’s lower rate. Membership costs £15 per year, and £25 for families.

Reserve your places now using the online Application Form on Space is limited, so it’s first come, first serve. To enable us to give numbers to the hotel and allocate tables, please send your application by 23 March.

You should assume that paid-for places have been reserved unless you hear to the contrary. No tickets will be issued.

If you wish to make up your own party, please nominate a host who will book the table in his/her name. Please advise if you have any dietary requirements.

We are grateful to the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for granting the British-Slovene Society a subsidy.

To keep safe, we ask you to bring evidence of a recent Covid-19 test or vaccination.

Musical walk to celebrate Prešeren Day – by Kaja Pečnik

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Saturday, 5 February 2022

This day was filled with Slovenian folk music thanks to David Burbidge, director of the Lakeland Voices community choir from Sedbergh and Kendal, who kindly took us on a musical journey through London from Tavistock Place to St James`s Park. We sang well-known Slovenian folk songs from “Lipa zelenela je/The linden tree grew green” to “Siva pot/Country Road” and of course Slovenian national hymn “Zdravljica”.


Singing was accompanied by great food, laughter and exchanges of memories about our trips to Slovenia and around the UK. As always, it was very touching to hear British people singing in Slovene, with such impeccable pronunciation. I guess the poem David recited at the end our walk “Nekoga moraš imeti rad/You have to love someone” written by Ivan Minatti summarised our day with these lines:

…nekoga moraš imeti rad, z nekom moraš v korak, v isto sled –

…you must love someone, walk side by side with someone, on the same path –

Our love that day was the love for Slovenian music and beautiful lyrics. Let there be more of this kind of days.

Our hayrack (kozolec) stands in Henley!

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The traditional Slovenian hayrack (kozolec) which the British-Slovene Society donated to the town of Henley-on-Thames now stands in full glory in Gillots Field on the outskirts of the town.

Four Slovenian craftsmen led by Damjan Bajc came over from Trebnje in Dolenjska to put it up over the past four days. As you can see from the pictures, the result is magnificent. It’s a great work of craftsmanship in the Slovenian tradition.


The Town Council of Henley welcomed the gesture, since the town is twinned with Bled in Slovenia. Local media showed considerable interest.  


Also .

This kozolec replaces one which stood in the Oxford Arboretum until it fell into disrepair and the site was no longer available.

We plan once more to hold summer picnics around the hayrack, from now on in Henley. We look forward to welcoming you there!

Studies at universities in Slovenia

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If you are interested in studying in Slovenia, you can attend a presentation by a team “Study in Slovenia” on Thursday 10 February at 2 p.m. (Slovenian time).

They will present useful information on studying and students’ life in Slovenia. You will be able to meet representatives of Universities in Ljubljana, Maribor, Primorska and Nova Gorica, as well as other students from outside Slovenia who can share their  experiences. The presentation will be in Slovene. If you wish to attend a presentation in English, you can connect with the organisers on-line on Tuesday 15 February at 2 p.m. (Slovenian time).

Previous registration through the link below is required. There will be a live broadcast through Facebook page Study in Slovenia.

More information tukaj or on

You will be most welcome.


Join David Burbidge singing Slovenian songs in London

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David Burbidge of the Lakeland Voices is well known to many Slovenians and their friends – his hometown of Sedbergh is twinned with Zreče in Slovenia.

On Saturday 5th February, David will be down from Cumbria in London, and invites you to join him on a walk through London’s parks, during which he will lead in singing of Slovenian songs. Starting at 12 noon at the Gandhi memorial statue in Tavistock square. 

If you want to contact him beforehand, email or ring 015396.21166.

Please bring a packed lunch, or similar. And make pictures so that we can publish them!