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220 years of Prešeren and 30 years of Slovenia

Reserve time at 6pm on Saturday 13th February for the British-Slovene Society’s special online Prešeren Evening. We are preparing an attractive programme of recitals and singing to mark the 220th anniversary of the poet’s birth. We will inform you of the link nearer the time.

Due to the Covid pandemic we will not be able to meet in person, and so we will produce our Prešeren Evening in the same way as the last Christmas Carol Service.  For those who could not attend that, here is the link to the recording on YouTube:  

The Christmas event caught the attention of the Slovene Radio Prvi channel which featured it on the evening of Christmas day: We collected £275 for the Barka charity we support in Slovenia.

Also, you may know that the traditional Slovene hayrack (kozolec) in Harcourt Arboretum has been dismantled but we are making arrangements for a new one to be set up in Henley-on-Thames. We hope to be able to celebrate 30 years of Slovenia’s independence around the new hayrack.

A letter from the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom

Here is a letter we received from the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom:

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Slovenian citizens at the British Slovene Society,

My name is Angela, writing to you from the European Union Delegation to the UK in London – a very Happy New Year to you.

You are well aware that as a result of Brexit, Slovenian citizens and their family members must apply for a new immigration status under the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme if they intend to continue to live in the UK. Failing to do so will result in these citizens not having an immigration status in the UK beyond 30 June 2021.

Vulnerable groups of citizens – such as the elderly, those with lower digital literacy and limited access to the online application process, children in care, those with lower levels of English, those who live in poverty and many more) – may not be aware that they need to take action and could find it more challenging to submit an application for the new status. Furthermore, in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic helping citizens through face-to-face contacts has become more difficult than ever.

In order to get information to those who need this the most the EU Delegation has published a series of information leaflets which are available here:

We understand that you may have had the capacity before Covid-19 to reach Slovenian citizens in the UK. In case you still can, we’d be grateful if you could share the above online publications through your channels.

Also, we’re translating all our publications to Slovenian and are also able to send print copies in bulk for free to a select number of organisations that may still be able to hand these out.

If you or your organisation / group would be interested receiving print copies could you please signal this by sending an e-mail to as soon as you can, providing the following information:

–        Your name, your organisation’s name, telephone number and delivery address

–        The type of leaflet you are interested in (currently the above 3 are available)

–        The EU languages in which you would like to receive these (by default we’d send English copies)

–        The number of copies that you’d want to receive (there are usually 200 copies in a box and we can only send these by the box. Each box will need to contain the same language copies – i.e. at this stage unfortunately we cannot mix languages in a single box)

Thank you for any help raising awareness amongst Slovenian citizens and their family members.

With best wishes,



Angela Mammarella

Citizens’ Rights Support Agent

Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom


Office: 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU

Phone: +44 (0)20 7973 1933


Post-war Slovene emigrants to Britain tell their stories

Valentin Mohar and Ivan Lavrič, post-war Slovene refugees who emigrated to Britain, tell their stories in video interviews recorded by ŠCNR (Študijski center za narodno spravo). Both were long-time members of the British-Slovene Society.

The interviews were recorded in Slovene in 2011 and distributed now by ŠCNR. Click on these links:

Commentary by ŠCNR:

To je pripoved dveh pričevalcev iz Loškega Potoka, Ivana in Valentina, ki ju je zaradi razmer po koncu druge svetovne vojne pot vodila iz rodne Slovenije v Anglijo. Odstrla nam bosta pogled na dogajanje med vojno, delovanje v primorski varnostni straži in večmesečno bivanje po italijanskih taboriščih.

5. simpozij slovenskih raziskovalcev v tujini 21. in 22. december z začetkom ob 10:45

Društvo VTIS letos organizira peti Simpozij slovenskih znanstevnikov v tujini. 

Začel se bo z okroglo mizo z naslovom ”Sobivanje slovenskega in angleškega jezika v slovenskem akademskem prostoru – izzivi, priložnosti in dileme”.

Sledili bodo paneli iz naslednjih raziskovalnih področij:

➡️ Odgovorne tehnologije,

➡️ Astronomija,

➡️ Intermedijska umetnost in kulturna dediščina,

➡️ Razvojno inovacijska strategija Slovenije (RISS) 2030 in internacionalizacija,

➡️ Mikrobiologija in infekcijske bolezni.

Vabljeni, da se jim pridružite in prisluhnete zanimivim predavanjem in razpravam priznanih slovenskih raziskovalcev v tujini, ki bodo predstavili svoja raziskovalna dela.

Dogodek je brezplačen, prijave so obvezne:

British-Slovene Christmas Service on YouTube

Did you miss the British-Slovene Society’s service of Christmas Carols and readings on Zoom last night, 11th December?

You can catch up with it on YouTube on:

This was the first time that we staged this event online, and it turned out to be a moving experience bringing together young and old, including those who would not have been able to come to the church in person. Some 150 people took part on Zoom from all over United Kingdom, Slovenia and elsewhere. A further 100 or so followed live on YouTube. 

The picture above shows Lakeland Voices singing in the church in Sedbergh, Cumbria. Debbie Field, pictured left, commented:

“I was moved to tears at times and I am still feeling quite emotional. I was expecting to  feel nervous about our videos, but I found myself feeling part of a much bigger and more precious thing, and personal concerns disappeared. I wasn’t expecting to feel so much part of a special occasion, and I did very much so.”

We wish everybody a Happy Christmas….and a better 2021!

Trustees of the British-Slovene Society.

BSS Virtual Christmas – 11th December 6 pm – your Zoom link


Join us at 6 pm on Friday 11th December for the British-Slovene Society’s special online celebration of Christmas.

Please use the following link to join with Zoom:

Meeting ID: 278 435 7597
Passcode: Carols2020

Our Trustee Mateja Šömen is putting together a great programme of singing and readings in Slovene and English, followed by time to chat and catch up with friends. Bring a glass of wine and potica or mince pies to celebrate together. You are welcome to invite your friends.

As you may remember, we always hold collections for Barka, the charity for people with special needs in Slovenia. Particularly at this time, please give generously. Here is the link for donations:

See you online for a cheerful start to Christmas! 

Slovene Feminism in Trieste from1897 to 1928 – Tuesday 8 December at 5pm via Zoom

The School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Slovene lectureship invite you to a lecture by Prof Marta Verginella (University of Ljubljana): From Slovenka to Ženski svet: Slovene Feminism in Trieste between Cosmopolitism and the National Struggle, 1897-1928 as part of the Central Europe Seminar Series. The lecture is in English.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020 at 5:00 pm–6:30 pm, via Zoom, registration required:

About the lecture: At the turn of the twentieth century, Trieste was the Habsburg Monarchy’s most important port city and the site of a fierce national struggle between Slovenes and Italians. From 1897 to 1902, the first Slovenian women’s newspaper Slovenka was published in Trieste and its first editor, Marica Nadlišek, was at the centre of an extensive social and intellectual network spanning the Slovene, Habsburg and South Slavonic worlds. Slovenka was at the margins of the national movement, yet it became a focal point of Slovene feminism and women’s pan-Slavism. The outbreak of war in 1914, along with the subsequent collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the rise of fascism, decimated intellectual circles in Trieste. Those Slovene women who decided not to emigrate to the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) had to give up their feminist and political ideals and devote themselves to national defence work in hopes of mitigating the consequences of fascism and forced italianization of the Slovene population.

About the speaker: Marta Verginella is the principal investigator on the ERC Advanced Grant project EIRENE ( She is a professor of history at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, teaching European History of the Nineteenth Century and Theory of History. She has led and coordinated various research projects, including The legal and political history of women in the Slovene lands, Women and Borders, and Women and the First World War. She has published numerous articles and presented her work at domestic and international conferences in the fields of border studies, memory studies, oral history and the history of nineteenth century. She has also done pioneering work in the social and cultural history of women during the First and Second World Wars.


Three Slovene Admirals and Lord Nelson – cont’d

Raigersfeld, Jeffrey: HMS ‘Montagu’ Forcing the Enemy to Move from Bertheaume Bay, 22 August 1800; oil on canvas, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich 

More on Lord Nelson and three Slovene Admirals (see earlier posts). Jeffrey Raigersfeld, one of the Slovene Admirals, was also an accomplished painter. He painted the picture above which can be seen in Greenwich.

To read about it, click  The Nelson Dispatch 

For a follow-up to this article, click The Slovenian Connection

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