The Hostel Hall / Theatre


The Hostel was very fortunate to have an excellent hall/theatre. This was a large hut with a curved roof which had been the main hall for the purposes of the American servicemen. It had an excellent floor and stage with curtains, as can be seen from many photographs. It was used for a great variety of events and entertainments by residents at the Hostel, for Marsworth people and for the benefit of the wider community.


Performances of all kinds, children’s parties, Christmas celebrations, films and school pantomimes, etc. took place here - this was the largest venue in Marsworth. 


Dances were held here, and many young Poles met their future partners at these events. People were bussed in from as far away as Bedford to attend.



This is our only illustration of the outside of the Hostel Hall – we have no photos.


Drawing by Stanislaw Jakubas in 2019 from memory.





Here the Marsworth School headteacher Mrs Pennicott is dancing with some of the girls on the stage of the Hostel theatre.



A Christmas production in the Hostel Hall



A Christmas production in the Hall

Christmas tree in the hall



Christmas time was a wonderful time for the children.



Edward Buczak on accordion on right

We had an entertainment hall with a stage and it was used for showing films, stage productions, dances, meetings and national celebrations. Jan Baliszewski


He (Edward Buczak) used to talk about the dances that took place, and he went to the cinema in Tring too. He learnt to play the piano accordion and with his teacher played in a band for New Year's Eve and other occasions. Lilian Buczak


New Year's Eve Dance 1954/5 in the Marsworth Hall

Marsworth Camp used to hold regular Saturday night dances to which Poles from other areas were invited and bussed in. And that is how my father met my mother after being bussed in from Bedford. 

Ted Lyjak


Irena Sokolowska met her husband Marian at one of the many dances organised at Marsworth. The dances would regularly take place at the Hostel Hall. These dances and social events were opportunities for the many young single men and women to meet and form long lasting friendships and marriages - some reaching 50 years together. Barbara Fryc


Bronia Siebert met her husband Klemens while selling tickets at a dance at Marsworth. They were married in 1954 in Aylesbury Church and the reception was held in their barracks at the hostel. She remembers they had sardine sandwiches for the meal. Barbara Fryc

The Marsworth Polish Hostel football team - Gwiazda Gdynia




With many young and fit men at the Hostel, a physical outlet was important, and with a convenient playing field available between Sites 7 and 8, this provided an obvious opportunity.


There were many young boys and men at the hostels in Marsworth and Wing who had no family; it was important to give them role models and a purpose in life.


Gwiazda Gdynia 1951-52


Stanisław Czaczka, an ex-soldier, set up and trained the football team 'Gwiazda Gdynia' (Gdynia Star) which won many trophies and was a highly successful team - senior and junior. Winning the General Anders Trophy twice was a tremendous achievement, but the greatest local achievement was winning the Aylesbury and District League (ADL).in 1953/54 season playing under the name of GDYNIA STAR FC (POLISH HOSTEL).

Match report from the season Gdynia Star won the Aylesbury and District League - Bucks Advertiser 7th May 1954

An earlier team photo from 1949.  Top row left is Julius Stanczak, whose membership card can be seen below.  All photos kindly supplied by his daughter Kathy.  You can read more about Julius and the rest of his family in their own Stanczak section.




Many talented musicians taught gifted children and young adults on piano, violin and accordion. Mr Jerzy Jeron was one such ex-soldier/musician. The SPK gave him money to buy an accordion, which enabled him to earn extra money playing at dances. He established a band that played at the dances at Marsworth and other hostels and Polish communities that had started up in the area. He taught Edward Buczak and Piotr Miecznik to play the accordion.


He ran the choir at Marsworth and was parish organist and choir master for over 50 years in the Polish community in Dunstable when the hostel closed.

Jerzy Jeron conducting the choir and playing the piano


Edward Buczak playing the accordion in his hut.

Jerzy Jeron's band was popular at dances, both in Marsworth and at halls some distance away.

Other entertainments


There were Saturday cinema visits to Aylesbury, returning by bus to Tring then on foot to Marsworth using the canal towpath. There were shopping trips by train to Watford or even Oxford Street, as well as organised theatre outings, but not very often. Mainly our entertainment was more informal.


We socialised within the camp, and there were football matches as well as Saturday dances which drew people from neighbouring camps such as Leighton Buzzard and surrounding areas – there were many attractive young ladies in the camps. Also there was the ever-popular walk in the local countryside or by the canal, wondering at the fishermen sitting patiently on the banks with their lines.

Bronislawa Glinska


A sack race on the playing field between Sites 8 and 7


A group sitting possibly on an air raid shelter

Edward Buczak and friend riding their bikes


Zofia Buczak beside one of the reservoirs


This was a popular pastime for adults and children that cost very little. There was plenty of choice with the proximity of the canals and reservoirs.


Dad (Edward Buczak) would go fishing by the reservoir. Lilian Buczak


I liked fishing in the canal and locks.
Zig Latyszonek


I liked to watch the working barges passing through the locks with their cargo of concrete lintels [piles] for reinforcing the banks of the canal, which were made at Marsworth Wharf by British Waterways, while my dad sat fishing. Jan Baliszewski


Edward Buczak beside the Aylesbury Arm canal

A group on the playing field between Sites 8 and 7 - event unknown


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