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News & Events 2017


'The Guernica Children' - Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Ocean Village, Maritime Walk, Southampton SO14 3TL, 6.00pm to 8.30pm
Showing of Steve Bowles' prize winning documentary, an exhibition and a discussion with a panel consisting of Steve Bowles, Simon Martinez (BCA'37), and Mike Brown from CLEAR, a human-rights organisation working with asylum-seekers and refugees in Southampton today.

19th June - IPSWICH (Suffolk)

'Our unfortunate little guests: The Basque Refugee Children in Suffolk, 1937-1939'
An Open Lecture by Dr Edward Packard. University of Suffolk, Waterfront Auditorium. 6.00pm Reception, 6.45 Lecture. Event Poster.
To book your place email openlectures@uos.ac.uk.

10th June - WHERSTEAD PARK (Suffolk)

80th anniversary event - The Street, Wherstead, Ipswich IP9 2BJ,12.30 to 4.00 pm
The East of England Co-op is hosting an event to mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of niños to Wherstead Park.
Contact: carmen@basquechildren.org

Programme of events:
12.30pm Arrival for light lunch at The Stable Block
 1.30pm Official unveiling of the commemorative plaque
 2.10pm Opportunity to hear from Dr Adrian Bell, Dr Edward Packard
 3.00pm Refreshments break and opportunity to view exhibition
 3.30pm Question & answer session with our speakers & Paco Robles
 4.00pm Close

Annual Meeting

The annual comida of los niños vascos took place on the 28 May.

Ten of the children were joined by ninety family members for an afternoon of conversation, remembering, smiles and a few tears, good food and wine.

Thanks to Luis and Amaya for organising this wonderful event. Thanks to Manuel for organising the raffle which raised £315 for the Basque Children Association. And thank you to the staff of the Melia Hotel who made us so welcome.

Click for a full resolution photo

Muchas Gracias, Simon Martinez

Carmen Kilner's report on her recent visit and series of presentations in the Basque Country

Wednesday 26th April: "The journey started with our flight into Bilbao. It was chilling to realise as we were making our approach over land into Loiu airport at about 5pm, that exactly 80 years ago to the hour, waves of German bombers were travelling a similar route and bombing Gernika …" Read more here …

El Iberico

The London based Spanish language newspaper El Iberico recently pubished an article "80 años de los niños vascos en Reino Unido". It includes an interview with José and Olga Osa and Paco Robles at the Centro Social de Mayores Miguel de Cervantes.

www.eliberico.com/el-iberico-177.html pages 6/7.

Plaque Unveiling - Lancing Library - A Report by Jim Jump

Read Jim's report on the recent unveiling here …

Giordano Díaz Lombardero

We are sad to report the death of Giordano Díaz Lombardero on 18th May in Lewisham.

Read more details here …

Mari Carmen Wood (Nee Andrés)

We are sad to report the news from Peter Wood that his wife Mari Carmen (Nee Andrés) passed away in mid-March after a long illness linked with diabetes.

Read more details here …

28th May - LONDON

Annual commemorative meal for niños and their relatives.
Anyone who has not received a letter about it please contact Luis Jarero at luisjarero@yahoo.com. Please note that this event is not organised by BCA'37 UK.

May 23rd 1937 - May 23rd 2017

Today, 80 years later, we remember the children of war, niños de la guerra, who arrived in this country from Bilbao.

Despite a reluctant government, the children were supported and cared for by the people of Britain.

Below are links to some recent articles commemorating the event


9th - 23rd May - EASTLEIGH (Hampshire)

Exhibition of BCA'37 UK posters - Eastleigh Library. Swan Shopping and Leisure Centre, Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF
Open 9.30am - 5.00pm Mon - Fri, and 9.30 am - 4.30 pm Sat.
Exhibition by BCA'37 UK of posters telling the history of the evacuation from Bilbao to Eastleigh in May 1937.
This article in the Daily Echo has a good gallery of photos.

20th May - LANCING (W Sussex)

Plaque unveiling - Lancing Library, Penstone Park, Lancing BN15 9DL at 12pm.
A blue plaque is to be unveiled at 12pm at Lancing Library, where in 1937 Penstone House welcomed a group of refugee Basque children from northern Spain. The library will be hosting an exhibition and there will be musical entertainment and food. Speakers include Jim Jump and Manuel Moreno of the IBMT. Event organised by Lancing Parish Council. See some photos from this colony in our photo gallery here, and some memories from Elva Lipscomb here.

4th May - BILBAO

Euskadiko Artxibo Historikoa / Archivo Histórico de Euskadi en Bilbao - Archivos Euskadiko, María Díaz de Haro 3 48013 BILBAO, 19.00h
Parte de una serie de conferencias, exposiciones y mesa redonda entre abril y noviembre. 'Agur, haurrok / Adios niños'. Participantes incluye Carmen Kilner. More details here …

NEW! 2nd May - BILBAO

British Council. Azkuna Zentroa - Arriquíbar Plaza, 4, 48010 Bilbo 7.30pm - 20.30pm
Talk "The Basque Children Evacuated to Great Britain (and something about my mother)" by Carmen Kilner (in English).
Seats are limited, so if you wish to attend please contact Barbara.Littlewood@britishcouncil.org

26th April 1937 – 26th April 2017

We commemorate the 80th anniversary of the iniquitous bombing of Gernika; the response to which set in motion the evacuation of 4,000 children from the Basque Country to Britain.

We present for the first time a documentary 'The Gernika Story' about the bombing of Gernika produced by IDEM, Bilbao, in collaboration with Steve Bowles, producer of the award winning 'The Children of Guernica'. It can be viewed in English, Spanish or Basque.
Click here for an introduction by Steve Bowles …
… and here to view on youtube.

We also present a link to a very interesting and informative article from the website of the Gernika Peace Museum. The article 'Bombing of Gernika' can be viewed in English, Spanish or Basque.
Read more here …

We note that the May edition of BBC History magazine on sale on 27th April, will have a feature by Paul Preston on Guernica.

A recent Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 featured an excellent short article about the bombing of Gernika with interviews with Prof Paul Preston and Herminio Martínez. The relevant part starts at around 1 hour 34 minutes: View it here …


XII. Jornadas por el Derecho a la Educación: refugiados de ayer y de hoy - Aula Magna de la Facultad de la Educación, Filosofía y Antropología, UPV/EHU Exposición- Centro Carlos Santamaría UPV/EHU, Programme 9.00 am onwards
Includes presentation by Carmen Kilner BCA'37 UK, in Spanish.
Progamme details here & Exhibition details here

22nd/23rd April - VARIOUS

'Football Welcomes' - Clubs to celebrate contribution refugees have made to football
This is a new Amnesty International initiative supported by a range of Premier League clubs, the English Football League and the FA Women's Super League. More details …


Enriqueta Maíz Estéban

We have received the sad message from Carmen Smith of the death of her mother Enriqueta Maíz Estéban on March 29th, aged 95.

Read more details here …

30th March - CAMBRIDGE

A Tale of Two Hostels - West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, CB3 9DP, 6.30 for 7.00pm
The two hostels referred to are one for Basque children and the other for Kindertransport children. An exhibition and presentation evening by pupils of two schools under the guidance of Mike Levy of Keystage Arts and Heritage Ltd. Carmen Kilner will give a brief introduction.


It is fitting that as part of our commemoration of the arrival 80 years ago of the 'SS Habana' to Southampton docks, we present on our website the lists of the 4,000 passengers: children, teachers, assistants and priests. This major contribution to our web resources was carried out by Gerald Hoare. Read more here …

BBC The One Show, 27th March

Interviewer: Ruth Goodman, featuring the niños: Paco Robles and Maria Luis Patchett. Item starts at approx. 18 mins 30 secs at: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08k5cz9/the-one-show-27032017

Emilio Aldecoa

A Spanish refugee boy 78 years ago blazed the trail for David Silva and Cesc Fabregas

In Emilio Aldecoa we find what so many refuse to see in refugees - a willingness to give back … Read the full article on The Independent web site.

Arturo Barea

Recognition for Arturo Barea in Madrid

Spanish writer who fled civil war to a British village is honoured in Madrid. Arturo Barea, loved for his books and BBC talks, has had a city square named after him in the Spanish capital near his former school … Read the full article on The Guardian web site.

Note also that Natalia Benjamin & Adrian Bell played an important part in finding Barea's gravestone at Faringdon and its subsequent restoration - pages 11 & 12 of our May 2011 newsletter here.

Ricardo Martínez Balda

We are sorry to report that Ricardo sadly passed away in St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey on New Years' Day, 2017.

Read more details here …

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