New hayrack (kozolec) in Henley, UK!

The British-Slovene Society donated a new hayrack to the town of Henley-on-Thames. It stands in Gillots Field, a place where people gather for traditional picnics.

The original hayrack came to England when Slovenia became independent 30 years ago. It was brought by Jana Valenčič as an exhibit to promote Slovenia at the Liberty department store in London, and was donated to the Ethnological Museum in Oxford after the event. The hayrack first stood next to the museum, but was then moved to the arboretum near Oxford due to issues with the construction plan. As the hayrack is part of the country’s cultural heritage, the Society traditionally held picnics there every year in early summer.

It was later removed and The British-Slovene Society wanted to build a new hayrack on a new location. The then Slovenian Ambassador in London, Tadej Rupel helped with the funds and location, Henley on the Thames, a beautiful riverside town twinned with Bled in Slovenia.

Following the advice of the museum Land of Hayracks in Šentrupert, the British-Slovene Society found an excellent carpenter, Damjan Bajc, who, in collaboration with Dušan Štepec from the museum, designed a smaller version of Lah’s hayrack from Migolica in Dolenjska. Additional wood heat treatment and a transporter who knew how to cope with the new situation were needed. To their great relief, company Trimo from Trebnje, with the supprot of British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, offered to help and took care of the transport and customs clearance. It was only when the hayrack was on the lorry, and a few days later actually in Henley, that they could believe that they would soon be organising their picnics under the hayrack again. A team of four Slovenian craftsmen led by Damjan Bajc also arrived from Trebnje to set up the hayrack.

Since the mission of the British-Slovene Society is to foster friendship between Slovenes living in Great Britain and the British, and to strengthen their belonging to the Slovenian nation, the picnics under the hayrack are intended for entire families, often with one Slovenian and one non-Slovenian parent. This enables them to meet other families and children get to know and play with each other. Additionally, everyone brings food to the picnics, especially if they prepare something particularly good and are willing to share it with others. Even the Slovenian ambassador always brings a treat and a couple of bottles of wine and chats with everyone. Over the years, different numbers of people have attended the picnic. Sometimes there were 40 of them, other times 80, depending on the weather and availability of people. Slovenians living in Great Britain and their friends finally have a location where they can gather again for picnics. They hope that this hayrack will help to spread the word about Slovenia and build friendships and cooperation between Slovenia and Great Britain.

This site uses cookies for better performance and user experience. Do you agree to use of cookies?

Find out more

Cookies on our web page

What is Cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browse while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website to notify the website of the user's previous activity

How do we use cookies?

A visit to a this page could generate the following types of cookie.

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies services you have asked for, like shopping baskets or e-billing, cannot be provided.

2. Performance cookies

These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works.

3. Functionality cookies

These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.

4. Targeting and advertising cookies

These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests They are also used to limit
the number of times you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. They are usually placed by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. They remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Quite often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

Cookie management

Cookies can be managed via the web browser settings. Please, see you browser help how to manage cookies.

On this site you can always turn cookies on/off on menu item “Cookie Management”.

Website management

This website is managed by:

British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce