Allegations that holiday park threw people off site – because they had a Polish name!

By Mal Butler Jul 7, 2024
Police were called to the stand-off

The Polish Consul has promised to look into an alleged incident of racial discrimination in which dozens of Polish people were turned away from the Thorness Bay Holiday Park on Friday evening.

Police were called to the site after between 20-30 bikers and cars, many of whom had separate bookings, were refused entry by security staff.

Other bikers, who had already stayed the previous night, were also asked to leave amid accusations that all people with Polish sounding names were not allowed on site.Agnieszka Korotynska, who works at Coventry University, booked as a group of eight and arrived on Thursday. She and her friends were part of a large Polish contingent who were here to support Armed Forces Day on Saturday as the Island and Poland have close historical connections.

After setting up in their caravan on Thursday, Agnieszka and her friends went sightseeing the following day and returned to find the entrance blocked by security. She said: “The manager was being rude to other people, but he spoke to me because I was very polite when I approached him. He was saying that the bikers had violated the rules. He said they were a family site and the bikers had not booked at the same time but separately. But he then told me he was cancelling the booking of anyone with a Polish name. This is discrimination. I am someone who is living in a foreign country, so I know about discrimination. I was shocked. It is a scandal against Polish people and the bikers who had done nothing wrong.

“We wanted to collect our things but we weren’t allowed in and were told the staff would pack all our things for us in black bags. Eventually, I was allowed in to collect my things, but by this time, I was shaking and stressed.”

Londoner, Ashley Thomas, made a booking for himself and fellow Polish friends and was also refused entry. He said: “I was told they were turning away anyone who was a biker, but I saw Polish families who were arriving by car and were refused access.

“I asked how did they manage to choose which bookings were being blocked and they replied that they were putting two and two together and working out the Polish names to stop them coming in. It’s horrible what happened.”

Hannah Poole also booked for Polish friends arriving in two cars and a motor bike. She said: “We only got in because our booking was made in my name. They clearly said Polish bikers were not being allowed in, it was 100 per cent racial.”

Workers in a van also thrown off site

Three workers, who had booked in for a week, arriving on Friday, were also told to leave. Patrick Wieczek of 360 Windows booked his men to stay on site for a week while the team worked installing windows in Seaview. Patrick said: “All they wanted to do was work and sleep and they arrived in a van with our logo on its side. But they were later told they had to pack up their things and leave with no explanation.”

The IW Observer has other stories from Polish people and also reviews claiming discrimination written on Trip Advisor which have now been taken down.
Dr Simon Selby, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland said: “This has been brought to my attention. Be assured, I have requested details from Parkdene Resorts Head Office and will be speaking with Hampshire Constabulary if appropriate.”

How did the site choose who to ban? We asked but didn’t get an answer!

The IW Observer asked Thorness Bay with so many separate bike and car bookings, how did they know how to separate the ‘group bookings’. They did not respond to the question.
A Thorness Bay spokesman said: “As a family holiday park, everybody is welcome as long as they adhere to our terms and conditions. Our T&Cs require large group bookings to be made via our group booking line, and also state that we do not tolerate any illegal, offensive, disruptive or inappropriate behaviour.

“A number of guests were asked to leave the park over the weekend for breaching our terms and conditions relating to group bookings, while we also unfortunately had to terminate a small number of bookings due to disruptive behaviour. The safety of our guests and team is our number one priority, and we’re grateful to the police for their assistance in resolving the situation.”
In response to the allegations made by a guest about the general manager, the spokesman added: “We absolutely refute these claims. The police were asked if the attending officers had heard that guests were being turned away because they were Polish, but they did not reply to our enquiry.