The BCSA (British Czech and Slovak Association) was launched by Alexander Dubcek in November 1990 and has been a registered UK charity since 1995.
The BCSA sets out to raise awareness in Britain of Czech and Slovak life in all its aspects: history, arts, literature, economies, politics and sciences.
What we do
The BCSA organises a regular series of events on aspects of Czech and Slovak life and culture. These events, usually followed by a wine reception, are free to members of the BCSA while non-members pay a £10 admission fee. Recent events include:
- Peter Kristufek presents his new novel “The House of the Dead Man”
- an account by Marion Werner of the life of Comenius
- a song recital by the acclaimed singer, Maroš Bango, the “Slovak Bocelli”
- a passionate engagement with Slovak landscapes – paintings by painter Olga Krýslová (1931-2003) of the remotest parts of Slovakia
- a debate on Slovakia’s post-communism economic transition with ex-Economy Minister Vazil Hudak
Exclusively produced for members of the BCSA, the British Czech and Slovak Review is an established magazine that keeps you abreast of developments in British Czech and Slovak relations, the sort of coverage that rarely features in the mainstream UK media. Members receive this quarterly and free of charge.
Our two main social and fund-raising events each year are the Garden Party, held in the garden of the Czech and Slovak Embassies in June, and the Annual Dinner, held in a London Hotel in November. Members can buy tickets at substantially reduced prices.
You and your friends are always welcome at our monthly “Get to know you” social evenings – an opportunity for BCSA members, supporters and friends to meet. These are normally held at the Czech and Slovak House, West Hampstead, on the second Wednesday of the month.
The Association is run by a committee, elected each April at our AGM. Current members are:
Michael Roberts (Chair) – was British Ambassador to Slovakia from 2007 to 2010. He’s now a consultant and coach on EU and international affairs, speaks some Slovak, and retains a close interest in all things Czech and Slovak
Ruzena Holub (Vice Chair) – was born in Prague and came to the UK in 1968. She worked as an interpreter and translator for over 30 years, and now teaches the Czech language. She has been a member of the BCSA since 1991, and on the Committee since 1995.
Douglas Gibb (Treasurer) – a Scottish Chartered Accountant with a long-standing interest in the Czech and Slovak Republics. He has wide ranging business experience and is currently the Director of Finance for the Diocese of Canterbury.
Blanka Shrimpton (Secretary)
Mike Ivory (Events Coordinator) – Originally a linguist (German, French, Italian), he subsequently taught town planning and landscape design at university level. On early retirement, his long-term interest in the countries of Central Europe, in particular the former Czechoslovakia, led to membership of the BCSA and to the writing of guidebooks to the region, as well as to the organisation and leadership of cultural tours. His knowledge of Czech and Slovak is limited, though long practice has enabled him to say “Ucim se cesky uz ctyricet let” quite fluently.
Ed Peacock (Writing competition organiser) – Semi-retired administrator, with family links to the Czech Republic; contact for the BCSA’s writing competition since its inception in 2002.
Angela Spindler-Brown (Editor, British Czech & Slovak Review) – TV journalist, specialising in historical documentaries made for British and US broadcasters. Prague born, has lived in London since 1968.
Julian Wilde – a retired secondary school Principal. His school has maintained a strong link with the Gymnazium Bozeny Nemcove in Hradec Kralove for over 20 years and Julian continues to go there to teach English each summer.
Sona Karikova – is Slovak but has been based in London for 10 years. Her Master’s degree in Social Education was completed in Slovakia and a Masters degree in Business Psychology in the UK. Founder of the UK CEE Mediation Consultancy, she is a strong supporter of good relations between the UK and the Central and East European region.
Zuzana Slobodová-Nepil – is a Slovak living in Britain since 1968. She studied in Bratislava and Oxford, worked in London and Reading for the BBC World Service as broadcast assistant, monitor and European duty editor. She now freelances as a translator, journalist and writer. A member of the BCSA since 1991, on the Committee since the second part of the Nineties.
The Association is also fortunate to have as its President:
Sir Michael Burton KCVO CMG – former BCSA Chairman for more than ten years, he was British Ambassador in Prague from 1994 to 1997, which included The Queen’s historic State Visit to the Czech Republic. His wife Henrietta is Czech-born.
and two Vice-Presidents: Ladislav Hornan and Graham Melville-Mason
You can get in touch with any member of the Committee by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org