Petition: Name floating bridge 6 after Polish warship that defended Isle of Wight

This year marks the 75th Anniversary since the Polish, Cowes-built warship saved Cowes and East Cowes. A petition to name the new floating bridge Blyskawica is gaining traction.

Floating bridge 6

Contrary to popular belief, not ‘everyone’ on the Isle of Wight is keen for the new floating bridge to be named Floaty McFloatface.

A petition to name the new floating bridge after the Polish warship that protected Cowes and East Cowes during World War II has been gaining traction.

Blyskawica protected Cowes and East Cowes
Set up Cllr Julia Baker-Smith, at time of publishing the petition had attracted 343 supporters.

The petition reads,

Our new “floaty” needs a name, and what could be more fitting than to name her after the ship that saved the towns she serves?

This year marks the 75th Anniversary since the Polish, Cowes built warship saved Cowes and East Cowes. The 5th May is probably the last big anniversary the remaining survivors will see.

On the night of 4–5 May 1942, Blyskawica was instrumental in defending the Isle of Wight town of Cowes from an air raid by 160 German bombers. The ship was undergoing an emergency refit at the J. Samuel White yard where she was built and, on the night of the raid, fired repeated rounds at the German bombers from outside the harbour, her guns becoming so hot they had to be doused with water.

Extra ammunition had to be ferried over from Portsmouth. This forced the bombers to stay high, making it hard for them to target properly. The ship also laid down a smokescreen hiding Cowes from sight. While the town and the shipyard were badly damaged, it is generally thought that without this defensive action, it would have been far worse.

We the undersigned call upon the Isle of Wight Council to name the new Floating Bridge, due to be launched within weeks of the 75th Anniversary, Blyskawica as a fitting tribute to the sacrifices and bravery of the sailors that defended our Island.

If you wish to add your support you can sign the petition

No update yet on comp
The Isle of Wight council invited residents to make suggestions for a new name for Floating Bridge 6 by 7 April 2017. Given that, we’re not sure whether this petition would qualify.

They said that once collated, the best six suggestions will be put to the public vote via their Facebook page; with the winner being announced on 21 April.

Location map
View the location of this story in East Cowes, England, United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 18th April, 2017 9:14am



Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Top story, Travel

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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31 Comments on "Petition: Name floating bridge 6 after Polish warship that defended Isle of Wight"

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Old Knobby

Nice idea, but I can’t be the only one to look at the name Blyskawica and think ‘how do you pronounce that?’

Steven Goodman

I wondered that too and have just googled it and found some examples of the polish pronunciation. I also wondered what it meant as it looked to me like Isle of Wight for “Blessed witch”!…but it actually means “lightening (flash of light)” :-)

Luisa Hillard

Bliss ka veet ska

Good opportunity for a memorial plaque on the boat to remind people of the ship and crew who defended Cowes and East Cowes.

How to pronounce it will be a talking point, that’s for sure!

Billy b

Yes indeed, some good ideas have been forthcoming, however, this must surely be the best. A fitting tribute to the past carrying on when other tributes will begin to fade simply because of the intervening years.

Let us go for it!

Mr Einsteins Ghost

Totally agree! Sounds a good idea, but how do you pronounce it phonetically OTW?




Remember Pan Meadows having it’s name changed to Bluebell Meadows?
Everyone still calls it Pan estate/Meadows.

Because the Polish name won’t easily roll off the tongue with the best will in the world the majority will call it the floating bridge.


…or Floaty McFloatFace for short?:-)


Growing up in Cowes in the 40’s i rememeber it often being referred to as simply “The Bridge”.

Geoff Lumley

The name change was a unilateral re-branding by Barratt’s in a desperate attempt to boost flagging sales. It’s official name is and will always be Pan Meadows.

Terry Carpenter
The 2144 ton Polish Navy Destroyer ‘Blyskawica’ (Lightning) and her sister ship ‘Grom’ (Thunder) were both built iat J Samuel Whites Yard, Cowes, in 1935. ‘Blyskawica’ returned to Cowes in 1942 for a refit. As a floating Polish Embassy, she could ignore Admiralty advice “not to carry ammunition during her refit” Thus her Captain and Crew were able to put up Heroic resistance against the biggest air… Read more »

A fine idea. She’d better be quick as lightning as well or people will become more like Grom!

Nigel Barnes

Come on Islanders! Name it after something Island related. Osborne House is just up the road for goodness sake…….
God help us if a USN Donald Trump had been about then…. 😂
Leave it to wishy-washy councillors to suggest something like that.
I am a born & bred Caulkhead but now live away through too expensive ‘holiday’ properties being sold.
Come on folks.


She ( the Blyskawica ) was built in Cowes and she defended Cowes from an air attack.

That, in my book, is just about as Island and, more particularly, Cowes related as you can get.

Luisa Hillard

Suruk is right. If not for the Blyskawica there wouldn’t be that much of East and West Cowes left. Neither would there have been many families who survived.

That ship was built here. She came back for a refit. The Captain defied orders and increased the amount of ammunition on board to defend her in case of a bombing raid. His judgement proved to be correct.

Angela McMurtry

Can’t spell it and can’t pronounce it. I agree with Nigel, give it a local name. We don’t need ANOTHER petition!


Then look on it as an opportunity in education.

Let’s start with the pronunciation.



Not too hard, is it?

Billy b

For once we entirely agree on something! A good name indeed.


Surely it would be best to name the floating bridge with what it is – Cowes Bridge.

Luisa Hillard

It’s currently called the Cowes Chain Ferry by the Council.

Nigel Barnes

I’m sure there are many other local things just ss or more worthy of remembering the sacrifice made in defence of the Island during WW2. The Isle of Wight Home Guard for an example?

Nigel Barnes

Still dont agree. And not sorry.


And why would you feel that naming the chain ferry after a ship that was built in Cowes and defended the town from an air attack was a bad idea?

Why don’t you enlighten us.

Nigel Barnes

Dont have justify or enlighten or hide behind some fancy ‘nickname’ just to say as a proud Isle of Wighter it should be named after something or even someone from the Island.instead a barely pronouncable ship who just happened to have been built and in Cowes for a refit during WW2.
And another suggestion – Barton (Manor).1


Errm, the Blyskawica *was* from the Island. She was built here.

I think we all know why you object to this proposal. Why don’t you just come out and say it.

Nigel Barnes
If Sir , you think I am being racist you are way off the mark. For a good few years during my childhood my neighbours were Polish and still have friends who are Polish. My point is let the people name it after something that is both Isle of Wight’ish and pronouncable and not likely to be ‘bastardised’ in the future. Other than that why are you… Read more »

Oh, sorry, didnt realise some of your best friends are Polish. As you were, everybody, nothing to see here!


Something “Isle of Wight-ish”?

Mallyshag it is, then.


A highly noble idea, but no tourist will know how to pronounce it unless they speak Polish. They’ll probably think it’s the name of the company who built it.
Why does a the floating bridge need a name anyway?


Let us call it what it is, “MEDINA CHAIN FERRY”.