WORK on the Great Polish Map of Scotland at Barony Castle hotel started 50 years ago.

Now Pole Grzegorz Kościelak, 37, is organising a Scottish-Polish family fun day for Sunday, June 2, to mark the anniversary and hopefully “bring the map to a greater audience” in his home country.

Grzegorz is also looking for further sponsorship and especially a piper who would be keen to play at the event.

The relief map was the brainchild of Krakow-born Jan Tomasik, a sergeant in the 1st (Polish) Armoured Division.

He was stationed in Galashiels and married a Scottish nurse in 1942 after being treated in Peel Hospital for a wound.

After the war, he became a successful hotelier eventually buying Barony Castle, where work on the map started in 1974. It was completed across six summers.

On June 30 last year, the 10-year lease granted by Barony Castle LLP to charity Mapa Scotland SCIO expired.

Ownership and responsibility for maintenance of the Great Polish Map of Scotland returned to the hotel.

Mapa Scotland SCIO continues with its remit to promote the historical and cultural links between Scotland and Poland.

Grzegorz said there will be two historians from Poland present and one, Dr Rozek, hosts a YouTube channel and plans to make a film about the map.

The fun day will also include concerts, exhibitions and Polish food stalls, classic cars and bikes, grass volleyball, hare and hounds, chess, a bouncy castle and face painting.

The day’s sponsors include The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh; Mapa Scotland; The Heritage Lottery Community Fund;; and Barony Castle. Scottish Borders Council is a co-organiser.

Grzegorz also has support from Jurek Owsiak and his wife, Lidia Niedzwiedzka-Owsiak, of WOSP (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity), the largest charity foundation in Poland.

He came to Scotland a decade ago from Poznan and currently runs the small Polish School at Peebles Drill Hall on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm.

Grzegorz said: “I had the concept for the event three or four years ago when I worked at Barony Castle and I have always been close to the Mapa Scotland organisation.

“We want to focus the event on the map and have invited two VIPs from Poland, Dr Rozek and Dr Bralczak.

“Dr Rozek’s movie will be a huge promotion for the map and the Scottish Borders.

“The map needs restoration work and cracks repaired and the hotel needs help with the funding, but the event will also connect Polish and Scottish culture.”