Monthly Archives: April 2021

Progress at March 2021

Mapa Scotland   

 

Progress Report, March, 2021

https://www.facebook.com/mapascotland          https://www.mapascotland.org   

 

Roger Kelly

In December we were very sad to report the death of Roger Kelly, Chairman, founder member and trustee of Mapa Scotland. Roger was a principal initiator of the campaign to restore what was to be the Great Polish Map of Scotland at an inaugural meeting in April 2010. Well before that meeting, Roger had emerged as a key link to the early history of the map. He made contact with David Cameron from Corstorphine, who had met the map’s Polish designer, Dr Kazimierz Trafas. Trafas had visited Edinburgh in the early 1990s many years after the map’s design and construction which began in 1975. Roger publicised the restoration plan at exhibitions in Penicuik, displaying early photographs of the links between Barony Castle and the arrival of Polish forces in Scotland to join the Allied war effort in 1940. Roger’s support of Mapa Scotland over the twelve years of work leading to completion of the map’s restoration in 2018 and beyond has been invaluable.  Along with his colleagues who began the project, he was awarded the Polish Pro-Patria medal in 2018 to mark special merit in strengthening and treasuring the memory of the Polish people’s fight for the independence of the Polish Republic during and following World War II. Roger will be sadly missed by the Mapa Scotland team.

  1. Summary

The very sad loss of our trustee and chairman, Roger Kelly, dominated the latter part of the year.  We are planning a fitting memorial for Roger.  Tish Chalmers has agreed to become a trustee to maintain our complement of five.

This was our most frustrating and unproductive year since foundation.  Covid 19 stopped almost everything for most of the year.  Barony Castle has been closed for most of the period.  An all too brief summer period allowed some respite, then we plunged back into no-access again in late Autumn.

Behind the scenes we have not been totally inactive:

  • Autumn leaf clearing and general tidying continued between lockdowns.
  • Host to Channel 5 TV programme, “Secret Scotland”.
  • Host to Germany’s ZDF TV network for programme on Scotland.
  • We suffered a water supply pipe crack during a -8C overnight freeze. This awaits repair when contractor access can be gained.
  • A Zoom talk was given to the Scottish Polish Cultural Association.
  • The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats opened their 2021 election campaign at the map to show their parliamentary nationwide representation.
  • We carried out preliminary planning for installation of a flagpole for display of the Polish and Scottish National flags.
  • We suffered some minor vandalism to one of our tool sheds, despite there being little of value to target.
  1. Promotion and education

The Mapa Scotland website and Facebook site continues as our main sources of historical and educational material.

  1. Further development

We are working on a potential linkage of the map, General Maczek and hotel with a local named footpath.  Future development work includes potential educational initiatives.

  1. Funds and Membership

Future funds to support maintenance and development will depend on the strength of our membership and public donations through our collection boxes at the map and hotel.

  1. The Future

Mapa Scotland’s lease of the map with Barony Castle Hotel LLP runs until 30th June 2023.  Until that time Mapa Scotland will continue with routine maintenance within the capabilities of our volunteers, our funds and future public donations.  We are particularly indebted to the General Maczek School in Edinburgh for providing regular help from their new generation of enthusiastic youngsters.  We are also very grateful to the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh for their continuing support for our charity.

We now need more local community involvement along with other local interest groups. 

Without this the future of the map will be at risk again.  The current committee needs new blood to prevent this unique piece of local history from ever being lost and forgotten again. 

On behalf of all our volunteer force, the Mapa Scotland Trustees: Keith Burns, David Cameron, Tish Chalmers, Majka Kozlowska, David Peck.

c/o mapascotland@gmail.com       

Time line for the Great Polish Map of Scotland

1974 – 2014

Commissioned: Jan Tomasik, 1974

Designed and built: Dr Kasimierz Trafas and team from Krakow, 1975 – 1979 along with local      labour
Abandoned early 1980s.

Rediscovered late 1990s.
Mapa Scotland restoration campaign launched, 2010. 

Workshop purchased and installed
Debris and vegetation clearance started, 2010
Mapa Scotland Charity established June 2012
 Main funding in place, November 2013
 Restoration works and heritage research started, February 2014

2014 – 2017

  • Safety fence installed, pit wall repaired and rendered, new coping added 
    250 tonnes of debris removed and recycled as foundations for landscaping

and stumperies.

  • 300m of underground pipework replaced and seabed sealed with bentonite
  • Sad death of our historian, Kim Traynor,7th August 2015.  Memorial bench installed.
  • All insecure foundations of rusty cans and rubble replaced by frost resistant concrete; damaged surface repaired with frost resistant mortar.
  • New viewing tower designed and built.
  • Heritage Lottery and European Leader Fund completion audits cleared

January 2017

  • Map development and heritage promotion continue.
  • European Heritage Conference, Krakow, Summer 2017. Paper presented.
  • Royal Geographical Society, London, Summer 2017.
  • Foundation and topography repairs completed, August 2017.
  • Surface stabilisation, protection and painting completed, December 2017.
  • Total concrete and mortar added, 14,000 litres. Total weight added: 33 tonnes. Equal to a concrete cube 2.4m x 2.4m x 2.4m

April 12th 2018

Opening ceremony and reception hosted by Polish Consulate Edinburgh.  Pro Patria medal awarded to the restoration project.

Major grant providers for restoration:

Barony Castle Hotel LLP, Blackwood & Smith, Borders Council, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, European Leader Fund, Polish Foreign Ministry, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland Support Fund, Landfill Communities Fund, Maczek Memorial Trust, Polish Connections Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Polish Cultural Association, Wojtek Trust, two major anonymous donations, and you the public.

Volunteers:

 The Mapa Scotland volunteer squad, The General Maczek School in Edinburgh, The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, EDF Torness, Royal Bank of Scotland, Local scouts, guides, cubs and brownies.

Major Contractors

Ladywood, Glendinning Groundworks, Differentia Design, Prettybright Design, Gordon Wilson (Peebles), I W Design, A1 Sprayers Edinburgh, Elmbank Printing,

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