Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


Lanarkshire Postal History

Terry Woods


New President Terry Woods, in welcoming a large number of  members to the new season of meetings, first announced the passing of two of our lady members; Honorary President Jessie Matthews at the age of 90, and Jean Weir at 87. Jessie, along with her late husband, was a founder member of the society, and was still active, both collecting and within the society, until her death. Jean although still a member had not been active for some time. Both will be sadly missed.

Terry then went on to introduce his display on "Lanarkshire Postal History". Starting with a cover from 1666, Terry showed a wide array of covers associated with the county. He explained the original "Post Towns" were, in fact seats of the Aristocracy. Postmarks were introduced in 1720 (Hamilton) with Lanark getting it's own in 1738. 1738 saw the advent of hand stamps. 1808 saw the introduction of "Mileage" marks the cost of mailing a letter being calculated on the mileage it travelled. In 1828 mileage marks were discontinued and replaced with date stamps, the mail being charged by a combination of the number of sheets and distance. "Free Frank Mail" also came about at this time, this being mail, sent by the aristocracy (Lords Douglas & Hamilton, for example) at no cost.

In his second round Terry showed covers, and labels, dating from 1839. At this time local mail cost a "uniform" four pence. !840 saw the introduction of the "Uniform Penny Post" with the, now famous, Penny Black being issued on the 6th May, the 2d Blue followed a couple of days later. Immediately prior to the issue of these two stamps Rowland Hill had pioneered the issue of prepaid "Mulready" envelopes. These were ridiculed by the public and withdrawn. 1841 saw the 1d Red issued, using the same printing plates as the black, and in 1844 numbered hand stamps, each number indicating the town of posting, introduced. These were later incorporated into the "Duplex" cancelling machine which also showed the date of posting. Smaller villages did not get this type of cancel until 1864. Terry's final sheets showed Parcel Post labels, parcel post being introduced in 1883 and Prisoner-of-War mail from Thankerton Camp (WW2).

In proposing a hearty vote of thanks, Immediate Past President Sheila Sinclair commented on the range and quality of the Terry's material. She also remarked on the vast amount of research Terry must have put in, in preparing such an excellent display.

Our next meeting, on Friday 17th September, will have Eric Mason displaying "Ceylon", to which all are, of course, most welcome.