Lanarkshire Philatelic Society



Paul McGowan

"Aspects of the Netherlands"


Paul, our secretary, gave us a fascinating insight into the postal history of the Netherlands at our recent meeting.

Starting with material from the 16th century Paul showed us a variety of covers associated with early trading with Britain. Following on came military mail, from Prussian invaders, and the French liberation forces, with Holland becoming a French department for a time. Holland ’s first stamps came with the Willem III issue of 1852. Holland didn't immediately embrace the "Universal" system of postal charging, instead letters were charged "by distance". Further items of postal history followed including "Barge Mail" (unofficial mail carried by canal); postcards (with instructions on how to use them, 1871); Express Mail (WW1, censored to London); early Registered covers; a 1939 mobilisation card; “Deliver on Sunday” cacheted covers and pictorial cards relating to exhibitions including the 1933 Great Trek to South Africa (amongst others).

For his second round Paul started with trains; stamps relating to the centenary & 150th anniversary of the Dutch railway; Travelling Post Office marks & journey cards of the various rail companies. Shipping (an important area of Holland ’s history) followed with items related to commerce & exploration; modern ferries and ship mail transit marks along with material relating to the “Holland/America Shipping Line”. Planes and the development of KLM (the Royal Dutch Airline, started 1919) came next with covers from early flights. The constant “fight” against the sea with material relating to land reclamation and sea defences followed with stamps depicting various building methods and foreign workers camp mail. The 1928 Olympic Games (held in Amsterdam ) featured including a huge cover incorporating a souvenir sheet of stamps with the cover text written in Esperanto. Also on show was a last day cover, to Rome, which had been sponsored by KLM!

Paul concluded his display with material relating to the Dutch Nazi Party (WW2) and with postcards, and images, of Holland which included Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht.


Phillip Morgan-Klein gave the Vote of Thanks.