Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"A Century of GB"


Dr Ian Evans


"A Century of GB" was the title of the Display given by Dr Ian Evans to the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society on Friday, 2nd October. He explained that he preferred to collect covers which bore both the stamp and the address to which it was going. He began with a pre-stamp letter of 1828 going from Glasgow to Edinburgh and cost 11/8d + ½d for the mail coach!

In 1840 the world’s first postage stamp - the "Penny Black" - came into being and this was displayed on a cover travelling from St Andrews to Edinburgh. There followed a display of covers of the Victorian era with the "Penny Red" and "Two Penny Blue" stamps. From 1841 to 1844 these were cancelled with the ‘Maltese Cross’. It was not until 1854 that these stamps became perforated. Also in 1854 some local handstamps came into use and on display were covers with stamps cancelled with "Osborne Buildings", "Hanover Street", "Blantyre Station", among many others. Also displayed was a Central Station cover of the Caledonian Railway – and the stamp was cancelled with "Waterloo Street" handstamp. In 1887, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year, the stamp design changed slightly and this was the first British stamp to have 2 colours in the design.

There was an interesting display of the development of the "Registered Letter". In 1850 the first "Registered Mail" letter was sent with a 1d registration fee. In 1901 an embossed Registered Envelope was issued with a registration fee of 2d. In 1903 the fee went up to 3d. 

In the second round stamps issued during the reigns of King Edward VII, King George V and King George VI were displayed.

Various special labels were shown – "Post Office Express"; Parcel Post labels of Lanarkshire – "Windmillhill (MWH) (Under Motherwell)"; "Douglas (DGH) (Under Lanark)" and also "Censored Mail" – used during the War.

The first "slogan" postmarks appeared in1917; - "Buy National War Bonds"; "Feed the guns with War Bonds".

The first "Commemorative" stamps were those issued in 1924 for the British Empire Exhibition. Also shown were a most interesting series of slogan postmarks for this event - "British Empire"; "Visit the Ulster Pavilion"; "Pageant of Empire Stadium Wembley"; "London Defended"; "Wembley Stadium" & "Torchlight Tattoo, Stadium Wembley".

The Display ended with stamps issued to mark the Centenary of the first adhesive postage stamp in 1840.


Terry Woods, giving the Vote of Thanks, remarked that it had been a tremendous night and members had gleaned much information from the display.

Our next meeting, entitled "Ladies Night", in St Andrews Parish Church Hall is on Friday, 9th October, 2009 at 7:30pm when the lady members of the Club will give displays. Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.