Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Crossford Stamp Crew"


It was an evening of wonderful variety that the members of the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society enjoyed last Friday evening (11th December). Members of the Crossford Stamp Club came along to give their displays.

Eric Ross, having informed members of the 1849 Trigonometrical Survey which, under the direction of Sir George Everest, also began to take in Nepal and, from that survey, it was realised that Mount Everest was the highest mountain in the world. With the display of covers, stamps, postmarks, cachets and postcards Eric then told the Story of the Conquest of Everest. Various unsuccessful expeditions were remembered in postmarks and cachets and also a cover illustrating  the conquest, in 1953, by the British/New Zealand Team with Hillary and Tensing Norgay on the peak. Later stamps were issued to show European success, and Indian success.  In 2003 New Zealand issued stamps for the 50th Anniversary of the Conquest of the mountain.

Mike Cleary displayed beautiful covers and stamps charting the Development of Surgery. Having obtained a body – not always by legal means! – the body was cut so that investigations into how the body worked could be made. Leonardo da Vinci, famed for his art, was also an anatomist as various of his drawings show. Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) - on Minature sheet - was also an anatomist – and his findings corrected previous misconceptions.

Stamps and covers showed many paintings of students viewing surgical experiments. Stamps, covers and miniature sheets showed Joseph Lister and his discovery and use of antiseptics. Christiaan Barnard, who carried out the first heart transplant also had stamps issued in his honour.

Bill Muir had a great display of old postcards depicting Crossford and surrounding area - a postcard of the Tower of Halbar, and the House of Carfin - as well as the centre of Crossford as it was in days gone by!

Ed Archer had an interesting series of German postcards showing the development of the Third Reich. Also postcards and postmarks of the Olympics of 1936 – when the Olympic torch, in its modern form, was first carried in to the stadium by an athlete. A series of propaganda photographs of Hitler; also Banknotes of the third Reich and various medals – including an ‘Iron Cross’ – were displayed.


Alan Rushworth opened the second round with a display of postcards showing the various places where he has lived through his life. He began with Govanhill – and displayed his Ration Book! - and then to East Kilbride – where, at that time, the new town was being built and ‘wellies’ were needed to move around!; then to Carmunnock, Crosshill, East Kilbride (again), to Blackwood and finally to Crossford where he now lives!

Dr Ken Liddell found Gavin Maxwell’s book ‘Ring of Bright Water’ of great interest and determined to find out more about the author. He thus displayed postcards showing the ‘House of Elrig’ at Port William where Maxwell was born and also the house of ‘Monreith’ where his father had been brought up. Postcards followed Maxwell’s life in the Scots Guards, on the island of Soay, on Sandaig where he lived with 2 otters, at ‘Camus Fearna’ where he wrote ‘Ring of Bright Water’. After the house was destroyed by fire he moved on to Eilean Ban beside Kyleakin where he died on 7th September, 1969.

Members were amused by Bill Groves interesting collection of envelopes!  During the Second World War paper became very scarce and the government asked people to re-use envelopes. Many firms thus printed special labels that could be affixed over the existing name and address and many of these were displayed. One envelope bore the legend ‘Economy – Re-use of envelopes. Open by slitting along flap edge.’  Some people simply stroked out their name ad address and wrote the new one alongside! A most interesting collection!

Dr Brian Dow showed postmarks of Crossford throughout the years – from 1852 to 1996. It was interesting to note that the postmark for 1996 was the same as that for 1937!  He also had postcards of Tillietudlem Castle – aka Craignethan Castle – and its association with Sir Walter Scott who gave it its fictional name.

There was also a display of postmarks bearing the names of places in Clydesdale but which were actually from other areas:- Abington in Cambridge; Biggar, and also Lanark, in Canada; Forth in Tasmania;  Douglas in the Isle of Man; and Blackwood in Wales.


Raymond Baldock, in giving the Vote of Thanks remarked on the most interesting – and unusual – variety of displays which all members had enjoyed!

Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall is on Friday, 19th December, 2009 at 7:30pm when members will give displays on the theme of ‘Seven Days to Go!’.  

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.