Lanarkshire Philatelic Society




Mr Alan Southwood


Alan Southwood of Bearsden Philatelic Society was the welcome visitor to the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society last Friday evening – 5th February. The subject of his Display was Portugal and after giving a ‘potted history’ of the country he then described various interesting postal items in his display.

He began with a letter postmarked ‘Greenock, July 27, 1837 – this was sent to Portugal via Falmouth which traded with Portugal. Various other letters of this same period were shown – some travelling via London, others via Falmouth.

The first stamps shown – issued in 1853 – depicted Dona Maria II – who died that year in childbirth. Her son King Luis was the next to be illustrated on stamps issued in 1866. In 1889 Dom Carlos I became King – and various stamps depicted his features – but after his assassination in 1908 (along with his elder son) his younger son, Manuel succeeded him. Stamps were issued but he had to flee the country when it became a Republic (He came to Britain where he played tennis at  Wimbledon. The flag there was flown at half-mast when he died). Stamps in Portugal depicting him were overprinted with ‘Republica’.

In 1895 the first ‘pictorial’ stamp appeared - to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Prince Henry the Navigator and in 1898 the 5th Century Journey of Vasco da Gama to India was commemorated.

Now a republic, new stamps were issued in 1912 showing the Roman goddess ‘Ceres’ – and this issue continued until 1920. Many commemorative issues now appeared – 1923 The first transatlantic flight from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro; the Portuguese Army in Flanders 1484 and 1918; the Birth Centenary of Camilo Castelo Branco, Novelist. In August 1926 the first Independence issue was made – followed with a special issue.

Alan also showed Postage Due and Charity stamps; parcel post and newspaper post stamps; Portuguese Postal stationery and perfins; and Charity Tax stamps.

There were definitive stamps showing many aspects of Portuguese architecture – and many commemorative stamps continued to be issued – amongst them, in February 1963, the double victory of Benfica Football Club in the European Cup Championship. Also shown were stamps commemorating the Abolition of the Death Penalty; Telephone Centenary (Alexander Graham Bell); Olympic Games in Los Angeles; Portuguese Lighthouses, paintings, post boxes – and many others issued throughout the years.

The display ended with stamps issued in 1998 once again commemorating the 5th Century discovery of the Maritime Route to India by Vasco da Gama.


Paul McGowan, in giving the Vote of Thanks remarked on the most interesting and comprehensive display which all members had enjoyed.

Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall is on Friday, 19th February, 2010 at 7:30pm when we look forward to a visit from members of the Ayrshire Philatelic Society.  

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