Lanarkshire Philatelic Society
The Scottish Philatelic Society
A warm welcome was given to the four members of the Scottish Philatelic Society when they visited the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society last Friday – 18th March.
Ian Anderson, Secretary of the Society, led off the evening with his display of the "Gold Coast – Travelling Post Offices".With the aid of a map he showed the different railway lines constructed to serve the whole country. The Western Railway – built between 1898 and 1903 – ran between Secondi and Kumasi. This was followed by the additional spur running from Tarquah to Prestea – built between 1908 and 1911. Then, over to the other side when the Eastern Railway was constructed from Accra to Kumasi – built between 1909 and 1923 – and finally the Central Railway from Huni Valley to Kade – built between 1923-1927 with an extension from Achiasi to Kotoku built between 1953 and 1956. A Telegraph System was constructed alongside the tracks and the "Travelling Post Office" trains used this as they travelled. Ian had a wonderful display of postmarks for the stations on these lines. He ended his display by remarking that, owing to political changes, many of the stations had now closed and, instead of some 500 miles of track, only around 50 miles now remains.
Alex Shepherd, who was born in 1936, displayed stamps, covers, postmarks, postcards commemorating events that happened in that year. Other births included Jim Clark (racing driver), F. W. de Clerk (South Africa), Albert Finney and Glenda Jackson (actors/film stars). Queen Astrid of Belgium died. Events included the first flight of the Supermarine Spitfire; the first direct British Air Mail from London to Hong Kong; and various other first Air Mail flights; Italy annexed Ethiopia and King Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed Emperor; the Olympic Games were held in Berlin; the formation of Aer Lingus; and the maiden voyage of RMS Queen Mary. A most interesting glimpse of 1936!
After tea, Robin Sherman took us off to the remote Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean. This island was bought by Lever Brothers in 1912 for the purpose of growing coconut palms. Postage stamps - 5c – issued for internal use only were displayed. In 1917, Father Emmanuel Rougier, an alleged missionary, leased the island and raised the cost of the stamp to 10 cents – and pocketed the profit! In 1939, the local stamps were ended and Gilbert and Ellice Island issues were used – but the postmark remained as Christmas Island. From 1956-1958 British Field Forces were stationed the island to carry out nuclear tests. Covers showing British stamps with the "BFPO (British Forces Post Office) Christmas Island" postmark were displayed. In 1979, the island gained its Independence and became known as Kiribati. A most informative display of little known postal history of this island!
Peter Brand gave a fascinating display of postal history material of letters sent from Wars of the 18th/19th Century in which there was British involvement. On display were letters sent during the Napoleonic Wars; War of Austrian Succession; the War of American Independence; Occupation of Spain; Crimean War; Franco-Prussian War. There was, among many others, a letter sent in 1696 from Lyon to Leghorn; a letter of 1735 sent from Reggio to Aramont; another sent in 1782 from London to Cognac along with a letter, dating from 1806, sent as prisoner-of-war mail from the, then Parole, Town of Biggar. All in all, a truly wonderful display.
Maureen Mathieson led the Vote of Thanks for the wonderfully varied displays presented.
Our next meeting in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton, is on Friday, 8th April, 2011 at 7:30pm when Mrs. Sheila Den will display "Proverbs".
Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.