Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Scottish Steamers"


Mr. Alan Rushworth


A "wonderfully evocative evening" – was the response given to the display by Alan Rushworth to the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society on Friday (5th December).

Alan’s subject was "Scottish Steamers" and his starting point was a postcard illustrating Henry Bell’s steamer "Comet" leaving the Broomielaw in 1812, when it took its place in the history of the Clyde. He then began his display with some sheets showing the funnels and hull colours of the various Scottish Steamer Companies of the 1900s. There were many at that time!

There was then an amazing display of postcards depicting the various steamers that plied the Clyde – also postmarks from the places visited by the steamers; a brass ˝d ferry token; and various advertising postcards of available trips.

MacBrayne’s Floating Post Offices of the Clyde were shown – especially that of the "Columba" as was a menu from "Lord of the Isles" – when Dinner cost 2/6d!

We then moved on to postcards illustrating the ships that cruised the Crinan Canal; the Caledonian Canal; West Highland Steamers; East Coast Steamers; Tay Steamers; and Orkney and Shetland Steamers. More postcards illustrated various venues called at by these steamers – including St Kilda which was visited by the West Highland Steamers. Alan also showed a few books of the early 1900s which advertised – with many illustrations – Summer tours that could be undertaken - maps of the routes; prices of all tours; timetables etc – all were detailed.

Some cutlery – complete with logo or name - from some of the ships was also shown. As the years passed and as roads were built and improved, and villages became more accessible, many of the ships became redundant. They are now a memory.

The Vote of Thanks was given by Terry Woods who thanked Alan Rushworth for giving such a "wonderfully evocative display of a time gone by".

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 19thDecember, at 7:30pm when members will display 10 sheets on a topical subject.

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