Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Newfoundland" & "Insurance"


Mr. Alan Blakeley


Last Friday, 8th February, 2 wonderful Award Winning displays were presented to the members of the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society by Alan Blakeley, member of the Caledonian Philatelic Society of Glasgow. 

He began with a display of the stamps of Newfoundland at the time when it was the first Colony of Great Britain within North America. He showed how the stamps developed through the years - starting from the adhesive imperforate 6d stamps of 1861. The design of these included the rose, shamrock and thistle. This design remained for many years although the printers were, owing to different circumstances, changed often (Perkins Bacon; John Guy; The American Banknote Company).  

In 1865 came a change when Royalty was shown on the stamps - Queen Victoria and also Prince Albert as well as the first animal stamps - the codfish and the harp seal along with the change in currency, from pounds, shillings & pence to decimal - cents and dollars.  

In 1897 came the first commemorative stamp - honouring Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Also issued were stamps commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland by John Cabot. The plates for these were, on the order of the Colonial Secretary, destroyed shortly after the stamps were issued. Collectors were interested and soon the supplies of the essential 1cent stamp were exhausted. This resulted in the 1890 3cent stamp having to have a surcharge printed across them changing them to 1cent. 

Through the years, royalty remained a main subject on the stamps - with other issues on a great variety of subjects - including ships, landscapes, spheres of work, map of Newfoundland and also the Newfoundland dog. 

In 1919 "The Trail of the Caribou" set was issued - (printed by de la Rue & Co) - these 12 stamps bore the illustration of the caribou but the wording on 4 of the stamps was commemorating the work of the Royal Naval Reserve, and 8 commemorating specific engagements in which the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was involved. These, too, were highly popular and supplies ran out necessitating in earlier issues once again having a surcharge applied. Some wonderful covers sent by air mail flights during 1921 - 1922 were also displayed. 


After the break, Alan gave a fascinating "social philately" display - "The Life of an Insurance Policy".

He started with a letter written in 1825 and sent from the Scottish Union Insurance Office to the Earl of Caithness offering him 100 shares at £1 each. From this was a detailed display of letters written through the years detailing  how an Insurance Company is set up - including "The Role of the Actuary", "Underwriting", "Premium Arrears"; the "AGM" & the "Death Claim". 

There followed a series of covers showing different types of Insurance, including, Canine Insurance, Emergency Cash Drafts, Hay Rick Insurance, and Stamp and Collectables Insurance. The display ended with covers of Overseas Insurers.

Alan also gave 1 page displays on the subjects of St Pierre & Miquelon 1885-1892; The Temperance Movement; and Friendly Societies.

Ken Norris, led Members in giving thanks for giving most interesting and informative displays. 

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 28th February at 7:30pm when members will give their displays on the subject of "Islands".   

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