Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Society Visit"


Largs & District Stamp Club


Betsy Ross and the American Flag; The Post Office "under the stairs"; Dirty Dealing Philatelists & The chair made from a printing press; - these were the subjects presented by the members of the Largs and District Philatelic Society who visited the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society last Friday evening.

Ricky Boyd introduced his display of "Old Glory" – a nickname for the American flag – with the story of Betsy Ross who claimed to have been visited by General Washington who gave her a rough sketch of the flag design he wanted. She duly made the flag – with 13 stripes and 13 stars (formed in a circle). In 1777 Congress accepted the stars and stripes as the official national flag. The display continued with stamps and postcards throughout the years which showed the development of the flag into that of today with 50 stars and 13 stripes. Covers showed the flag being planted on the Moon, used at the inauguration of Barack Obama and also at the 2014 Ryder Cup Golf Tournament.

From the USA to Strathspey – Willie King showed many covers – dating from 1850 – showing postmarks of various post offices throughout the area – Laggan, Tomnavoulin, Tomintoul, Lynwilg, Ballindalloch, Craigellachie, Rothes, Garmouth, Fochabers and Marypark. It is in Marypark that the busy Post Office is to be found "under the stairs" in the postmistress’ house – with the kitchen table used as the Counter! A press cutting was displayed which showed the postmistress at work and told the story.

"Dirty Dealing Philatelists" – an unexpected title! David Rossall told the story of Bela Sekula, of a Hungarian Jewish family, who was born in Budapest in February 1881. In 1903 – in Switzerland - he purchased remaining commemorative stamps of the Dominican Republic and sold them with forged cancels – and this set the tone of the rest of his life. There were many stamps displayed – forged reprints; dubious local Swiss stamps which he himself created. Also shown were stamps of countries of Central America which were issued by Nicholas Seebeck, born in Germany and later moved to the USA where he became a business director in the American Bank Note Company. There he falsely made millions from making reprints of invalidated stamps and also year-dating invalid stamps.

Bob McSherry displayed covers, postmarks, postcards relating to the "Bard" – Rabbie Burns. Houses Burns lived in; Memorials (including Albany, New York); Statues in various towns – and Parks (including Eglinton Park) and also a cover commemorating the printing of the Kilmarnock Edition of Burns’ poems – and bearing a postmark showing a chair made from the printing press used by John Wilson to print the Edition. This was only available on 31st July, 1986 at Kilmarnock Head Post Office.

Margaret Lyth led members in giving thanks to the guests for giving such an interesting variety of displays. 

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday 10th April 2015 at 7:30pm when members look forward to welcoming Mavis Pavey who will display "French Islands and French Postal Stationery".

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