Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"From the Archives "


The photo & text is taken from a Bellshill Speaker newspaper cutting, written by Maureen McAlpine & dated October 15 1987,

and was recently passed on to the society by the family of the late Mr. Ian MacPherson.


Back Row (L to R):- Dr. Ken Liddell, Bob Eadie, Bill Scott, David Wood, Gordon McDowall, Ken Norris

Front Row (L to R) :- Ian MacPherson, Howieson Baillie, Alex Magowan, Jessie Matthews, Joey Fyffe, Chris Moffat & Sheila Sinclair


Anyone who thinks the only use for a stamp is licking it, sticking it on a letter & putting through the post box, could learn something from Lanarkshire Philatelic Society.

This year the stamp collecting society celebrates its 21st birthday. From its humble beginnings all of those years ago of just four people -- Mr. Bobby Owens, Mr. Bob Matthews, Mr. Dennis Whele & Mrs. Marshall -- and an idea, it has grown to one of the area's best attended organisations. Today it boasts a membership of well over 100.

Bobby Owens, the society's first president, recalls how he put out an advert in local newspapers announcing the inaugural meeting in Hamilton. "We were overwhelmed at the response" he said. "We had 40 members at out first meeting & we found there was wealth of talent among them"

Collections. One, or two, of the people who turned up were surprised to discover they had first-rate collections, both in quality & value.

The highlight of the society's 21 years came in 1979 when it was chosen to hold the 25th Congress of the National Philatelic Association. "It was quite an honour. We had to organise the whole event. We produced a special envelope & a helicopter flew covers from Lanark Racecourse to Stirling commemorating the 1910 Lanark Air Show" said Mr. Owens.

In 1976 the society formed close links with Motherwell District's twin town in Germany, when the visiting Schweinfurt Philatelic Society was greeted with a civic reception.

Research. Although many stamps can be valuable most people take up philately simply for the pleasure of collecting. "There's a lot of work in a serious stamp collection. It involves a lot of research to find out about the stamps. People who already have an interest, such as music, flowers or countries, can incorporate it into stamp collecting" said Mr. Owens. Stamp Fairs, philatelic auctions or the philatelic bureau of a foreign country are several ways of acquiring rare & valuable stamps.. Every individual stamp collector has his, or her, own particular special interest. Traditionally stamps were collected on a topic, or theme, but this is changing. "Today there's a tremendous interest in postal history. This includes looking at the mail routes, how they operated, Scottish Postal History, modern postal techniques such as postcoding, and per-stamp material from before the first adhesive stamp in 1840 which involves looking back as far as ****" added Mr. Owens. He believes the most attractive thing about stamp collecting is its variety.

"I gave a display recently on how my collecting interest had changed over the years. I'm interested in United Nations history; postal stationery and a study of aerogrammes. I'm particularly interested in air graphs, used during World War II, to get mail to & from the troops".

Bob Matthews, and his wife Jessie, have been members of the society during its 21 years of existence. Mr. Matthews explained what attracted him to stamp collecting: "We all have an instinct to collect things and it has something to do with the the explorer in us all". He believes stamp collecting has an educational facet: "You'll find out fact and figures about the stamp, its  history and something about its country of origin". "We also encourage philately in local schools & each year we run a competition for pupils".

Favourite. Stamp collecting has always run in Alex Magowan's family. Mr. Magowan, this year's president, said: "My father collected stamps before me so it runs in the family". He has always been interested in rugby so he used stamps to widen his interest. His favourite stamp out of all his collection only cost 12p!! "I get more pleasure out of that stamp than anything else. I'm not interested in the monetary side of stamp collecting, just the pleasure" he said.

Lanarkshire Philatelic Society are celebrating their 21st birthday with a dinner at the Garrion Hotel, Motherwell in November.

Anyone interested in joining the society should go to the next meeting on Friday October 16th at Motherwell Library. Meeting are held every two weeks.

Remember, you'll be in good company--King George VI was a keen collector and the Queen has the best collection in the world!