Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Switzerland" & "Danish Territories"


Mr. George Henshilwood


Members of the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society were treated to a series of wonderful displays at their meeting last Friday, 5th February. Guest speaker George Henshilwood of Glasgow – previously of Hamilton - gave displays of the "Danish West Indies and of Switzerland".

First, however, he gave a brief display of "This Day in History" – on the 5th February 1924 the BBC ‘pips’ were first broadcast; in 1783 Sweden became independent; in 1971 Apollo 14 made its Moonlanding and in 1953 was the end of Sweet Rationing.

The Danish West Indies (consisting of 3 islands) – now the US Virgin Islands – originally used stamps with the same design as those of Denmark – beginning from 1856. Stamps, watermarks, surcharges, postal stationery, postage dues and errors on the stamps through the years were displayed.

In 1865 the British Post Office opened the Post Office in St Thomas and issued British Stamps – this closed in 1877.

In March 1917, the US, fearful of Germany taking the island and thus gaining access to the Panama Canal, took possession – and issued stamps in the new name of the US Virgin Islands.

This was followed by displays of stamps of the Faroes and of Greenland – both part of Danish Territories.


Switzerland – a wonderful display of the Pro Juventute stamp issues through the years – 1912 -2012. These are charity stamps issued annually for the rights and needs of Swiss Children.

From 1907 to 1942 – the main stamp issue for Switzerland was stamps bearing the image of William Tell and also of his son, Walter. Many examples of these stamps were displayed – the stamp of his son showing him holding up the crossbow with his right hand while his left hand holds the apple with a bolt through it.

A display of stamps of Greenland showing polar bears were much admired – as were those illustrating different aspects Greenland life – and the special issue of 2010 issued to celebrate the 70th birthday of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (Greenland remains an autonomous Danish Dependent country).

Paul McGowan led members in giving thanks to George Henshilwood for giving such an amazing and interesting display.

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is next Friday, 12th February, 2016, at 7:30pm when Terry Woods will give his display of "Lanarkshire Postal History". 

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