Lanarkshire Philatelic Society




Mr. Bill Russell


"A Miscellany" was the title of the Display to be presented to the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society by our guest on Friday evening. (22nd February). It certainly was!

Bill Russell, former President of the Glasgow Philatelic Society, gave a wonderfully mixed display of subjects.

Stamp collecting – Bill gave the history from the "Bishop’s Mark" – the ‘first handstruck postage stamp’ – through to the issue of the Penny Black postage stamp on 6th May, 1840.

Some comic postcards illustrating St Valentine’s Day – and after!

A range of postcards and cigarette cards illustrating beautiful interiors of Cathedrals and Churches.

A display outlining the history of the Parliamentary Franking System. By a decree of Council of State in 1652 correspondence from Members of Parliament and State Officials were permitted to pass free through the post. This lasted until 1840 when the new stamps had to be used.

A wonderful vision of Paris as viewed on stamps, postmarks, postcards and cigarette cards. There were historic postcards of many famous landmarks – including Sacre Coeur; the Louvre; the Eiffel Tower & Les Champs Elysées.

A wonderful set of Player’s large Cigarette cards illustrating many of Aesop’s Fables.

Followed by another great set of Cigarette cards – Churchman’s Gold Flake – showing Phil May Sketches. These cards were reproductions issued by the Card Collector’s Society. Phil May (1864-1903) was caricaturist who, with a simple drawing technique, moved away from the heavier Victorian illustrations.


In the Second Round Bill began with the ‘Ten Commandments’ – as given in the Bible – but, with the aid of postcards and letters, gave some ‘tongue in cheek’ comments about each one.

A Poster – issued by The British Motor Hire Company, announced various trips and holidays in France. Bill used historic postcards to follow the route of a 10 day trip of Normandy and Brittany – illustrations included Hornfleur, Deanville, Caen, Bayeux, Mont St Michel etc.

Early Stamp issues of Canada – 1859-1912 --Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V.

Jasper National Park – the largest National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Brochures and postcards gave an insight to the activities and views of this vast area.

Gems of French Architecture - a stamp and postcard illustrated each of these ‘gems’ – including Notre Dame; Hotel de Jacques Coeur; Bourges – also many Churches and Chateaux.

Bill finished on a very serious note. Postcards of Auschwitz. This began from the railway and the Gateway – and followed through the various areas of the camp – where the gas ovens had stood; torture chamber; hospital for pseudo-medical experiments – and finally a view of the gallows used for Rudolf Höss who had been the Camp Commandant. 

Bill, who has visited the Camp, gave a very personal and emotional description of his viewing.


Derek Wiltshire led members in thanking Bill Russell for giving  such an interesting and immensely enjoyable variety of displays .

Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 10th March, 2017, at 7:30pm when Jim Fulton will present his display, "My Collections Old and New". 

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