Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Mr Terence Woods"


"Lanark & District Postal History"



Our own member, Terry Woods, gave us a wonderful insight into the history of the post in the Lanark area at this meeting.


Starting with Lanark itself, one of Scotland's oldest "Post Towns", Terry charted to development of postal services throughout the area. The earliest known mail came from 1738 & included "Burgh Post Letters" & "Inter Council Mail" along with early hand-stamps & mileage marks (in those times the carriage of mail was chargeable by mileage between the sender & recipient & so could be quite expensive). Examples of the, 1825 introduced, Penny (Town) Post rate were shown along with pre-stamp "Uniform Penny Post" covers which was introduced on 10 January 1840. Stamps, the famous "Penny Black",  soon followed on 6 May 1840 as did numeral cancels in 1844 (Lanark was 215) with the Duplex Canceller (location & date) following in 1850.

Many covers showing various types of date stamp/canceller were shown as were temporary cancellers & Lanark "Instructional Markings". Early Lanark registered mail covers (Registered mail was introduced in 1841) bearing a stamped "R" were shown along with the many types of Registered labels (introduced in 1907). Of interest was a Lanark stamped telegram to Admiral of the Fleet, Sir John Michael de Roebuck. Terry concluded his first round with cancels from the town's sub offices; Westport & New Lanark, some special cancels & mail from Ayrshire directed through Lanark.


For his second round Terry showed mail from many of the town & villages surrounding Lanark starting with Carluke (opened in 1834). Various cancels, both numeral & skeleton, (1906) were shown along with business mail from Scott's of Carluke. Following on we had Braidwood (including a returned cover, originally addressed to St. Helier (Jersey), from St Helens (Lancashire), then Crossford, Kirkfieldbank, Carnwath & Hazelbank....all of which featured mileage marks, numeral postmarks & duplex cancels. Braehead, Newbigging, Pettinain & Douglas followed with postmarks & a distinctive curved cancel (Douglas) along with a 1 penny cover to Edinburgh as well as one to France....which had the breakdown of the rate charged annotated on it! The PoW camp at Douglas also featured along with Douglas Water, Douglas Mill & Douglas West. To conclude his display Terry showed material relating to Carstairs, Carstairs Junction, Dunsyre (a rubber canceller), Nemphlar, Ravenstruther, Rigside, Auchenheath & Coalburn.


A thoroughly entertaining, and informative, display was accorded a hearty vote of thanks by Lanark resident, Mr. Ed Archer.


Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 2nd December, 2021, at 7:30pm when we have our annual "Bring & Buy Evening"


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


More details of the Society’s programme - and much more information – can be obtained from our web site –