Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Mr Alex Magowan"




Our member, Alex, presented us with a wonderful insight into Hamilton, and its world-wide namesakes, with a display of stamps, postcard & covers last Friday evening.

He started with some very early invoices which had been found in an attic & followed on with many postal history covers dating from before the advent of stamps until late Victorian times all of which were addressed to the Duke of Hamilton. mention was, also, made of a duel between James (the 4th duke) & Lord Mahon. Following this he displayed many postcards & photos & other ephemera depicting the Duke's families amongst which was a Christmas card from King George V & Queen Mary in 1914. Other items of note included mention of the first flights over Mount Everest by Air Commodore Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton. He only had permission to do one flight but on that the camera froze so they landed unfroze the camera & flew over again (a little "naughty").

Hamilton Palace, now long gone of course, & once the largest non-royal palace in Europe was mentioned as well as its 356 windows! The Mausoleum, which still stands to this day but at 17 feet lower than when originally built (due to mine workings), & its 3 doors; life death & immortality got its mention as did Admiral, Lord Cochrane (a "Son of Hamilton") who fell out with the Royal Navy & so sloped off & founded both the Chilean & Peruvian Navies. Amongst those who gained the "Freedom of Hamilton" were Sir Harry Lauder (who appeared to have some "dubious" friends), David Livingstone & Andrew Carnegie. Postcards & pictures of Hamilton Accies F.C. & the bowling green featured as well as photos of the laying of tram tracks & the Victory Parade dating from 1918. Alex concluded his first round with a postcard of Sawers Removal Van & a coal receipt addressed to Thomas Barr, his grandfather.


Into the second round & Alex started with Ross House & Hamilton's VC (Victoria Cross) holders, of which there are 14 from Lanarkshire, and the VC Arch which stands near to Hamilton Town Centre.

We then started a "World Tour of Hamiltons" with material related to Hamiltons in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, New Zealand (with the Hamilton frog being the largest to be found in New Zealand). Then the USA which has 30 Hamiltons of its own many of which are named after Alexander Hamilton...and including the USS Alexander Hamilton with many covers from the places the ship had visited over the years. Mention was, also, made of John Paul Jones; founder of the American Navy & the US Coastguard with his final material being that relating to Mount Hamilton, California which on seeing "Asteroid 492" named it "Hamiltonia".


A thoroughly informative evening was accorded a hearty vote of thanks by Ed. Archer who commented that he had learned much from Alex's display this evening.


Our next meeting in the Hamilton Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 7th October, 2022, at 7:30pm when we look forward to welcoming 4 visiting members of Stirling & District Philatelic Society. 


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