Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"Gold Coast; Pre-Independence"


Mr. Robert Watt



The former west African country of "Gold Coast" was the subject of the display presented at the Lanarkshire Philatelic Society’s meeting on Friday afternoon by Robert Watt.


He reminded members that Gold Coast, which is now the country of Ghana, in 1873 became a British Crown Colony. The colonisers gave the country the name of Gold Coast as this reflected the large supplies of Gold found there. 


In 1875 the first postage stamps were issued – depicting the head of Queen Victoria. The values and colours of the stamps throughout the years were displayed – and also the postmark from every region of the country. In 1949 Gold Coast issued 4 stamps commemorating 75 years of the Universal Postal Union - having joined in 1874.


In 1902 King Edward VII’s profile appeared on the stamps – values of 1d, 2½d and 6p. 

In 1910 George V became King and during his reign the Royal Family name was changed to "Windsor" – in 1935 his Silver Jubilee was marked with the first commemorative stamps issued by Gold Coast, with an illustration of Windsor Castle. Also shown were Gold Coast stamps overprinted with "Togo Anglo French Occupation" – these issued in 1914 after Britain and France invaded Togo and Britain took controlled the mail. In 1918 stamps were overprinted with ‘War Tax’. Also a rare £2  value stamp was issued  - and displayed here. A cover with the slogan "First Flight Mail Service.  Gold Coast – Nigeria" was viewed.


A set of stamps  illustrating King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were issued in 1937 to commemorate the Coronation - with a view of the Houses of Parliament, London. The following year a set of stamps showing Christiansborg Castle, the seat of the British Government at Accra - and later a set  of definitives illustrating views of people, work and buildings of the country was issued. Also  some "censored" mail – 1940-1942 – was displayed. 


On 6th March 1957, the Gold Coast became independent and the name changed to Ghana – this was reflected by overprinting stamps until new issued were printed.


Vice President, Alex Magowan, gave warm thanks to  Robert Watt giving a interesting background to this country and giving a wonderful display of many stamps members had not seen before.


Our next meeting in the Caledonian Bowling Club, Motherwell Road, Hamilton, is on Friday, 2nd February 2024, at 1:30pm when our members will display on the topic of "Flora & Fauna"


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