Caledonian Philatelic Society

History

Centennial

The text below was printed on the insert for the 2006 ASPS Congress Cover, which the Caledonian Philatelic Society hosted in its Centennial year.

Further detail is given in the book , entitled “The Caledonian Philatelic Society 1906 - 2006 - A Century of Scottish Philately” which is given in more detail in the Publications tab.

During the year the Society also organised the Philatelic Congress of GB in Renfrew in July and gave an invited display to the Royal Philatelic Society London in November 2006. Two special evenings were included in the Syllabus when Past Presidents gave short displays to the members.

CALEDONIAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY CENTENARY

1906— 2006 Glasgow

City of leisure and learning, optimism, wealth, power, spirit and warmth

In 1906 Glasgow, second city of the British Empire, was in the process of moving from horses to cars and from gas lamps to electricity. Industry in Glasgow was flourishing. The Clyde was a world centre for shipbuilding. Glasgow had a major university. One of its greatest teachers, Lord Kelvin, a revolutionary scientist and global communications pioneer, was in the last year of his illustrious life. A building programme was in full swing with 75 new schools (including Mackintosh’s Scotland Street School) built. As a supplier of research and a skilled and educated workforce, Glasgow was a magnet for inward investment.

If Glasgow worked hard, it also played hard. Sport was important. And entertainment. At the Panopticon, a young Stan Laurel made his professional debut as an entertainer, the launch pad to an international career. Mackintosh’s masterpiece School of Art was part completed. In that year too, Mackintosh and his wife moved into 6 Florentine Terrace, Glasgow, a house now recreated in Glasgow University’s Hunterian Art Gallery.

Amidst this creative flurry, a new pursuit was also developing. Philately merged elements of sophisticated engineering, commerce, art, learning and leisure. As such it was ideally suited to this energetic city. In February 1906 a group gathered to form the Junior Philatelic Society - 100 years later that Society, now called the Caledonian Philatelic Society, is still going strong and is happy to host the 77th Congress of the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies.

In the century which followed, Glasgow has been transformed. The city suffered decline when its shipbuilding, mining and heavy manufacturing industries lost their competitive edge in the post-war years. Glasgow, however, did not accept that decline was its fate and began to transform its economy to one based on knowledge, services, culture and tourism.

Glasgow has become a natural focal point for knowledge based industries. The city continues to develop innovative ways of using new technologies to drive economic growth for the benefit of its citizens and the Scottish economy. As part of its reinvention, the city has won many accolades: UK Garden Festival City 1988; European City of Culture 1990; British City of Architecture 1999; and most recently it was recognised as the world’s ‘Intelligent Community of the Year; 2004-5’.

The City has been well recognised by philately. Stamps featuring Glasgow, Glasgow events, Glasgow products and Glaswegians (including adopted ones) abound, issued by postal administrations around the world from St Lucia to Tuvalu. 2006 also marks 50 years of Europa stamps which have commemorated increasing cooperation amongst European states.

In the 21st Century, the Caledonian Philatelic Society also continues to flourish. It meets on Thursdays from October till April in Strathclyde University. Members are recognised for their knowledge and expertise throughout the philatelic world and new members are always made most welcome. We take pride in always showing a welcoming face and can guarantee anyone joining us a very fine evening, and never a fine mess.