The 85th Congress held by the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies was held in Perth during the 11th and 12th April where the Scottish Postal History Society played host for the two days, and Dr. David Kindley presided as President.
As hosts for the event the Scottish Postal History Society produced a Cover and a Postcard to mark the event.
The group decided that as this Congress coincided with the Ryder Cup being herld at Gleneagles then a cover would be appropriate.
The centenary of the start of WWI is also being commmorated by the production of a postcard celebrating this event.
In agreement with Royal Mail a congress cancellation was produced and this is shown above.
Royal Mail yet again supplied two of their Post & Go machines, kiosks A003 and A004, for the
event and a Congress overprint was available from both machines.
Jersey Philatelic Bureau also attended the event for the first time and supplied one of their Post & Go machines, J001, for the event, printing Jersey Flag and Union Flag Collectors Strips without an overprint.
As part of the Congress three notable collections were invited to provide displays.
The Cullen Correspondence
Prof. William Cullen MD, FRCPE, FRS (1710-90) was one of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment. Starting out as an Apprentice Apothecary he became Professor of the Practice of Physic and First Physician to the King in Scotland. He left behind a huge legacy to Scotland, Medicine and accidentally to Postal History. As his reputation grew, he was frequently consulted by post, sometimes from as far afield as the Americas or India.
He kept all his correspondence and copies of his replies, either written by a scribe, or from 1781 chemically copied. After his death on 5/2/1790 the correspondence was bequeathed to the Royal College of Physicians where it is kept.
The letters have long been a source of knowledge about and a source of fascination into 18th century Medicine. Only recently have their importance to Postal Historians been realised. Cullen could not have consulted by post if there had not been an efficient if expensive Postal service. This correspondence gives an insight into the workings of that service over 26 years.
There are in excess of 3100 letters preserved mostly with their replies. This exhibit, of 14 letters, gives a flavour of the correspondence and is the first time the letters have been seen outwith the college. They are shown by the kind permission of the President of the College.
Those selected include ones from a newly independent USA, from Antigua, Madeira and closer to home Unst. They include some from the famous, James Boswell asking for advice on Dr Sam Johnson’s health; Lord Selkirk asking about his son, Lord Daer; and from the unknown, the Laird of Buness asking what to do when fresh vegetables could not be had. Some letters have been selected for their postal markings and some for their content, all are interesting and the problem has been to select these from 3100 others.
Letter from Battle (CU1/1/2/1443.)
The whole collection has been scanned including the postal markings, digitised and is being transcribed; a collaboration between The University of Glasgow, the RCPE and the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It should be publicly available at the end of this year. (www.cullenproject.ac.uk )
The Hotson Collection
The Hotson collection consists of several hundred sheets with strength in India and Newfoundland from Queen Victoria to George V. These sheets are of standard size and thus can easily fit our congress stands. This year we have a number of sheets of early India on display, and a number of sheets of Newfoundland, each with a one-page introduction. For some of these sheets Hotson’s original handwritten notes have been transcribed and are displayed, where space for this permits. These notes are seen as an essential element of the collection, which should be kept with the stamps. Accordingly there has been no re-mounting of material and none is planned for future years.
The Dunbar-Dunbar Collection
The Dunbar-Dunbar collection is also of several hundred sheets but is more like a reference Commonwealth collection of the Queen Victoria period. The stamps have had little exposure to light and retain their original colours to an unusual degree. The sheets themselves are of non-standard size and would not be easily shown in the present Congress stands, but the photocopies are of A4 size and include all the stamps on the selected sheets.
On Friday night the Tom Rielly display was given by distinguished philatelist Dr. Ian Evans.
Details of the display can be found in the Tom Rielly section of the website or by clicking here.
Following the Tom Rielly display a civic reception hosted by Lady Provost Liz Grant was held in the Dewars Centre which was very well attended.
Following the civic reception the Congress Dinner was held which was then followed by the award
ceremony where the guest of honour was Dr. Tony Pollard. The National Exhibition competition winners were awarded their
trophies and this was followed by the awards of Association honours for services to philately.
The trophy winners can be viewed on the palmares pages of the website.
The McConnell Medal was awarded to Dr Ron Harkess OBE for his long standing service to philately at both club and society level. Ron received his medal from David Kindley, president of ASPS.
The recipient of an ASPS Award of Merit is Paul McGowan who was nominated by his local society, Lanarkshire Philatelic Society.
At the AGM held on Saturday 12th April delegates elected Jean Osborne from Falkirk & District P.S. to be
President of ASPS and Paul McGowan from Lanarkshire P.S. as the new Vice President.
This page was last modified on 14th September 2020
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