As you may know from previous posts, we have had a lot of renovation work done in our Barony St John Centre in Ardrossan over the past 3 months and we had a surprising find under the floorboards of our corridor.

Part of the renovations at our Centre included work in our corridor to renew pipework for a new heating system and replace rotten floor joists. It was when the old floorboards were taken up that I noticed what I thought was an old piece of paper.

Upon further inspection, it turned out to be folded like an envelope and there was a handwritten name and address on it plus a stamp and Post Office stamp.

The name and address is McIlvean???, Laurel Bank, 19 South Beach Road, Ardrossan and the postage stamp, with a very young Queen Elizabeth II on it, is stamped 17th August 1958 – just five years after her coronation.

Do the McIvean’s??? still live at 19 South Beach Road? Is the house still called Laurel Bank? If anyone knows the answer or can shed some light on who the McIlvean’s??? What was their connection to the former Barony St John Church hall (or the Barony Church Hall as it would have been known then), please let me know by emailing Alan@ScotCPS.org.uk

Coincidently, the following day on 18th August 1958, regional postage stamps were issued in the United Kingdom.

Previously, as can be seen on our letter, the stamp represented the whole of the UK. We have a rose in the top left to represent England, a thistle in the top right to represent Scotland, the Welsh daffodil in the bottom right and Ireland’s clover in the bottom right.

As of the 18th August 1958, each country had its own stamp. Scotland had the Queen and two symbols on their stamp;

a saltire with a crown and a thistle with crown.

Wales opted for a dragon and leek on theirs.

Northern Ireland had four symbols on theirs; the Red Hand of Ulster, a six pointed crowned star, a field gate with Ulster pillars and the flax plant ;

the Channel Isles had the Crown of William the Conqueror and the Guernsey lily;

the Isel of Man had the tre cassyn (Three Legs) on a shield surrounded by a ring-chain pattern based on designs found on ancient Manx stone crosses.

The English stamp seems to have retained the original national emblems of the rose, thistle, daffodil and clover in a circle around the Queen’s head.

This is a fascinating glimpse back in history and if you would like to read more about our discoveries and the renovation work in the former Barony St. John’s church and hall buildings, check out my blog at http://www.ardrossman.wordpress.com or if you would like to know more about our charity, visit http://www.ScotCPS.org.uk or search for ScotCPS on your social media pages.

Until next time, stay safe.