Helvetia Philatelic Society

for stamps and postal history of Switzerland

Founded over 70 years ago, we pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming society for collectors and students of Swiss stamps and postal history. Our membership is located both in the UK and throughout the world. Beginners and experts alike are welcome to join and participate in our activities. To find out more, click here.

What’s New

September / October 2021

 It is not too late to register for

 Helvetia Society National meeting

9th – 10th October

The George, Huntingdon

Plans are well advanced and it looks as though the meeting will be a great success.

The Society weekend meeting will include The Peter Vonwiller Memorial Display which will be ‘ Travelling Post Offices of Switzerland’ presented by Freddie Hoadley. Also there will be Cup competitions, opportunities for members non-competitive displays and queries, an auction as well as opportunities to buy material. Most important will be the opportunity to meet old friends and Society members. New members will be welcome – Long standing members and New members bring along your questions as many of our members have super-specialist expertise in different aspects of Swiss Philately.

The venue is the George Hotel, George Street,  Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,  PE29 3AB. The George, originally the home to Oliver Cromwell’s grandfather has 26 bedrooms (free Wi-Fi and free parking for guests; you must give your car registration number to the reception desk). For more details including how to get there see their website https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/cambridgeshire/george-hotel/

The  Society has negotiated a special rate for bed, full breakfast and two- course evening meal of £82 (single room) or £112 (double room). You need to make your booking direct with the hotel on 01480 432444, mentioning the society to get the special rates. Note the cost of the Society’s dinner on the Saturday evening is included in this. Rooms are on ground, first and second floor. There is no lift but there are easy stairs. There is a chairlift to the first floor only. When booking please advise the Hotel of any dietary requirements and if you will need a room on the first floor.

The cost of the meeting is 50 pounds for the two days or 25 pounds for one day payable to the Society. Also you are not staying at the George but wish to come to the Society Dinner please let the secretary know so that the Hotel can charge you for the dinner.

To register for the meeting please contact the Society Treasurer treasurer@swiss-philately.co.uk

There are only 26 rooms so book early to avoid disappointment and the need to stay elsewhere in Huntingdon!

Regional Meetings

Helvetia Philatelic Society “Southern Group”
Saturdays 10:00 to 16:00 with a break for lunch
Harnham Scout Hall, Lower street, Salisbury SP2 8HB
There will be a break for lunch at the nearby pub


6th November 2021  Latest additions and Displays
12th March 2022
11th June 2022
29th October 2022

 Any philatelist interested in any meeting is invited to make expressions of interest through the Secretary, Mike Sharp. secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk

 Helvetia 2022 Lugano

Message to Helvetia Society Members from  Chris King Commissioner Helvetia 2022

The Swiss International Stamp Exhibition will take place from 18-22 May 2022. This is the first Swiss International Stamp Exhibition for more than fifty years. It will be held in beautiful Lugano next to its eponymous lake in the Canton of Ticino. It will be held at Padiglione Conza, Lugano’s fairground and convention centre, which has space for approximately 2000 exhibition frames.

Fine wines, good food, a stunning setting, and just over an hour by train from Milan, makes it well worth a short break to include the exhibition.

The exhibition classes are: World Stamp Championship; Traditional Philately; Postal History; Postal Stationery; Aerophilately; Thematic Philately (Nature, Culture, Technology); and Philatelic Literature (Philatelic books and research papers Published after 1st January 2017, Philatelic magazines and periodicals Published after 1st January 2020, and Catalogues Published after 1st January 2020). The final closing date for exhibits is 7 October 2021 which is after Autumn Stampex. Qualifying entries from Autumn Stampex 29th September – 2nd October will be eligible.

 It is hoped that some Helvetia Society Members will consider participation – this is a link to the page with the exhibition entry forms https://www.helvetia2022.ch/en/irex-and-application Entry forms to UK Commissioner: Chris King chris.king@postalhistory.net


ABPS News is published by the Association of British Philatelic Societies ABPS. The news letter is available to affiliated Societies but publication is restricted to members so I am unable to paste a link in this public area.  The ABPS Website www.abps.org.uk has further informationHelvetia 2022

 PIPEX 2021

 PIPEX 2021 These are outstanding exhibits and I will leave this link for this months update

 It is worth looking at the excellent Swiss displays from Roger Heath,  George Struble, Bruce Marsden and Greg Galletti.

Swiss razor head flexible cancellers. This exhibit which won the American Helvetia Society Philatelic award documents the story of the Swiss experimental flexible head, rotating date wheel  cancellers  invented by Frederick deCoppet. By  Roger Heath. Port Townsend WA

Reflecting the rise of tourism during La Belle Epoque Hotel Schweizerhof – Lucerne 1871 – 1914: A social history exhibit showing the development of postal communication to and from the Hotel Schweizerhof between 1871 and 1914.  By  Roger Heath. Port Townsend WA

1920 Basel – Frankfurt Airmail service – what a Fiasco!   The plane landed in Loerrach — the German airport near Basel — only 13 days, and only 102 pieces of mail were flown from Loerrach the entire period: By George Struble. Salem OR

Swiss airmail to the us a rate study: A rich story of treatment and rates of airmail service; who knew a rate study could be this interesting?!  By George Struble. Salem OR

Swiss fondue through Philately; a thematic exhibition using a variety of philatelic elements to tell the story of Switzerland as an independent nation and global diplomatic center.  By Bruce Marsden. New Hope PA

The league of Nations – The war years: This postal history exhibit is a study of the rates, routes, markings, and significant events that caused turmoil with mail sent from and to the League of Nations just prior to, during, and directly following WW2. By Greg Galletti. Mt. Airy MD.

Swiss Currency – not much longer to easily change old series 8 Swiss bank notes !

If you hold old series 8 Swiss Bank notes these can no longer be changed at the Bureau d e change and can only be changed in Switzerland at some banks and post offices. After 30 October 2021, the only places that will accept these notes are the cash desks of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), which will always exchange old notes for new. There is no time limit on this. The SNB operates cash desks in Bern and Zurich and has some agencies in other places but check first.

 Helvetia Society Subscriptions 2021

The Membership Subscription is only 10 Pounds – for this you will receive electronic copies of the Helvetia News Letter, the right to participate in Society meetings and Society zoom meetings and you can participate in the Society exchange packet.  If you wish to receive posted copies of the Helvetia Society Newsletter the subscription rates are as follows £22 p.a for Great Britain, £26 p.a for Europe, £30 p.a. for Rest of the World. We welcome membership from anyone anywhere in the world who is interested in Swiss Philately.


I would welcome comments about what you would like to see included on our website. I will be especially grateful for any notification of any errors or difficulties you encounter. Tim Hargreave webmaster@swiss-philately.co.uk 

Thematic collecting

Thematic collectors should see Richard Donithorn’s document listing all Swiss stamps by Zumstein cat no with a subject of Art, Crafts, and/or Designs. Click here here for more detail.

 Swiss Trial Prints

The 7th Edition (September 2015) of Swiss Trial Prints, produced by Derrick Slate, has now been added to the website. Click here for the Swiss Trial Prints Catalogue to view and download the 164-page catalogue for free.

Identifying Rayon issues of 1850-1852 

A series of informative articles written by HPS member and expert Werner Gattiker. Appearing in the newsletter from 2012 onwards, these help collectors identify and separate those ‘difficult’ stamp issues. For example, the Rayon Issues of 1850-1852 have various ‘types’ derived from the lithograph printing stones use. ‘Type Tables’ for Rayons I, II, and III can be found here on the website.

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Why not join our Society, and enjoy all the benefits that membership offers.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091


Click on the thumbnails below to find out more about early Swiss stamps.

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Membership of our Society has many benefits including a monthly newsletter, regional and national meetings, a superb lending library etc.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091