Helvetia Philatelic Society of Great Britain

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

April 2021: The opportunity to reset a programme of face to face meetings is still elusive. With almost two years elapsed since the last Annual meeting, a virtual AGM has been arranged for 20th May 2021 as announced in the latest newsletter.

ZOOM: Guidance notes, prepared by a member of the Society, Martin Lodge, to help those unfamiliar with the IT procedures necessary to access and participate in HPS ZOOM meetings are now available on the website in the Useful Links section. If members wish to watch or particiapte in meetings they must first register their name and email address with the Chairman, Bob Medland. For each specific meeting, only registered members ( and reciprocal members) will then be sent joining details for each meeting.

News of the latest HPS virtual meetings: More detailed accounts of the meetings held on 18 February and 18 March will be given in forthcoming newsletters but brief summaries are included in this update.

The 18 February meeting attracted 30 participants and the highlight was a presentation by Pierre Kottelat from Zurich who introduced his Hotel Post project which is seeking to build a comprehensive database of all known Hotel stamps and postal items. The publication of a revised and expanded book based on that of Marcel Kottelatt (1995) is anticipated in the spring. Five members contributed postal history covers to the meeting. Anthony Atkinson shared early scheduled transatlantic flight covers. Phil Vaughan discussed the challege of presenting early railway cancellations when mixed on cover. Neville Nielder, Eric Lienhard and Tim Hargreaves also made short contributions. Finally, returning to philately, David Colman demonstrated through a series of scans showing retouches on several Standing Helvetia series issues how useful a Powerpoint format can be for showing such features to an audience.

The 18 March meeting attracted 22 participants and diverse members contributions. Seven members shared material. Mike Sharp gave a short Powerpoint presentation describing the production and history of the short lived 2Rp Strubel issue. Werner Gattiker shared three Strubel covers, two registered and one Nachnahme, taking us expertly through a detailed analysis and explanation of the individual postal histories including a scarce registered local post. Another was complicated a part excused charge as the letter was for official purposes.
Ted Stern talked about Pro Infirmis charity cards and and current efforts to catalogue them. There are thought to be about 350 different cards. Norton Wragg spoke about and illustrated covers sent to the Swiss army peace keeping forces in Korea during 1954-55, a subject new to many of us. David Colman showed 1901 and 1933 Swiss Post Office Competition postage stamp designs. Tim Hargreaves invited discussion about the postal history of an undated Feldpost cover sent to the USA judged to be in 1939. Finally Eric Lienhard shared and illlustrated details of the 1883 National Exhibition in Zurich reminding us that he had not been present although he had visited the 1939 exhibition.

The next HPS virtual meeting is scheduled for 15 April 2021 .

American Helvetia Philatelic Society virtual meeting 6 March 2021: There were up to 36 participants. The core subject of the discussions was disposing of a collection. The Chairman, Steve Opheim, gave an overview of a booklet which the Society has produced for the benefit of its members. The meeting was also supported by Ken Martin, Head of expertising for the American Philatelic Society and Hugh Merritt from New Jersey who contributes to an informal advisory service. Within the philatelic and postal history community, there is great diversity and variation in the scale and value of personal collections. Frequently, the family members of a collector are unaware of the material accumulated. It is an absorbing subject prompting personal reflection. The value of an inventory was emphasized as the value of written guidance to others about future disposal. In summary, it was a thought provoking discussion of what can be a neglected yet sensitive subject. Thank you AHPS. The remainder of the meeting was given to member’s contributions and discussions about individual items shown.

Reminder about the benefit of membership: The Society welcomes to our website all visitors interested in the philately and postal history of Switzerland. There is a wealth of information freely available through the pages and links. However, for a modest annual subscription, archive newsletter access is not restricted to those published 5 or more years ago. There are other benefits including an extensive lending library service and the option of participating in a popular packet sales service amongst members seeking to purchase elusive items or sell duplicate material.

Networking: News of Society members wider philatelic activities including contributions to other philatelic societies is always welcome.

Regional Meetings

Southern Group:

No future meetings have been planned at this time.

The programme normally includes  opportunities for members to display any material with a Swiss connection, including recent acquisitions, from their own collections. The theme will be postmarks. It is also an excellent opportunity to seek opinions about queries and share research findings. Guests are welcome.

Please remember to contact Werner Gattiker in advance if planning to attend to facilitate the catering arrangements.

Apologies also appreciated from regular attendees, please email :-  werner@swissstamps.co.uk

Midlands and the North Group:

No future meetings have planned at this time


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

Art, Crafts & Design:

Richard Donithorn, the Society’s Editor, has produced another extremely useful document listing all Swiss stamps with a subject of Art, Crafts, and/or Designs. Zumstein catalogue numbers are used throughout, and the article will be of particular benefit to thematic collectors.
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.

Good To Know

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

01453 765937


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

01453 765937