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

In accordance with prevailing public health advice to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, all meetings are postponed until further notice. Further to the postponement of the Annual Meeting and AGM in April 2020, the June meeting of the Southern Group is now also lost.

Swiss Letter Rates (1862-2020): A revised document can be found (here) in the Research section. The Society is again indebted to Fritz Graf who has updated and shared this valuable resource with the Society.

Military postal history: Our Secretary, Neville Nelder, has been contacted by the Forces Postal History Society expressing interest in Swiss Armed Forces postal history. Look out for further details in a forthcoming newsletter.

Library: The former Northern Group library collection is now in the process of being integrated into the main Society library. Some duplication of volumes is anticipated. There may be an opportunity to release surplus books for acquisition by members or other interested parties. Further details will be circulated at a later date.

Güller cancellers.

The perpetual date-stamp canceller, incorporating dates inscribed on wheels instead of changeable plugs, was invented by Swiss engineer and manufacturer JJ Güller of Zollikon. The evolution of these cancellers, through trials with the attractive ‘Elzevir’ type-face through to modernised designs, has been chronicled and catalogued in a 40-page booklet by Hans-Jürgen Zinken who is familiar to many students of Swiss philately. Good news for English-speaking philatelists is that it has been translated by the society’s chairman, Bob Medland FRPSL and so will be published in bilingual format, hopefully in June @ £10 + p&p. Please email chairman@swiss-philately.co.uk for more details.

HPS  Archives revisited

Peter Bohren (1822-1882)

mountaineer and guide was known as the glacier wolf and, in 1858 with Charles Barrington and Christian Almer, made the first ascent of the Eiger. His son opened Restaurant zur Enge at the Wetterhorn- Aufzug associated with another alpine first . Revisit the story in the January edition of the 2008 HPS newsletter.

Recent publication: An article describing early Swiss cantonal issues written by fellow HPS Society member Marc Burgess was published in the February 2020 edition of Gibbons Stamp Monthly. It is intended to reprint this in a future edition of the newsletter.

Successful March meeting at Harnham: A summary of the ‘Lakes’ theme meeting has been published in the May newsletter.

Gold medal award: Fred Hoadley FRPSL has been recognised by the Royal Philatelic Society of London for his contribution to the development of their website. Some members may be unaware that he voluntarily has maintained the newsletter index in recent years in support of the search engine.

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

Regional Meetings

Southern Group:

The scheduled meeting due to be held on Saturday 6th June 2020 at the Harnham Scout Hall, Lower St (off Harnham Road), Salisbury SP2 8HP has been postponed.

The programme will include 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.uk

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