For many years we have had the pleasure of printing envelopes (known as First Day Covers) for Up Helly A’ on behalf of the Guizer Jarl. These are a limited edition run of 500 copies and various items and information relating to the Up Helly A’ festival is placed within the envelope. It is then sealed, has a bespoke Jarl Squad hand stamp applied and is then, crucially, signed by the Guizer Jarl to make it truly unique.
They are priced at £3.50 and are only available at Harry’s Department Store and Freefield Post Office which a both based in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. Only going on sale annually on the last Tuesday of January, Up Helly A’ day, these are sought after by collectors, visitors and locals alike and are snapped up quickly.
In 2019, permission was given for us to produce a “smiler sticker” which is also applied onto the envelope. It is not an officially recognised Post Office stamp and cannot be used for postage. Smilers stamps evolved from Royal Mail’s greetings stamps which were issued in the 1990s. These greetings stamps were designed for use with birthday cards and other personal mail. The name “smilers” was adopted to reflect that the sheets are designed to be used as celebrations of happy events.
Each year we hope to continue printing and cutting these vinyl stamps, specific to each year, to celebrate this wonderful event. The 2019 stamp depicts the Guizer Jarl as a young guizer alongside his two brothers and father.