Postcodes Introduced - A Boxego Moment in History - 3rd October 1959

Oct 03, 2013

On this day in History, postcodes were introduced into Britain for the first time.  This system divided up the whole of the UK into postal districts and there are now more than 1.7 million postcodes covering 30 million addresses.  The system had a trial run in Norwich before being rolled out nationwide. 


The Royal Mail needed to come up with a new system after they introduced the sorting machines in 1950s.  By the mid-1980s, the technology had advanced so much that the sorting machines could read the postcodes and humans were not needed at all.  The codes represent the areas so Norwich would be NOR and the last three characters would be the street.  This has had a big impact on property prices and in 2003 the residents of Windsor tried to get their postcode changed because it was SL, linking them with Slough which is not seen as a very nice town!!  Some large organisations have personalized postcodes such as the Scottish Parliament’s EH99 1SP.

 Sir Rowland Hill was the man who invented the postage stamp, and he came up with the first postal districts in London in 1857.  He divided London into 10 separate postal districts – N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, EC and WC.  The S and NE codes have now been given to Sheffield and Newcastle.  

Father Christmas has his own postcode, SAN TA1.

Tags: history, Moment
Category: Moment