Postal addresses: a little history and a lot of photos

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright February 2014, Chris Downer; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Staying in Scotland, the KA area is based on Kilmarnock and possibly even stands for 'Kilmarnock and Ayr'. It covers Ayrshire (except Skelmorlie which creeps into PA) and the islands of Arran and Cumbrae.

KA1-3 – postal address KILMARNOCK, Ayrshire
KA4 – postal address GALSTON, Ayrshire
KA5 – postal address MAUCHLINE, Ayrshire
NS4237 : Kilmarnock Cross by Thomas Nugent NS3938 : Crosshouse Parish Church by wfmillar NS4339 : Dean Castle, Kilmarnock by Peter Gordon NS5036 : Brewland Street, Galston by Dan NS4927 : The Cross, Mauchline by Billy McCrorie

KA6-8 – postal address AYR
KA9 – postal address PRESTWICK, Ayrshire
KA10 – postal address TROON, Ayrshire
NS4806 : Dalmellington viewed from Motte by Mark Klimek NS3322 : Cathcart St. meets New Bridge St., Ayr by wfmillar NS3322 : Harbour Pontoon by Billy McCrorie NS3425 : A Bit Rough near  Prestwick Sailing Club by Jim McCrone NS3131 : The Marina at Troon by M J Richardson

KA11-12 – postal address IRVINE, Ayrshire
KA13 – postal address KILWINNING, Ayrshire
KA14-15 – postal address BEITH, Ayrshire
(KA14 was GLENGARNOCK, Ayrshire until c.1980)
NS3440 : Old Perceton by wfmillar NS3238 : Town House from Kirkgate, Irvine by Humphrey Bolton NS3043 : Kilwinning Abbey by wfmillar NS3253 : Kilbirnie Loch by wfmillar NS3453 : Looking down the Strand, Beith by wfmillar

KA16 – postal address NEWMILNS, Ayrshire
KA17 – postal address DARVEL, Ayrshire
KA18 – postal address CUMNOCK, Ayrshire
KA19 – postal address MAYBOLE, Ayrshire
KA20 – postal address STEVENSTON, Ayrshire
NS5337 : Newmilns from the air by Thomas Nugent NS5637 : The A71 through Darvel by Walter Baxter NS5620 : Line painting in Glaisnock Street by Walter Baxter NS2909 : Town Gardens by Billy McCrorie NS2640 : East Shore, Stevenston by wfmillar

KA21 – postal address SALTCOATS, Ayrshire
KA22 – postal address ARDROSSAN, Ayrshire
KA23 – postal address WEST KILBRIDE, Ayrshire
KA24 – postal address DALRY, Ayrshire
KA25 – postal address KILBIRNIE, Ayrshire
NS2440 : Saltcoats: a boat leaves harbour by Chris Downer NS2242 : Ardrossan - marina and outer basin by Bob Jones NS2048 : West Kilbride by John McLeish NS2849 : A cold Dalry and the modern housing estate built in 2005. by Gem Gem Man NS3154 : Knox's Mill by Richard Webb

KA26 – postal address GIRVAN, Ayrshire
KA27 – postal address ISLE OF ARRAN
(BRODICK, Isle of Arran until June 2000)
KA28 – postal address ISLE OF CUMBRAE
(MILLPORT, Isle of Cumbrae until June 2000)
KA29-30 – postal address LARGS, Ayrshire
(KA29 was FAIRLIE, Ayrshire until 1977)
NX1898 : Girvan harbour by Ann Cook NS0135 : Brodick: approaching on the ferry by Chris Downer NS1654 : Millport: town centre viewed from across the bay by Chris Downer NS2059 : Largs: Clark Memorial Church reflected in the sea by Chris Downer NS2055 : Fairlie by Leslie Barrie


KT is for Kingston-upon-Thames and covers that part of Surrey to the immediate southwest of the London postal area, squeezed between TW and SM and larger than both of them.

NB Within Greater London, the old county names retained for postal purposes in those parts outside the London postal area. Therefore, Surrey remains the correct county name postally, even for those towns no longer in Surrey.

KT1-2 – postal address KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES, Surrey
KT3 – postal address NEW MALDEN, Surrey
KT4 – postal address WORCESTER PARK, Surrey
KT5-6 – postal address SURBITON, Surrey
TQ1769 : Kingston Market Place by Chris Holifield TQ1870 : Shortlands Road, Kingston by Derek Harper TQ2168 : New Malden High Street by Colin Smith
TQ2265 : Central Road, Worcester Park by Bill Boaden TQ1967 : Suburbia, Surbiton by Colin Smith TQ1867 : Surbiton Town Centre by Colin Smith

KT7 – postal address THAMES DITTON, Surrey
KT8 (part) – postal address EAST MOLESEY, Surrey
KT8 (part) – postal address WEST MOLESEY, Surrey
(separated from EAST MOLESEY in June 1991)
KT9 – postal address CHESSINGTON, Surrey
KT10 – postal address EHSER, Surrey
KT11 – postal address COBHAM, Surrey
TQ1566 : Weston Green Pond by Colin Smith TQ1568 : Hampton Court by Robin Webster TQ1864 : North Parade, Chessington by Stacey Harris TQ1364 : Downtown Esher by Colin Smith TQ1060 : High Street, Cobham by Colin Smith

KT12 – postal address WALTON-ON-THAMES, Surrey
KT13 – postal address WEYBRIDGE, Surrey
KT14 – postal address WEST BYFLEET, Surrey
(separated from WEYBRIDGE in June 1991)
KT15 – postal address ADDLESTONE, Surrey
(separated from WEYBRIDGE in June 1991)
KT16 – postal address CHERTSEY, Surrey
TQ1066 : Town Centre, Walton-on-Thames by David Kemp TQ0764 : Heath Road, Weybridge by Alan Hunt TQ0460 : St John's Church, West Byfleet by Colin Smith TQ0564 : Station Road, Addlestone by Stacey Harris TQ0466 : Chertsey, Old Town Hall by Colin Smith

KT17-19 – postal address EPSOM, Surrey
KT20 – postal address TADWORTH, Surrey
TQ2161 : East Street, Epsom by Bill Boaden TQ2060 : Epsom from the Ashley Centre car park by Roger Miller TQ2060 : Epsom: the clock tower by Chris Downer TQ2356 : Shops, Cross Road, Tadworth by Stacey Harris

KT21 – postal address ASHTEAD, Surrey
KT22-24 – postal address LEATHERHEAD, Surrey

TQ1858 : Ashtead by Ben Gamble TQ1656 : Barton's Bookshop (1), 2 Bridge Street by P L Chadwick TQ1354 : High Street, Great Bookham by Colin Smith TQ0954 : Parade of shops in East Horsley by Andrew Longton


The postcode KW derives from Kirkwall but it might just as easily be reversed to WK because, as well as covering the Orkneys, it starts in Wick and includes all of Caithness and a patch of Sutherland. Numbering ascends from Wick down the east coast to Golspie, and then staggers its way up to the north coast at Thurso, with the final three districts serving the Orkney Islands – 15 Kirkwall and its immediate surroundings; 16 Stromness including Graemsay, Hoy and Flotta; and 17 covering the rest of the Orkney Mainland and all the northern outlying isles.

Curiously, there is no KW4.

(At local government reorganisation in 1974, the old Scottish counties, unlike many in England and Wales, were not substituted by the Post Office, so the old county names remain correct for postal purposes.)

KW1 – postal address WICK, Caithness (including the now uninhabited island of Stroma)
KW2-3 – postal address LYBSTER, Caithness
(KW2 was ULBSTER, Caithness until 1974)
KW5 – postal address LATHERON, Caithness
KW6 – postal address DUNBEATH, Caithness
ND3650 : Wick:  Bridge Street by Dr Neil Clifton ND3240 : Whaligoe Steps by Donald H Bain ND2435 : Lybster View by Glen Breaden ND1932 : On top of the main wall of Latheronwheel  pier. by Des Colhoun ND1629 : Dunbeath Harbour by John MacKenzie

KW7 – postal address BERRIEDALE, Caithness
KW8 – postal address HELMSDALE, Sutherland
KW9 – postal address BRORA, Sutherland
KW10 – postal address GOLSPIE, Sutherland
ND1222 : Berridale harbour by Jim Bain ND0215 : Helmsdale Harbour by IrenicRhonda NC9003 : Brora: floral boat arrangement and picnic table by Chris Downer NH8399 : Golspie by Richard Webb

KW11 – postal address KINBRACE, Sutherland
KW12 – postal address HALKIRK, Sutherland
KW13 – postal address FORSINARD, Sutherland
KW14 – postal address THURSO, Caithness
NC8631 : Kinbrace by Richard Webb ND1359 : Auld Kirk Halkirk, viewed across the Thurso River by David Martin NC8942 : The Forsinard Hotel by Bill Henderson ND1168 : Thurso: Sir John’s Square by Chris Downer

KW15 – postal address KIRKWALL, Orkney
KW16 – postal address STROMNESS, Orkney
KW17 – postal address ORKNEY

HY4411 : Kirkwall: the lifeboat and the Kirkwall Hotel by Chris Downer HY2509 : Approaching Stromness ferry terminal by Bob Jones HY7038 : Over Tresness, Isle of Sanday. by Mark Crook


KY are the first and last letters of Kirkcaldy and this area covers Fife and Kinross-shire – except the northern tip of Fife which, being just across the Tay bridges from Dundee, comes under DD.

(At local government reorganisation in 1974, the old Scottish counties, unlike many in England and Wales, were not substituted by the Post Office, so Fife always remained correct for postal purposes. So too theoretically Kinross-shire, although as its only post town is KINROSS, which does not require the county name to be added, it is never seen.)

KY1-2 – postal address KIRKCALDY, Fife
KY3 – postal address BURNTISLAND, Fife
KY4 – postal address COWDENBEATH, Fife
KY5 – postal address LOCHGELLY, Fife
NT2791 : Council Offices by Paul McIlroy NT2593 : Green space in suburbia by James Allan NT2385 : Burntisland by Kevin Rae NT1691 : Downtown Cowdenbeath. by Richard Webb NT1893 : Lochgelly Town House by edward mcmaihin

KY6-7 – postal address GLENROTHES, Fife
KY8-9 – postal address LEVEN, Fife
(KY9 was ELIE, Fife until c.1989)
KY10 – postal address ANSTRUTHER, Fife
NO2401 : Leslie, Fife by Kevin Rae NO2701 : Glenrothes town centre by James Allan NO3800 : A fine afternoon on Leven beach by Richard Law NT4999 : Elie from Elie Ness by Rob Burke NO5603 : Anstruther Sea Front by Peter Skynner

KY11 (part) – postal address INVERKEITHING, Fife
KY11 (part) and 12 – postal address DUNFERMLINE, Fife
KY13 – postal address KINROSS
KY14-15 – postal address CUPAR, Fife
(KY14 was AUCHTERMUCHTY, Fife until c.1982)
KY16 – postal address ST. ANDREWS, Fife

NT1382 : Mercat Cross Inverkeithing by Steve Barnes NT0887 : Dunfermline abbey by MARC CURRAN NO1102 : The Tolbooth, High Street by kim traynor
NO2311 : High Street and Tolbooth with clock tower by James Denham NO3714 : The Cross at Cupar by kim traynor NO5116 : St Andrews Harbour by David Dixon

There is also the non-geographic postcode district KY99 (post town DUNFERMLINE) used by Visa.


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