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.


The letters SW of course mean Southwest and refer to London. We have already seen that London postcode districts are numbered alphabetically, according to their 1917 name, rather than geographically that is why they appear so randomly laid out when viewed on a map.

The SW area actually comprised two original districts, the Southwest district headed by SW1 and the Battersea district by SW11. Therefore, there are two alphabetical circuits, 1-10 and 11-20.

SW1 is further subdivided by the addition of a letter: SW1A, SW1E, SW1H, SW1P, SW1V, SW1W, SW1X, SW1Y.

All districts have the postal address LONDON.
SW2 (Brixton)
SW3 (Chelsea)
SW4 (Clapham)
SW5 (Earl's Court)
TQ2979 : Westminster: Buckingham Palace and Victoria memorial by Chris Downer TQ3075 : Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton by Malc McDonald TQ2778 : Kings Road SW3 by Danny P Robinson TQ2975 : Clapham Common tube station entrance and clock tower by David Martin TQ2578 : Earls Court exhibition centre by Christopher Hilton

SW6 (Fulham)
SW7 (South Kensington)
SW8 (South Lambeth)
SW9 (Stockwell)
SW10 (West Brompton)
TQ2476 : Epple Road, Fulham by Des Blenkinsopp TQ2679 : The Natural History Museum and The Royal Albert Hall from the air by Thomas Nugent TQ2977 : South Bank at Nine Elms by James Wood TQ3176 : Flats, Robsart Street by Robin Webster TQ2677 : Chelsea Wharf, old and new by Malc McDonald

SW11 (Battersea)
SW12 (Balham)
SW13 (Barnes)
SW14 (Mortlake)
SW15 (Putney)
TQ2776 : Rowena Crescent, Battersea by Chris Whippet TQ2873 : Church of St Mary by N Chadwick TQ2277 : Barnes from the air by Thomas Nugent TQ2075 : Crossing the road outside Waitrose by Stefan Czapski TQ2475 : St Mary's Church, Putney by Marathon

SW16 (Streatham)
SW17 (Tooting)
SW18 (Wandsworth)
SW19 (Wimbledon)
SW20 (West Wimbledon)
TQ2971 : Eardley Road by Oxyman TQ2771 : Tooting Broadway Station entrance, with King Edward VII statue by Ben Brooksbank TQ2574 : The Brewery Tap and Youngs Brewery by Stacey Harris TQ2470 : Wimbledon Hill Road by Noel Foster TQ2369 : The Raynes Park Tavern by Dr Neil Clifton

There is also the non-geographic postcode district, SW95.


The letters SY derive from Shrewsbury but this area actually consists more of Wales than of England. It covers central and western Shropshire and extends through northern Powys right across to Cardigan Bay at Aberystwyth - and for good measure also extends to MALPAS, Cheshire.

NB Royal Mail ceased the requirement for county names on addresses in 1996 and these were not updated after local government reorganisation of the following year. Therefore, Dyfed and Powys remain correct county names.

SY1-5 postal address SHREWSBURY
SJ4912 : The Square by David Dixon SJ4912 : Shrewsbury Abbey by SMJ SJ4712 : Copthorne roundabout, Shrewsbury by David Gruar SJ5128 : West along Wem High Street by Jaggery SJ4006 : Pontesbury - Red Lion Inn and St Georges Church by Andrew Bennett

SY6 postal address CHURCH STRETTON, Shropshire
SY7 (part) postal address BUCKNELL, Shropshire
SY7 (part) postal address CRAVEN ARMS, Shropshire
SY7 (part) postal address LYDBURY NORTH, Shropshire
SY8 postal address LUDLOW, Shropshire
SY9 postal address BISHOP'S CASTLE, Shropshire
SO4593 : The Square, Church Stretton by Paul Buckingham SO4382 : Craven Arms by Tom Pennington SO5174 : Market Day by Ralph Tucker SO3288 : High Street, Bishop's Castle by Richard Webb

SY10-11 postal address OSWESTRY, Shropshire
SY12 postal address ELLESMERE, Shropshire
SY13 postal address WHITCHURCH, Shropshire
SY14 postal address MALPAS, Cheshire
SJ0119 : Lake Vyrnwy by Anthony Duffy SJ2929 : Oswestry Marketplace. by Edward Williams SJ3934 : Market Street, Ellesmere by David Weston SJ5441 : High Street, Whitchurch by William Starkey SJ4847 : Town Centre, Malpas by BrianPritchard

SY15 postal address MONTGOMERY, Powys
SY16 postal address NEWTOWN, Powys
SY17 postal address CAERSWS, Powys
SY18 postal address LLANIDLOES, Powys
SY19 postal address LLANBRYNMAIR, Powys
SY20 postal address MACHYNLLETH, Powys
SO2296 : Broad Street, Montgomery by Stephen McKay SO1091 : Long Bridge and low river levels by Penny Mayes SO0391 : Corner of Carno Road and Main Street, Caersws by Jaggery
SN9584 : Great Oak Street Llanidloes by firstjaytee SH8902 : Entering Llanbrynmair from the east by John Lord SH7400 : Machynlleth clock tower by Peter S

SY21 postal address WELSHPOOL, Powys
SY22 (part) postal address LLANFECHAIN, Powys
SY22 (part) postal address LLANFYLLIN, Powys
SY22 (part) postal address LLANSANFFRAID, Powys
(spelt LLANSANTFFRAID until 2012, after a decision by Powys County Council in 2008)
SY22 (part) postal address LLANYMYNECH, Powys
SY22 (part) postal address MEIFOD, Powys
SY23 (part) postal address ABERYSTWYTH, Dyfed
SY23 (part) postal address LLANON, Dyfed
SY23 (part) postal address LLANRHYSTUD, Dyfed
SY24 (part) postal address BORTH, Dyfed
SY24 (part) postal address BOW STREET, Dyfed
SY24 (part) postal address TALYBONT, Dyfed
SY25 (part) postal address TREGARON, Dyfed
SY25 (part) postal address YSTRAD MEURIG, Dyfed

SJ2207 : Broad Street Welshpool by John Firth SJ1419 : In Llanfyllin by Jeremy Bolwell SN5781 : South Beach by Ian Capper SN6089 : A wintry beach: Borth by Chris Denny SN6859 : The Square by Ian Capper


TA means Taunton and the area comprises central and western Somerset.

TA1-4 postal address TAUNTON, Somerset
ST2224 : Hammet Street by Neil Owen ST2226 : Cheddon Road, Taunton by Derek Harper ST3427 : Village centre, Stoke St Gregory by Roger Cornfoot ST0827 : Wiveliscombe: Golden Hill by Martin Bodman

TA5-7 postal address BRIDGWATER, Somerset
TA8 postal address BURNHAM-ON-SEA, Somerset
TA9 postal address HIGHBRIDGE, Somerset
ST1939 : The village clock and Castle Street, Nether Stowey by Ken Grainger ST2937 : Cornhill, Bridgwater by Derek Harper ST3530 : Burrow Mump by Ken Grainger ST3049 : Burnham View by Gordon Griffiths ST3247 : Site of the 19th century Market Square in Highbridge by Jaggery

TA10 postal address LANGPORT, Somerset
TA11 postal address SOMERTON, Somerset
TA12 postal address MARTOCK, Somerset
TA13 postal address SOUTH PETHERTON, Somerset
TA14 postal address STOKE SUB HAMDON, Somerset
ST4226 : The Hill, Langport by Ken Grainger ST4928 : Somerton: towards Broad Street by Martin Bodman ST4619 : Martock centre and post office by Nick Chipchase ST4316 : South Petherton: Blake Hall during the Christmas Period by Mr Eugene Birchall ST4717 : Stoke Sub Hamdon church seen from Ham Hill by David Smith

TA15 postal address MONTACUTE, Somerset
TA16 postal address MERRIOTT, Somerset
TA17 postal address HINTON ST. GEORGE, Somerset
TA18 postal address CREWKERNE, Somerset
TA19 postal address ILMINSTER, Somerset
TA20 postal address CHARD, Somerset
ST4917 : Montacute: west front of Montacute House by Chris Downer ST4412 : Post Office, Merriott, Somerset by Rodney Burton ST4212 : High Street - Hinton St George by Sarah Smith
ST4409 : Market Square, Crewkerne by Mike Smith ST3614 : Ilminster: town centre by Chris Downer ST3208 : Main Street, Chard by Mike Smith

TA21 postal address WELLINGTON, Somerset
TA22 postal address DULVERTON, Somerset
TA23 postal address WATCHET, Somerset
TA24 postal address MINEHEAD, Somerset

ST1320 : Fore Street, Wellington by Jonathan Billinger SS9127 : Dulverton : Fore Street by Lewis Clarke ST0743 : The slipway at Watchet Harbour by Robin Drayton SS9746 : Looking across Minehead Strand by Rob Farrow


The letters TD are the first and last in Tweed, which explains why they do not feature in Galashiels, the town on which this area is based. The area includes the three counties which made up the Borders region of Scotland Berwickshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire and also the northern tip of Northumberland.

(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.)

TD1 postal address GALASHIELS, Selkirkshire
TD2 postal address LAUDER, Berwickshire
TD3 postal address GORDON, Berwickshire
TD4 postal address EARLSTON, Berwickshire
NT4936 : The refurbished Market Square in Galashiels by Walter Baxter NT5347 : Town Hall and Lauder Kirk by kim traynor NT6443 : The A6105 through Gordon by Walter Baxter NT5738 : Earlston War Memorial by Walter Baxter

TD5 postal address KELSO, Roxburghshire
TD6 postal address MELROSE, Roxburghshire
TD7 postal address SELKIRK
TD8 postal address JEDBURGH, Roxburghshire
TD9 (part) postal address HAWICK, Roxburghshire
TD9 (part) postal address NEWCASTLETON, Roxburghshire
NT7233 : Kelso by Kevin Rae NT5434 : Melrose Abbey by Walter Baxter NT4628 : Selkirk - A different view of the Town Square by Gordon Elliott NT6520 : Jedburgh: the abbey by Chris Downer NT5015 : Old Road Bridge over the River Teviot by G Laird

TD10-11 postal address DUNS, Berwickshire
(TD10 was GREENLAW until November 1975)
TD12 (part) postal address COLDSTREAM, Berwickshire
TD12 (part) postal address CORNHILL-ON-TWEED, Northd.
TD12 (part) postal address MINDRUM, Northd.
TD13 postal address COCKBURNSPATH, Berwickshire
TD14 postal address EYEMOUTH, Berwickshire
TD15 postal address BERWICK-UPON-TWEED

NT7146 : A view from Catmoss by Douglas Banks NT7853 : Market Square, Duns by Graham Robson NT8439 : Market Square, Coldstream by Oliver Dixon
NT7771 : Cockburnspath Mercat Cross by Lisa Jarvis NT9464 : Eyemouth: the quay from Gunsgreen House by Chris Downer NT9952 : The Old Bridge at Sunset by Graham Hogg


The TF postcode area is centred on Telford and is a relatively slender area covering eastern Shropshire.

TF1-4 postal address TELFORD, Shropshire
SJ6511 : Wellington: the Market Place by Chris Downer SJ7011 : New housing estate with play area by John M SJ6908 : Forlorn Southwater Lake in Town Park by Row17 SJ6807 : Crown Street, Dawley by David P Howard

TF5-8 postal address TELFORD, Shropshire
SJ6313 : Pheasant Admaston by al partington SJ6208 : Paragliding off the Wrekin on New Years Day by Carol Walker SJ6604 : Arches at Darby Road (3) by Basher Eyre SJ6703 : Ironbridge: the village from the bridge by Chris Downer

TF9 postal address MARKET DRAYTON, Shropshire
TF10 postal address NEWPORT, Shropshire
TF11 postal address SHIFNAL, Shropshire
TF12 postal address BROSELEY, Shropshire
TF13 postal address MUCH WENLOCK, Shropshire
SJ6734 : Tudor House Hotel by M J Richardson SJ7419 : Part of Newport town centre by Jeremy Bolwell SJ7407 : Market Place, Shifnal by Stephen McKay SJ6701 : Shopping in Broseley by John M SO6299 : Much Wenlock: the clock tower and the Guildhall by Chris Downer


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