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 postcode area B, alphabetically the first of the eight single-letter areas, is based on Birmingham and is the largest in terms of highest numbered districts, reaching B98 – although it is not an unbroken sequence from B1. Since Walsall, Wolverhampton and Dudley have their own postcodes, the B area radiates farther to the south and east than north and west, reaching rural areas of Warwickshire and parts of Worcestershire, also including Tamworth in Staffordshire. Numbers increase in a clockwise spiral from the city centre.

For all the districts B1-48, the postal address is BIRMINGHAM:
B1-4 – city centre
SP0686 : Birmingham Town Hall by Tiger SP0686 : From above New Street Station by Adrian Bailey SP0687 : St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham by Nigel Homer SP0787 : The library, Aston University by Rich Tea

B5 Digbeth; B6 Aston; B7 Nechells; B8 Ward End; B9 Bordesley
SP0786 : Digbeth by Simon Dean SP0889 : The arrival of the faithful by Row17 SP0989 : Running on Empty by Roger May SP1188 : St Margarets Road by Carl Baker SP0886 : Lock and Canal Bridge near Spring Vale, Birmingham by Roger  Kidd

B10 Small Heath; B11 Tyseley; B12 Balsall Heath; B13 Moseley; B14 King’s Heath
SP0985 : Cyril Road, Small Heath by Chris Whippet SP1083 : Warwick Road Tyseley by SMJ SP0784 : Balsall Heath Public Baths and Free Library by David Stowell SP0783 : Moseley Village Green towards St Mary's Row by Brendan Patchell SP0781 : High Street, King's Heath by Phil Champion

B15 Edgbaston; B16 Ladywood; B17 Harborne; B18 Winson Green; B19 Lozells
SP0483 : Postgraduate Medical Centre, University Hospital, Birmingham by Chris Allen SP0586 : Travelodge at Broadway Plaza by John M SP0384 : Park Hill Rd, Chad Valley by N Chadwick SP0488 : Back Gardens and Winson Green Church by Roy Hughes SP0689 : View from Lozells by David Stowell

B20-21 Handsworth; B22 Kings Norton; B23-24 Erdington
SP0790 : The Harriers pub by Carl Baker SP0390 : Beacon Evangelical Church by David Stowell SP0479 : King's Norton Community Fire Station by David Stowell SP0992 : Witton Lakes by Adrian Bailey SP1091 : Six Ways Erdington by Edward Hunt

B25-26 Yardley; B27 Acocks Green; B28 Hall Green; B29 Selly Oak
SP1385 : The Ring O'Bells, Yardley by David Stowell SP1284 : Yardley, Birmingham Junction of A45 and A4040 by peter lloyd SP1283 : Acock's Green Railway Station, Birmingham by John Evans SP1182 : The York public house, York Road, Hall Green, Birmingham by peter lloyd SP0482 : Selly Oak by David Stowell

B30 Bournville; B31 Northfield; B32 Woodgate; B33 Kitt’s Green; B34 Shard End
SP0481 : Parade of shops opposite Bournville village green by Phil Champion SP0279 : Downtown Northfield by Adrian Bailey SO9982 : Visitor Centre, Woodgate Valley Country Park by Phil Champion SP1587 : Triangular road junction in Kitts Green by Richard Law SP1588 : Shard End Crescent by Richard Law

B35 Castle Vale; B36 Castle Bromwich; B37 Chelmsley Wood; B38 Kings Norton
SP1491 : Northern road junction to Castle vale by Mark Walton SP1589 : Local shops on the Chester Road by Carl Baker SP1886 : Locals shops by Carl Baker SP0478 : King's Norton Church by Richard  Dunn

B40 NEC and airport; B42 Perry Barr; B43 Great Barr; B44 Kingstanding
SP1883 : Birmingham Airport by Richard Croft SP0693 : Sunset on Hassop Road, Beeches Estate by Richard Vince SP0494 : Scott Arms by Adrian Bailey SP0794 : Kingstanding Circle by Adrian Bailey

B45 Rubery; B46 Water Orton; B47 Hollywood; B48 Alvechurch
SO9877 : 1953 Tower Blocks next to Cock Hill by Roger A Smith SP1790 : Snowy Day in Water Orton by Patrick Fleming SP0877 : Douglas Road, Hollywood by David Stowell SP0272 : Bottom of Bear Hill in Alvechurch, Worcestershire. by Lee J Andrews

B49-50 – postal address ALCESTER, Warks.
B60-61 – postal address BROMSGROVE, Worcs.
B62-63 – postal address HALESOWEN, W. Midlands
SP0857 : Alcester High Street complete with bunting! by Richard  Dunn SP1051 : Bidford on Avon by Philip Halling SO9568 : Avoncroft Museum: Merchants house from Bromsgrove, Worcs (15th C) by Mike Goodwin SO9571 : Chestnut Road, Sidemoor by Martin Wilson SO9785 : Roundabout at the end of Belgrave Road. by Peter Whatley SO9683 : Saturday Market, Halesowen by Geoff Pick

B64-69 were postally WARLEY, W. Midlands until January 1997 when they were separated as follows:
B64 – postal address CRADLEY HEATH, W. Midlands
B65 – postal address ROWLEY REGIS, W. Midlands
B66-67 – postal address SMETHWICK, W. Midlands
B68-69 – postal address OLDBURY, W. Midlands
SO9485 : High Street, Cradley Heath by Brian Clift SO9787 : St. Giles by Gordon Griffiths SP0287 : Shireland Language College by David Stowell SP0388 : Smethwick - canal junction near Soho Train Depot by Dave Bevis SP0088 : Rood End, Oldbury by David Ellis SO9889 : Architectural contrasts at Sandwell Civic Centre (the Council House) by David Long

B70-71 – postal address WEST BROMWICH, W. Midlands
B72-76 – postal address SUTTON COLDFIELD, W. Midlands
SP0091 : King’s Square, Sandwell Centre, West Bromwich by David Ellis SO9993 : The Gough Arms, Hateley Heath by Adrian Bailey SP1295 : Plantsbrook School by Graham Flint SP1094 : Antrobus Road, Boldmere by Adrian Bailey SK1000 : Bishops Way shops by Graham Taylor SP1496 : Bus Terminus Falcon Lodge by Graham Flint SP1393 : Penns Hall lake by Mike Beeson

B77-79 – postal address TAMWORTH, Staffs.
B80 – postal address STUDLEY, Warks.
SK2201 : Wilnecote Church by Angella Streluk SK2001 : Tolson's Mill, Fazeley by Chris Allen SK2003 : Tamworth Castle by Stan SP0763 : Street Scene on the A435 at Studley Village by peter lloyd

B90-94 – postal address SOLIHULL, W. Midlands
SP1179 : Shirley Temple, Shirley by David Stowell SP1579 : The Square, Solihull by David Stowell SP1382 : Commuters leaving Olton Station by John Evans SP2080 : High Street, Hampton in Arden by Simon Jobson SP1572 : Hockley Heath by Ian Rob

B95 – postal address HENLEY-IN-ARDEN, Warks.
(part of SOLIHULL, W. Midlands until March 2003)
B96-98 – postal address REDDITCH, Worcs.
SP1565 : Henley in Arden by Chris Heaton SP0462 : Evesham Road, Astwood Bank by Richard  Dunn SP0364 : St Augustine's Catholic High School by Penny Mayes SP0467 : Needles by Penny Mayes


The postcode area BA bases itself on Bath and also covers eastern part of Somerset and the southwestern extremity of Wiltshire which is significantly closer to Bath than to Swindon (SN being the next postcode in that direction). The YEOVIL post town area also protrudes a small distance into Dorset.

In recent years the FROME post town, BA11, has taken the village of Rode and surrounding area from BATH, while the RADSTOCK, BA3, area altered slightly when it became a post town in its own right.

NB The postal county for BATH is Avon; the 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. Since BATH did not historically require the county name beforehand, though, it is omitted here.

BA1-2 – postal address BATH
BA3 – postal address RADSTOCK, Somerset
(separated from BATH in December 2000)
BA4 – postal address SHEPTON MALLET, Somerset
BA5 – postal address WELLS, Somerset
ST7564 : Bath Abbey by Philip Halling ST7764 : University of Bath - main campus by Jonathan Billinger ST6854 : Radstock roundabouts by Thomas Pinkney ST6143 : Shepton Mallet Market Cross in the Shambles by Nigel Freeman ST5545 : Cathedral View by Pete Penfold

BA6 – postal address GLASTONBURY, Somerset
BA7 – postal address CASTLE CARY, Somerset
BA8 – postal address TEMPLECOMBE, Somerset
BA9 – postal address WINCANTON, Somerset
BA10 – postal address BRUTON, Somerset
ST4938 : Glastonbury Market Cross by Phil Williams ST6432 : Street Scene, Castle Cary by Maigheach-gheal ST7022 : Templecombe Station by Rabbi WP Thinrod ST7128 : High Street approaching The Bear Inn by John Firth ST6834 : Bruton view from the Dovecote by Nigel Freeman

BA11 – postal address FROME, Somerset
BA12 – postal address WARMINSTER, Wilts.
BA13 – postal address WESTBURY, Wilts.
BA14 – postal address TROWBRIDGE, Wilts.
BA15 – postal address BRADFORD-ON-AVON, Wilts.
ST7748 : Market Place by Phil Williams ST8745 : Warminster town centre by David Hawgood ST8751 : High Street, Westbury by Phil Williams ST8557 : Market Street, Trowbridge by Phil Williams ST8260 : Bradford-on-Avon Town Bridge by Bob Jones

BA16 – postal address STREET, Somerset
BA20-22 – postal address YEOVIL, Somerset
ST4836 : Street High Street by Graham Horn ST5515 : Middle Street, Yeovil by Phil Williams ST5316 : The Church of St James, Preston Plucknett by William ST5222 : Ilchester: The Market Cross by Nigel Cox


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