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.


BB is for Blackburn, and the area generally proceeds east from there up the Colne valley towards Burnley, ending with Barnoldswick and the Yorkshire border.

BB1-2 postal address BLACKBURN
BB3 postal address DARWEN, Lancs.
BB4 postal address ROSSENDALE, Lancs.
BB5 postal address ACCRINGTON, Lancs.
SD6827 : Blackburn Cathedral by John H Darch SD6629 : The Brambles Beardwood by Robert Wade SD6922 : Market Street,  Darwen by Stanley Walker SD8122 : The Valley Centre by Robert Wade SD7628 : Broadway, Accrington by Alexander P Kapp

BB6 postal address BLACKBURN
BB7 postal address CLITHEROE, Lancs.
BB8 postal address COLNE, Lancs.
BB9 postal address NELSON, Lancs.
SD7336 : Church Street, Whalley by Alexander P Kapp SD7441 : Clitheroe town centre by Jon Royle SD8840 : Colne Town Hall by John Tomlinson SD8637 : Nelson station, Lancashire by Dr Neil Clifton

BB10-12 postal address BURNLEY, Lancs.
BB18 postal address BARNOLDSWICK
(separated from COLNE, BB8, in July 1997)
SD8534 : Old building, Burnley General Hospital by Alexander P Kapp SD8432 : The Parish Church of St Peter, Burnley by Alexander P Kapp SD7933 : Burnley Road, Padiham by Alexander P Kapp SD8746 : Town Square, Barnoldswick, Yorkshire by Dr Neil Clifton

There is also the non-geographic postcode area BB94 (post town BARNOLDSWICK) reserved for a specific large user.


BD concerns itself with serving Bradford and the surrounding area. With HD covering Huddersfield, the BD area stretches further north, rurally, than it does south. However, the southern fringe of the BRADFORD post town, plus CLECKHEATON, are outside the city limits administratively in Kirklees borough.

Within the BRADFORD post town, the numbering from BD1 to BD15 runs roughly in a clockwise spiral from the city centre.

BD1-15 postal address BRADFORD, W. Yorkshire
SE1633 : Kirkgate by Betty Longbottom SE1735 : Rose Mount - Bolton Road by Betty Longbottom SE1833 : Mortimer Row, Laisterdyke by Betty Longbottom SE1731 : St John's Church, Wakefield Road, Bowling, Bradford by Humphrey Bolton SE1631 : Flats off Manchester Road by Betty Longbottom
SE1430 : Wibsey Park Lake - Beacon Road by Betty Longbottom SE1431 : Frank Street - Great Horton Road by Betty Longbottom SE1333 : Crossley Hall Primary School, Thornton Road by Betty Longbottom SE1335 : Garden Lane, Heaton by David Spencer SE1737 : Highfield Road, Idle by David Spencer
SE2028 : Birkenshaw Industrial Society Ltd - Bradford Road by Betty Longbottom SE1528 : Morley Carr, Bradford by Paul Glazzard SE1030 : Black Dyke Mills, Queensbury by David Spencer SE1231 : Pasture Side Terrace, East by Alan Longbottom SE0936 : Main Street, Wilsden by David Spencer

BD16 postal address BINGLEY, W. Yorkshire
BD17-18 postal address SHIPLEY, W. Yorkshire
BD19 postal address CLECKHEATON, W. Yorkshire
SE1039 : Butter Cross & Market Hall by Betty Longbottom SE1539 : Baildon Town Centre by Humphrey Bolton SE1437 : Shipley Clock Tower by David Spencer SE1925 : Cleckheaton Town Hall by Humphrey Bolton

BD20-22 postal address KEIGHLEY, W. Yorkshire
BD23 postal address SKIPTON, N. Yorkshire
BD24 postal address SETTLE, N. Yorkshire

SE0641 : Keighley Town Hall by Stanley Walker SE0338 : Colne Road (Goodley) by Betty Longbottom SE0145 : Canal between Kildwick and Farnhill by Chris Heaton SD9851 : High Street, Skipton by Stanley Walker SD8163 : The Market Place, Settle, North Yorkshire by Kate Jewell

There are also the non-geographic postcode areas BD97-99 (post towns BINGLEY and BRADFORD) reserved for specific large users.


BH is centred on Bournemouth, and covers eastern Dorset and the southwestern fringe of Hampshire. Much of the CHRISTCHURCH area includes bits of Hampshire, while RINGWOOD includes an area of east Dorset.

BH1-11 postal address BOURNEMOUTH
SZ0991 : Bournemouth: The College by Chris Downer SZ0891 : Bournemouth: The Square by Chris Downer SZ0792 : Bournemouth, East Avenue by Mike Faherty
SZ0691 : Westbourne Arcade by Chris Downer SZ1191 : Boscombe: seafront view by Chris Downer SZ1690 : Hengistbury Head: choppy sea by Chris Downer SZ1293 : Littledown: leisure centre and pond by Chris Downer
SZ1194 : Strouden: empty car park at Castlepoint by Chris Downer SZ0893 : Winton: main shopping street by Chris Downer SZ0895 : Ensbury Park: parish church of St. Thomas by Chris Downer SZ0595 : West Howe Retail Park by Nigel Mykura

BH12-17 postal address POOLE, Dorset
SZ0592 : Branksome: Alder Road  straight down, straight back up by Chris Downer SZ0488 : Sunset over Poole Harbour by Chris Downer SZ0390 : Parkstone Lake by Peter Jordan
SZ0190 : Poole: Dolphin Shopping Centre by Chris Downer SY9893 : St Dunstan's Church & Community Centre - Upton by Mike Searle SZ0094 : "The Parade" at Hillbourne by Mike Smith

BH18 postal address BROADSTONE, Dorset
BH19 postal address SWANAGE, Dorset
BH20 postal address WAREHAM, Dorset
BH21 postal address WIMBORNE, Dorset
BH22 postal address FERNDOWN, Dorset
(separated from WIMBORNE in March 1991)
SZ0095 : York Road, Broadstone by Danny P Robinson SZ0378 : Swanage: Wellington clock tower and pier by Chris Downer SY9287 : Wareham: the quay by Chris Downer SZ0099 : Wimborne Minster: parish and minster church of St. Cuthburga by Chris Downer SU0700 : Ferndown: parish church of St. Mary by Chris Downer

BH23 postal address CHRISTCHURCH, Dorset
BH24 postal address RINGWOOD, Hants.
BH25 postal address NEW MILTON, Hants.
BH31 postal address VERWOOD, Dorset
(separated from WIMBORNE, BH21, in June 1991)
SZ1592 : Christchurch town centre from the Priory tower (2) by Ronald Searle SU1405 : Market Place, Ringwood by Peter Facey SZ2494 : Station Road, New Milton by Dave Pugsley SU0809 : Verwood centre by Stuart Buchan


The BL area contains the fewest post towns of any mainland postcode area outside the London postal area, featuring just two: BOLTON and BURY on the northern fringe of Greater Manchester. However, since Greater Manchester was not updated as a postal county in the local government reorganisation of 1974, Lancashire remains the correct county name for postal purposes. The area's northern extremity does encroach into Lancashire proper, in Edgworth and north of Ramsbottom.

The BL area makes fairly rare use of zero in the district BL0, possibly because, with exactly ten districts, it was considered preferable that they all be single-digit.

BL1-7 postal address BOLTON
SD7010 : Atlas Mills by Chris Allen SD7208 : Bolton railway goods warehouse 1979 by Peter Whatley SD7108 : Bolton University - Deane campus by Margaret Clough SD7306 : Carnegie Library by Roger May
SD6505 : Westhoughton Town Hall by JOHN HALL SD6311 : War Memorial at Horwich by Roger May SD7416 : Edgworth Post  Office by Paul Anderson

BL8-9 and BL0 postal address BURY, Lancs.

SD7910 : Victoria Mill by Alexander P Kapp SD8010 : Town Centre Bury by Dennis Turner SD7916 : Bridge Street Ramsbottom by Paul Anderson

There are also the non-geographic postcode areas BL11, 78 and 80 (post town BOLTON) reserved for specific large users.


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