A History of London Postcodes:

5-Dec-2011 by SimplyPostcode™

Postcodes in London are so very important when it comes down to where you live and what your property might cost. House prices in London can vary hugely depending on a few letters in the postcode. But how did it come about that someone will pay way above the odds for the more desirable postcodes in the capital.

Snobbery plays a big part in today’s top property location and postcode superiority with years of London’s upper crust residents who have lived and worked in the most enviable areas, but it wasn’t always this way though.

What Happened Before Postcodes?

Prior to postcodes being introduced in London, the mail was often vaguely addressed and deliveries at the best were erratic. Obviously as the population of the capital increased it became apparent that a more ordered address system was required.

Around 1857, Sir Rowland Hills, whose previous profession was teaching, found a solution of splitting London into 10 separate postal districts. This improved London’s mail system with the general public being required to add the initials of their districts to the end of an address.

London’s postal revolution encouraged similar improvements in other large towns such as Manchester and Sheffield who both followed suit. These towns started using the initials of the town name followed by a district number. During World War 1 further refinements were made but in an attempt to simplify even further the introduction of sub districts was introduced. These sub districts were given a serial number such as E1, E2, and E3 etc for the Eastern District Office.

Modern Postcode Technology

These relatively simple systems stayed until the early 1960’s when technology enabled a major mechanisation programme to be implemented. As machinery replaced manual labour postcodes were made readable by machines and printed on envelopes in phosphor dots. The current postcode system introduced in 1966 took nine years to finally implement. Then in the mid 1980’s the introduction of the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system allowed the postcode to be read automatically.

So what today is an obsession with top London postcodes came from humble beginnings but can make literally make the difference of thousands of pounds when buying property in the capital.

Postcodes are more important than ever with today’s online marketplace, and one way to ensure customers or staff have the correct postal information is to use a postcode software package. Simply Postcode Lookup offer software packages to install on business websites or databases to ensure accuracy when customers or staff are inputting data.