Postcodes Celebrate the 50th Anniversary

Of their initial introduction into the country's mail system


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October 2009 marks the 50th anniversary since the postcode was first introduced in England.

An earlier system of postal districts was implemented in London and other large cities from 1857 when Sir Rowland Hill, inventor of the postage stamp, introduced a scheme to speed up the delivery of mail.

In London this system was refined in 1917 to into numbered subdivisions which divided the city into 10 separate postal districts - N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, EC and WC. This system was then extended to the other cities in 1934.

These districts were later incorporated into the national postcode system with the S and NE codes reassigned to the Sheffield and Newcastle.

Today postcodes are used widely for non-postal services, such as online shopping, satellite navigation systems, naming websites and, in some areas, responsible for sizeable variations in house prices.

October 16, 2009