Tag Archives: postcodes

Postcode Safari (Part One)

I didn’t write a post yesterday because I was tired, cold, disorganised and lazy. Today, being merely cold and disorganised I’ve written 300 words and discarded them as unsuitable.

So, instead of my jaundiced view on life, I’m going to revert to a postcode safari. We did 25 parcels yesterday, so I have plenty to work with. I won’t select, I will just start at the top of the list and work my way down.

The first four are DD2, PE10, WS8 and BT71. That’s Dundee, Peterborough, Walsall and Belfast, so there is quite a spread. Well, it’s approximately Peterborough. I used to live in PE10 and it’s really about 25 miles from Peterborough. I also lived in PE2 and PE15. Even PE2, which sounds as if it should be in the city centre is quite rural. Same for BT71 – all of Northern Ireland has a Belfast postcode, so. if anything, BT is even less precise than PE. It is certainly bigger.

There are 121 postcode areas. Peterborough is 11th in terms of population and Belfast is 2nd, with only Birmingham being larger. In case you were wondering, London is cut into smaller districts. There are six districts with London in their name and other towns which have bits of London in their postcode area.This is the list, ranked by population.

DD2 is next to DD1, which contains one of then most notable of all ships – RRS Discovery.

However, I’m not sure it’s in the spirit of the tour to look at the postcode next door. This does, however, present me with a problem – my normal reference site merely says that DD2 is Dundee. D. C. Thomson, the comic company, are in DD1, Keillers no longer exist and Dundee FC are in DD3. As Dundee is host to the two closest football stadia in the UK, I suppose Dundee United are also in DD3. According to a website that knows this sort of thing they are only 0.2 of a mile apart – or 300 yards/metres if you prefer. Next on the list is Nottingham, at 0.7 for Forest and County and Liverpool/Everton, which are only 0.8 miles apart.

But so far I’m drawing a blank with DD2.

Ah! One last try and it paid off. The Camperdown Works were in Lochee, which is DD2. At one time they were the largest jute mill in the world. It was worth looking a second time because another site I checked implied they were in DD1. Jute was vitally important to Dundee at one time, and this fact alone is the basis for one of the less interesting museums I’ve been to. It’s great in parts but they made us sit through a rather dull film before we were allowed in and with two lively kids it was a bit of a trial.

That’s enough for now = Part Two will follow later.

The Problem with Postcodes

I’ve remembered why I gave up the Postcode Tour last time.

There are just too many postcodes and not enough time to write about them. They ended up taking over last time and they are doing the same again.

I have made a decision – I am only going to use the postcodes from Mondays, or Mondays and Tuesdays if Monday doesn’t produce enough. That way I preserve the random element of the tour but avoid submerging the blog in constant  UK trivia.

Today I have ten postcodes, though one is a duplicate of one from last week – WN7. You can have too much of a good thing so I’m going to leave Wigan out this week. That still leaves me with nine, and that’s still a lot to fit in. However, as my plan calls for 3.5 extra posts a week this may be useful.

I’ve just been looking at the number of postcode areas – I think it came to 121 but I kept losing count. Then there are the ones for overseas territories and the special code – XM4 5HQ. That’s the one specially reserved for Santa, and it gets 800,000 letters per year.

Seems nice and whimsical doesn’t it? All cuddly and touchy-feely. And then you realise that 800,000 letters, even if they are Second Class, need £488,000 worth of stamps. It is pure commercial genius!

British children also send about 100,000 letters a year to Santa in Finland – another £135,000 at International Standard rate for a 10 gram letter. I will say no more, lest the words “Bah! Humbug!” are heard, once more, throughout the land.

This is an interesting article on the Santa Industry if you have time to read it. Uplifting in parts, depressing in others, and proving once again that modern British kids need a lesson in old-fashioned manners.

Just to show I know how to get into the festive spirit (it is October after all and the shops are filling with Christmas crap) this is a picture of me as Santa from several years ago, I scared two of the eleven children who visited, so be careful who you show it to.


Possibly the worst Santa in the World

A Few Bright Spots

The high point of the day was probably repairing my camera with a penknife. It’s nice to know that although everything is now chipped, computerised and digitised a quick jab from a Mk I penknife can still do a useful job.

It wasn’t a particularly technical job, just adjusting the fit of a socket in the side of the camera. I have been having problems with the lead falling out when downloading photographs. I don’t have that problem now, and I’m going to charge myself £50 for the repair. This, I’m fairly sure, would be the situation if I sent it away.

There was a time, when every boy carried a penknife, and knew how to use it for repairing things, sharpening things and opening things. It’s a lost art now. We have unrepairable sealed units, health and safety and cunning packages that don’t need cutting. In addition we have legislation about knives so I daren’t even keep it in my pocket.

I keep it in the plastic box I use for carrying my writing materials and use it for sharpening pencils. (Just in case anyone in law enforcement is reading this).

Over the last few days I’ve added 23 postcodes to the list, including 14 on Monday when working alone. It was hard work on Monday but it’s actually easier working on your own, as nobody takes the stamps or sellotape when you’re in the middle of using them.

At the moment I’m in danger of having more postcodes than interesting facts, so it’s clearly time to get searching.

I’ve also been trying to use as many different stamps as possible: I’m easily amused.