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Funs Facts About Postcodes

We’re passionate about postcodes at Postcodes4U. And why wouldn’t we be? Postcodes make delivering post even more efficient and they’re an easy way to look up and address in the UK. Just try out our free quick postcode lookup

Here are 25 fun facts about postcodes that you might not know. You never know one of them might come up in the next quiz you take part in.




  1. The Queen has a unique postcode for Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA.


  1. Even Father Christmas has his own postcode so he can receive all those sacks of Christmas lists. It is SAN TA1 (in Canada it’s HOH OHO ...) and letters sent to this postcode actually do arrive.


  1. London was the first city to see the beginnings of post coding. In 1857 it was divided into 10 postal districts based on compass points: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW, EC for East Central and WC for West Central.


  1. Nowadays NE stands for Newcastle and S for areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire around Sheffield.


  1. Liverpool was the first provincial town to be divided into postal districts in 1864, followed by Manchester.


  1. Numbers were first added to the postal districts to create ‘sub-districts’ in 1917 to help the woman who took over the sorting work while the men were fighting in the First World War.


  1. It wasn’t until 1959, when the post office began to experiment with sorting machines, that Norwich was selected to trial modern post codes. 150,000 addresses received a code of NOR followed by two digits and a letter.


  1. The late, great Labour minister Tony Benn was the Postmaster General who decided to extend the postcode system to the whole of the UK in 1965.


  1. The eight-year programme to create a postcode for every home in the country began in Croydon 1966 and finished 40 years ago in 1974 with the recoding of Norwich.


  1. The postcode HD7 5UZ in Huddersfield, West Yorks, covers seven streets, more than any other in the UK.


  1. In 2008 Liverpool and England star Steven Gerrard built a new two storey gym in his back garden in the Merseyside suburb of Freshfield. It was so big it had a different postcode to his house.


  1. Britain is one of seven post coding systems in the world that use an alphanumeric system - a combination of letter and numbers - which allows a greater number of unique combinations to be used.


  1. The combination of letters and numbers was also chosen because people can remember a mixture of numbers and letters more easily than a list of numbers.


  1. Optical recognition machines read the postcodes and automatically convert them to phosphor dots. These are in turn read by the sorting machines which handle correctly addressed mail, post-coded letters 20 times faster than manual sorting.


  1. The Girobank at Bootle in Liverpool was given its own postcode, GIR 0AA, that did not fit into the standard, geographical system. The postcode was taken over by its successors Alliance & Leicester and is currently used by Santander.


  1. In comedy Red Dwarf, the space ship is the size of a city, and has the fictional postal address complete with postcode: Red Dwarf, Deep Space, RE1 3DW.


  1. The furthest point from the sea in the UK is Church Flatts farm near the village of Coton in the Elms, which lies in the DE12 postcode area in Derbyshire.


  1. The British Forces Post Office has its own postcode, BF.


  1. Postcodes have been adopted by countries around the world and 117 of the 190 countries in the Universal Postal Union have postcode systems.


  1. In India they are known as PIN (standing for Postal Index Number) codes, and in the United States as ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) codes.


  1. One of the most famous zip codes is Beverly Hills 90210 - the same as a teen TV show. It is also one of the wealthiest areas in the US.


  1. Countries without postcodes include Jamaica, Ghana and Hong Kong.


  1. The Royal Mail uses the imaginary postcode prefix FX for training purposes.


  1. Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, East London, is so big it has its own postcode, E20, which was previously the fictional location for BBC soap EastEnders.


  1. There is no danger of the UK running out of postcodes anytime soon. The current alpha-numeric system has enough potential combinations to create 48million postcodes.


Try out our free quick address lookup and if you’re an e-commerce business we can provide integrations to ensure you always have the correct customer address saving you time and money in your business. Find out more here and get started today with 30 free search credits.

Postal Address Finder

What is a Postal Address Finder (PAF)

3X Software has been a Value Added Reseller of the Royal Mail Database for many years and now offers an online service under the trading name of Postcods4u. Royal Mail has developed a constantly updated database of postcode and address details, which relates to England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. In addition, there are over one million named organisations held. The Postal Address File (PAF) comprises a list of these addresses and their postcodes. Using a online service to lookup an address from a postcode ensures that you are using the most up to date address data and the address is captured accurately.

The basic data is supplied by Royal Mail, and, as a Value Added Reseller, 3X Software has taken that basic data and created addressing files for use on other platforms like the IBM System i (AS/400), along with software to maintain and distribute it on a periodic basis. Over 36,000 UK businesses from all sectors and of all sizes rely on PAF® These include leading Banks, Insurance Companies, Supermarkets, Government departments and the Police, online retailers, Entertainment venues, Charities and a host of Premiership Football Teams.  The database is especially useful to Financial service industries, call centers and mail order companies.

royalmail postcode finderpostcode finder

PAF is an invaluable tool for creating and maintaining mailing-lists and databases, helping you to reduce the number of returned or undelivered items, sharpen your customer profiling, and improve customer satisfaction.

With PAF you can sort your mail with full and correct Postcodes, which could help reduce your postage costs. Our system allows both postcode and address generation, depending on user requirements.

By using the system you can:

  • Reduce keying time
  • Standardise address formatting
  • Reduce errors
  • Find company addresses

Reduce delivery costs by ensuring the goods are delivered to the correct address first time

The data can bus used for:

  • validating addresses
  • improving response to direct mail
  • efficiency of inbound call centres
  • speeding-up online transactions
  • mapping and geo-demographics
  • credit rating.

To ease interfacing, APIs are provided which may be called to provide the following functions:

  • Return an address from a given postcode
  • Search on street name, with the ability to select a premise
  • Translate the address from uppercase to lowercase
  • Search on part of an organisation name

PAF/400 is native to the IBM System i but we can provide the data to other platforms just contact us for more details.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

It's never too early to start planning for Balck Friday and Cyber Monday

With online retail’s busiest day of the year approaching make sure your business is ready by topping up your Postcodes4U credits!!
Log in to your account over at and find a price package that suits you.

Black Friday Cyber Monday

nopCommerce free address lookup plugin

Do you have a #nopcommerce website? If so we provide a free address lookup plugin for all versions of Nop

Contact Form 7

Following feedback and requests from our customers we have made considerable changes to our Contact form 7 to make it even better.

It allows Postcode Address Lookup to be added to your WooCommerce Checkout pages as well as Contact Form 7 and Gravity Form pages. Also allows multiple forms

Easy integration into any other WordPress Page.

Also includes our own customisable Contact Form with Postcode lookup that can be added to any of your pages.

You can download here using this link: 

Postcodes4u COntact Form & Gravity Form

Voted Website of the Month

We are thrilled to be have been chosen as website of the month from Many thanks 

No Royal Mail Increase from Postcodes4u

Royal Mail are putting up their PAF prices on 1st July by 5% BUT we are NOT passing on the increase to you!

We are committed to trying to provide the best value to our customers. 

Royal Mail have quoted "Continued changes to the mix of End User licensing and increased costs mean that we need to review our prices to ensure that we can continue to maintain PAF® accuracy and data quality"

This year we have decided NOT to pass on the increase to you so you can carry on with your business without worrying about increased cost. 

Please remember if you need any help integrating our service just contact us and our team are only too happy to help.


Prepare your Ecommerce Store For Black Friday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge opportunities for any ecommerce trader. Last year the total spend on online retail sites on Black Friday was £1.23 BILLION so it’s no surprise that this year more websites are set to get involved than ever before! If you’re one of these websites are you prepared?
Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate With This One Simple Fix

For most e-Commerce businesses, a chief concern is how to convert visitors into customers. The average cart abandonment rate is around 70 and it’s the eternal headache for e-commerce businesses. Watching customers go halfway through the process only to abandon their purchase. 

So how can we minimise this and make sure that we get more customer to the sales finish line?

There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment but ultimately all our efforts are to make the customer experience as easy and frictionless as possible. It’s suggested that checkout optimisation can reduce cart abandonment by around 35% and an address validation service like the one Postcodes4U provides is a great way to do that. 

Read on to find out why it can be an easy but effective way to optimise your customer’s checkout experience and reduce cart abandonment rate. 

 1. Makes it Easy and Quick

The more work you leave your customers to do, the less likely they are to complete it. Some addresses can be long and complicated to fill in, especially if the address fields aren’t set out properly. It might not seem like a big task but remember that we want to make the checkout process as easy as possible.

Having an address lookup service integrated in your checkout process to fill in the form automatically reduces work for your customer, making it less likely that they will lose interest and abandon their purchase. 

2. Builds confidence

The more confident a customer feels that a delivery will be successful the more likely they’ll be to complete the checkout process and make their purchase. Knowing that their address is automatically filled in in a format that will be validated and recognised by delivery services is reassuring to customers as they know it’s less likely their parcel will go missing. 

3. Shows Authenticity

If your checkout forms fail to build trust and credibility, it’s likely that you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. Many people, even in this day and age when e-commerce is so widespread, can be nervous providing their personal and financial details over the internet. A postcode lookup service can be a really simple way to reduce this fear and show customers that you are credible and authentic.

In particular if you use Postcode4U’s service that utilises the Postcode Address File (PAF®) from the Royal Mail which is the most up-to-date and complete address database in the UK containing over 31 million addresses. The Royal Mail is a trusted institution known to everyone in the UK. 

How Postcodes4u can help:

Installing an address lookup service is a simple way to ease the friction of the checkout process and reduce cart abandonment rates maximising sales and growing your business. Postcodes4U address validation services can help you do just that. 

Get started now with 30 free search credits. 

Find the right plugin for your e-commerce platform or get in touch to find out more. 


How to Improve E-commerce Customer Satisfaction

According to the Office of National Statistics most recent figures the UK’s e-commerce sales were £668.9 billion rising by over 29 billion from 2018.

Many businesses have started trading online or increased their focus on e-commerce as a response to the pandemic in the last few years. But with so many businesses now online we need to make sure that customer satisfaction is taken into account to ensure repeat custom. 

What impacts customer satisfaction?

Many things impact customer satisfaction in e-commerce such as how easy your site is to use, the price and quality of your products and your customer service. Most of those things are completely within your control which is great news as you can put strategies in place to improve customer satisfaction straight away.

However, e-commerce businesses still need to post out products which is where hand over the control and put our trust in the postal system to safely deliver our customers items. Which is sometimes where things go wrong.

Customer Satisfaction and Delivery

Delivery has a big impact on customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, as the Royal Mail say on their own website, “sometimes things go wrong”. Even though the delivery part of our business is often out of our hands consumers will still leave with a bad taste in their mouth if they have a bad experience when trying to receive their purchases. 

And can you blame them? Is there anything more infuriating than getting excited to receive your order and it taking longer than you expected because of delivery problems or even lost?!

Why do deliveries go wrong?

In Royal Mail’s defence, they perform a thankless task. There are a myriad of things that may go wrong in the delivery process. One of the biggest causes of mis-deliveries is incorrect addresses. Addresses can be complicated to format, especially in the UK and if written or formatted incorrectly it can easily cause post to go missing.

In 2019 the Royal Mail received over 578,000 complaints. That’s a lot of post that’s gone missing and a massive impact on e-commerce businesses. But the good news is that even though you can’t hand deliver all of your items yourself there are some easy ways you can maximise the chances of a successful delivery. 

How can Postcodes4U Help?

One simple way to minimise this problem and increase customer satisfaction is by using an address lookup service in your checkout process so that customers can provide a validated delivery address in a trusted, official format. Postcodes4U can help you do just that. We use the Postcode Address File (PAF®) from the Royal Mail which is the most up-to-date and complete address database in the UK containing over 31 million addresses. 

We have plugins available for most e-commerce platforms to install immediately and you can get started with 30 free search credits. You can also contact us if you need a custom integration created for you completely free of charge. 

So get in touch and don’t hesitate to make this easy change that could drastically improve your customer satisfaction.