Find your local postbox

Map showing locations of postboxes.
The blue marker indicates the centre of your postcode area; the red markers indicate postbox locations.

I’ve lived in Anstruther now for over eight years and I still don’t know where all our local postboxes are. Now I do, thanks to Find My Nearest Postbox from Matthew Somerville.

Find My Nearest Postbox ‘mashes-up’ postbox data from the Royal Mail with map data from the OpenStreetMap project, presenting an immediate and visual guide. All that is missing is a Google StreetView style view to let you see exactly where the postbox is.

Why doesn’t the Royal Mail website have this facility? Their site tells you how much stamps are for each size and weight. It enables you to print stamps on your own computer. But it doesn’t it tell you where you may post your letters. Surely that’s one of the key touch-points for using the Royal Mail services. That’s not very user-centred.

Anyway, Matthew Somerville’s service couldn’t be simpler. Enter the postcode you want to explore and hit Enter. I wish I’d found this earlier.

He also has a mash-up of cash machine locations.

How to address your mail

I love geeky stuff like this! The Royal Mail (formerly Consignia, formerly Royal Mail) has a page on their website all about about how to clearly address your mail.

Graphic showing an envelope and what information to write on it
Image credit: Royal Mail

An envelope requires only five lines if addressing somewhere in the UK:

  • Line 1—The addressee’s name.
  • Line 2—Building number and street name.
  • Line 3—Locality name (if required).
  • Line 4—POST TOWN (print in capitals).
  • Line 5—POSTCODE (print in capitals, in full, on a separate line).

Important points to note:

  1. You do not need a county name (e.g. Fife) if you use the post town and full postcode.
  2. No commas or full stops.
  3. Left-align your address, do not centre or stagger your lines.

So now you know. Although you probably use email and Twitter, don’t you!