Until 1 Jan 2023 / 10:00 - 17:00
The Postal Museum
Included in museum ticket
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Don’t miss the story of the ground-breaking technology that changed the post forever in our special exhibition during its final weeks.

From wartime tech pioneers to Poco the Postcode Elephant, uncover the surprising story of the postcode. Sorting Britain delves into the Post Office innovation that revolutionised how post was processed, sorted, and delivered and its unintended outcomes for life in Britain.

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Exhibition highlights include:

ELSIE: Letter sorting machine. Image from exhibit at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Olympia, 1960 (POST 118/15222)
ELSIE: Letter sorting machine. Image from exhibit at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Olympia, 1960 (POST 118/15222)
'London Postal District map: Showing the position of each London and Suburban Sorting Office with the Cart routes and circulation through the East and West Central Districts'
'London Postal District map: Showing the position of each London and Suburban Sorting Office with the Cart routes and circulation through the East and West Central Districts'
Poco The Elephant badge, reminding people to use postcodes on addresses.
Poco The Elephant badge, reminding people to use postcodes on addresses.
A map showing how London districts were became divided by postcode.
A map showing how London districts were became divided by postcode.
PL152 7/61

Side A of leaflet

from:
POST110/6043
(Publications advertising postal coding
1961-1994)
PL152 7/61 Side A of leaflet from: POST110/6043 (Publications advertising postal coding 1961-1994)
Early map of central London districts and sub districts by postcode.
Early map of central London districts and sub districts by postcode.

Find out more about how postcodes came to be, the innovative way they’ve been used, and the surprising ways they’ve impacted society.

  • Sorting Britain Videos

    Explore the surprising history of postcodes through our series of short films, from early trials in the 60s through to their modern day use as a data sorting powerhouse.

    Read more
  • Postcodes

    Find out all about the origins of modern postcodes.

    Read more
    • Archive
    • 04 November 2016

    One Machine, Many Settings

    Get up close to a marvellous machine with Archivist Matt Tantony.

    Read more
    • blog
    • 23 July 2019

    Poco - The Postcode Elephant

    What has a postcode to do with a fluffy pink elephant? Read more about the Post Office's 1980s PR sensation.

    Read more
    • blog
    • 17 July 2019

    Postcodes turn 60

    Postcodes - codes with letters and numbers. Read about the groundbreaking technology that changed the post forever.

    Read more

See some of the featured products drawing inspiration from Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes, and explore the full range in our shop.

Shop the range
  • Pink Elephant Plush £18

    Say hello to Poco’s fluffy cousin, Ebu the pink elephant from the WWF. A sustainable, ethical soft toy made to last, supporting conservation efforts worldwide.

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  • Tote Bag £6

    Cotton tote bag designed exclusively for The Postal Museum, hand printed in Sheffield by ‘Bag it don’t bin it’.

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  • London Postcodes Greetings Card £3.50

    Designed by James Brown and printed in the UK by Pressed & Folded, this beautiful graphic greetings card displays all the London postcode areas.

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  • Poco Badge £2

    A faithful recreation of a retro pin badge featuring Poco the postcode elephant, mascot of a campaign to encourage the public to use the postcode when sending mail.

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