Kiosk Availability

Following an engineer visit, Kiosks A003 (NMRM – Portsmouth) & A007 (Explosion Museum) are still awaiting Pin Pad upgrades and are not available at the present time.

Worldpay our payment provider, had proposed a temporary fix which we hoped to install in time for Falklands overprint, but the install was unsuccessful.

We apologise for the short notice of this message.

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes

The Postal Museum is set to mark the opening of the new temporary exhibition Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes with Post & Go stamps. The new “Sorting Britain” overprint will appear on the first-class Machin stamps and the Union Flag stamps from 30 March 2022.

In addition to Post & Go stamps, there will be a range of products available such as a First Day Cover. This limited edition of 200 First Day Covers will feature two first-class stamps each – one Machin and one Union Flag design with the ‘’Sorting Britain” overprint. They will be cancelled with the official handstamp for The Postal Museum and are individually numbered.

Available for purchase is also a limited number of 150 Presentation Packs which will contain a collectors strip of Union Flag stamps and the first-class strip of 1st Class Machins with the ‘’Sorting Britain” overprint enclosed in a fold-out card with information about the exhibition.

The overprint on stamps, Presentation Packs and First Day Covers will be available on site and online at shop.postalmuseum.org from 30 March to 1 January 2023.

Two Post & Go machines are available at The Postal Museum throughout the museum’s opening hours.

Falklands 40th Anniversary – Fri 1st April 2022 – Fri 29th April 2022

Commemorating 40 years since the start of the Falklands War in April 1982 – the 74-day clash found Argentina and the United Kingdom battling for control of the Falkland Islands. The Falklands conflict was predominately a naval campaign, involving a task force which ultimately amounted to 127 ships, consisting of 43 Royal Navy vessels, 22 from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and 62 merchant ships. The overprint will be available from Fri 1st April 2022 – Fri 29th April 2022on NMRN kiosks A002, A004, A006 and A007.

‘The Fleet Air Arm kiosk A003 will also be commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands War. Dates to match those of the Royal Navy Kiosks’.

New exhibition reveals ground-breaking technology that revolutionised Britain and the post forever

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes
30 March 2022 – 1 January 2023

From wartime tech pioneers to ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ the surprising story of the postcode is uncovered in a new temporary exhibition at The Postal Museum in London.

Opening on Wednesday 30 March, Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes, delves into the Post Office innovation that revolutionised how post was processed, sorted, and delivered and its unintended outcomes for life in Britain.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • ELSIE, one of the only original 1950s Electronic Letter Sorting Indicating Equipment left in existence, goes on display for the first time in 20 years, as visitors try their hand at coding post.
  • Discover ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ which became one of the biggest advertising campaigns of the 1980s.
  • From hearing aids to Colossus – the world’s first programable computer – understand how the Post Office was one of the biggest innovators in mid-century Britain.
  • Stunning unseen maps of London from the 19th century to be displayed.

Postcodes are part of everyday life. They affect everything from communications and identity to house prices and care. Postcodes were trialled in Norwich in 1959, but their story goes back further. The exhibition explains the early postal districts of London, Liverpool and Manchester in the 1850s and 1860s to the modern coding we know today.

Tech pioneers Tommy Flowers, Dame Stephanie Shirley CH and Sir Gordon Radley, were some of the brilliant minds working at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill in the 1930s to 60s. Their impact will be explored, from postal mechanisation and postcodes to inventions like Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer, and even hearing aids.

ELSIE, original 1950s Electronic Letter Sorting Indicating Equipment, will give visitors the chance to try coding the post:

  • In 1960, there were around 28 million letters and packages passing through the postal system every day.
  • With the help of ELSIE and coded post, an operator could sort up to 110 letters a minute, or about 6,000 letters an hour.
  • It contained 144 destination pigeonholes.
  • Around 8 million packages a day were incorrectly labelled, ending up in the ‘Dead Letter Office’ where addresses were traced by ingenious methods.

Visitors can find out about the importance of ‘Poco the Postcode Elephant’ – and the array of incredible memorabilia created for it – which helped change the nation’s habits in the 1980s through a decade-long advertising campaign.

And, finally, Sorting Britain will consider ‘what does my postcode say about me?’, as it delves into how postcodes are now used to sort people, as well as post.

Contemporary British artist, Alison Turnbull, has been commissioned to create a response to the exhibition’s themes. Alison is known for transforming and reimagining readymade information, such as plans, diagrams, blueprints and charts, into vivid abstract paintings.

Chris Taft, Head of Collections said:

“There was a great sense of national pride at the heart of the drive for innovation at the Post Office. The mechanisation of traditional systems, and ultimately the adoption of the postcode system, helped changed the face of Britain forever. Today, the advent of new technology continues to change how we communicate with each other at astonishing speed. Sorting Britain is a fascinating look into this little-known history, told through the wonderful collections at The Postal Museum.”

Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes, 30 March 2022 – 1 January 2023

The exhibition will be accompanied by events throughout 2022 at The Postal Museum and online. Details to be announced soon.

Admission included in the ticket price for The Postal Museum (£16 online)

www.postalmuseum.org