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The Postcode Database

by Paul Nicholson

The Postcode Database is one of Royal Mail's better kept secrets.  They've laboured long and hard to build up a complete list of every postal address in the UK together with its postcode.

I'm in their database - and so are you.  At least, our homes are!  They've assessed the socio-economic class of the local residents.  And I wouldn't mind betting they've matched it up with the voters' register so they know the names of all the adults living in each house.

This is beginning to sound like "Big Brother Is Watching You" - which wasn't why I started writing it.  The important thing for network marketers is that Royal Mail have put part of their Postcode Database online.

Have you ever had trouble reading handwritten addresses - at the top of letters, or in boxes on forms?  Everyone is in a hurry nowadays, and they already know their own address.  So they scribble it down so fast they make mistakes - or their writing becomes illegible to anyone but themselves.  Mine's got to the stage even I can't read it!

If you can't decipher someone's handwritten address, click to the Address Finder lurking at and key in the postcode.  This will give you a list of all the possible addresses for that postcode.  Businesses tend to get their own unique postcode, but several private residences usually share one.  As long as you can read the handwritten house number then - bingo! - you've got the full address.

If you can't quite make out a handwritten postcode - is that a "B" or an "8"? - you can often guess by knowing that valid UK postcodes all have a standard format:

one or two letters

one numeral,
two numerals,
or a numeral
and a letter


one numeral

two letters

eg. A or BC

eg. 1, 11 or 1A


eg. 1

eg. AB

Even better, click to the Postcode Finder at and key in the address details.  This will give you the correct postcode for that address.

So next time you get something where you can't decipher the address or the postcode - remember the dear old Royal Mail and their Postcode Database.

Issue 2, Friday 17th March 2000