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January 08, 2008

Postcodes and nincompoops

The postcode system is a wonderful thing. Ok, it does have its dark side - when people use the system for categorising consumers and for estimating insurance risks. But on the whole it’s a Good Thing.

It’s also a World Thing. If you go to Google Earth, or Google Maps, you get a big picture of planet Earth.


If you type in your postcode the earth spins, in a reassuring way, and begins to zoom in on your front door. How excellent is that?

Parcel delivery is a thing that has been going on for centuries. It reeks of history: The Great North Road, the Mail Coach making its way through fine weather and foul, the Postilion wrapped tight against the elements, Pony Express, the Mail Train.

p Mailcoach.jpg

The latter-day purveyors of parcels have sexy adverts with catchy tunes, whizzy graphics and fancy logos.

You’d think they’d be able to deliver parcels by now.

I don’t work round the corner of a dark alley, behind a derelict building overgrown with bushes, in an obscure part of town. My studio is in a 3 storey mill building on the main Wakefield - Huddersfield road. The line “Bankfield Mill” is a dead giveaway as to the type of building it might be, especially in an area of textile mills.


When you type my postcode into the Google engines the arrow points right to this building, on the side of the road, you get a photograph of the place. It’s not like the post code is for a whole area, this building has its own code, the building next door is different.


Parcelforce, as I understand it, came out of that bastion of delivery skills the Post Office, but is now probably owned by some Chinese zinc-plating consortium. This would explain why they can’t find me.


UPDATE: Parceline can't find the place either. I rang them and they said "are there any landmarks near?" I said "What, other than a three-storey mill building with a hundred foot chimney next to it?" Am I missing something here?

Posted by john at January 8, 2008 11:02 AM