The Delivery Office (DO)
An overview of delivery methods
The Delivery Office 
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The Delivery Office

Quote from Royal Mail website: "Our Delivery Offices are a vital part of the network that ensures your mail gets delivered to the right address. All mail arrives at a Delivery Office as the last stop on the journey to its destination. It is then sorted and delivered daily (except for Sundays and Bank Holidays) to one of the 27 million addresses nationwide. We’ve split the UK into 31 operational areas, with approximately 1400 Delivery Offices employing 100,000 postmen and 3000 delivery managers."

The modern Delivery Office (DO) is typically located at an out of town location where economies of scale allow for a large sorting office combined with a reception for members of the public to visit the DO.

The 21st century philosophy is 'economies of scale' in which there are fewer, but larger sorting offices within the road hub network.

Mail by Road
Mail by Road
A study of the Royal Mail Fleet from early times to present day...

Photo: Royal Mail vans through the ages © LSA April 2014.
Teleprinter Services
Teleprinter Services
This Teleprinter Services bus was used to transmit test match results from the event locations via the T.A.S. (Teleprinter Automatic Switching) network.

Photo: GPO Teleprinter Services Bus SLO 24 © LSA Sept 2012.
Delivery Methods

Delivery Methods (DM) was a radical change in the way in which the 'final mile' delivery to the customer is made. From about July 2010 additional vans gradually replaced the traditional Postmans' bicycle. This was due partly to the larger rounds and bulkier loads as a result of both DO (Delivery Office) and SO (Sorting Office) rationalisation.

High Capacity Trolleys
High Capacity Trolley
Since 2007 trolleys have become a common sight on the streets.

These trolleys are known as HCTs (High Capacity Trolleys) as they can carry a large volume of mail (agreed max. loading 105 kg gross).

Photo: High Capacity Trolley © LSA Sept 2012. 

High Capacity Trolley Mk 2
The Mk 2 HCTs have an additional top box on the handlebars for placing bundles of mail during delivery (agreed max. loading 122 kg gross).

Photo: High Capacity Trolley Mk2 © LSA June 2011. 
During the delivery round, the trolleys are sometimes re-filled by van drops along the route. Mail is 'walksorted' by machine prior to delivery, so that the bundles are presented in the correct order.

Mail by Rail

The 2000s saw the decline of mail carried by rail, as Mail Rail closed in 2003 and the last TPO ran in 2004. In the 2010s some mail is still carried by the 325 class EMUs.
Mail by Rail
Mail by Rail - A look back...

Photo: Travelling Post Office at Nene Valley Railway © Light Straw July 2009.
The GPO in London

Northern District Office
Northern District Office
The Northern District Office was a main hub of GPO activity from 1906 to 2014, including both postal and telecoms functions during its era.

NDO site under redevelopment: Imagery © 2017 Google, Map data © Google 2017. 
Built for Service by Julian Osley Mail Trains by Julian Stray Moving the Mail: By Road by Julian Stray
Built for Service by Julian Osley.
Mail Trains by Julian Stray.
Moving the Mail by Julian Stray.

A selection of books from The Postal Museum.
Design, images and text compiled by © Light-Straw. Page last updated 28th July 2017. Checked May 2021.

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