Post Office Counters
The Post Office - What a good idea! "Cashier number one please."
Post Office Counters
The ever changing public/retail face of the Post Office...separated from Royal Mail.

Opposite is a typical Post Office in a modern shopping centre. The shop front lettering is white letters on a green background. The Post Office 'lozenge' retains the traditional red and yellow branding which has connections with Royal Mail.

This was the pre-2012 corporate image, before the demerger from Royal Mail.

Photo © Java Jane.
| EXIT | Introduction | TV Licensing | Post Office Premises | Post Office Vehicles | My Post Office (Set) |
This section is under revision. Needs more updating with history/current affairs!

The Post Office name is synonomous with the letter and parcel services which are provided at every Post Office Counter. Royal Mail has always been responsible for the collection and delivery of letters and (small) parcels. In 2006, Post Office Ltd was the trading name for the counter services which are still a part of everyday life.

Ever Changing

On 1st April 2012, Post Office Limited was demerged from Royal Mail Group and now reports directly to the Government. This is the only part of the original 'Post Office' which has not been privatised. There is a 10-year inter-business agreement between Royal Mail and the Post Office to allow the handling of stamps, parcels and letters throughout the network of Post Offices.

The Government retains ownership of Post Office Ltd via the Postal Services Holding Company plc.

Post Office Ltd, operates one of the UK's largest retail networks via Post Office™ branches. The network is unique in that Post Office Ltd only owns around 500 Post Office branches. The remainder of the network is owned by the people who run it, including franchisees and subpostmasters and mistresses.

["...the Post Office is now more than it ever was - an independent multi-channel business, with a vibrant, fast-growing financial services business, separated from Royal Mail and embarking on a new era of growth, modernisation and customer excellence in serving the UK population... There is no longer a closure programme in Post Office branches - in fact, we have the largest retail network in the UK, at its most stable for over 25 years with almost 11,800 branches." extracted 25/07/14]

The situation in the late 2010s was somewhat changed, with main post offices being closed in favour of a reduced presence in shared stores, such as WH Smiths, or any other shop which could offset the running costs.

In 2021 the long-running 'Horizon scandal' as a result of the Post Office prosecuting hundreds of postmasters for false accounting, was finally proved to be a computer software fault, which has seriously underminded the credibility of what was once regarded as a trusted public service. The court ruled that the Post Office had wrongly sent many postmasters to prison when in fact they were completely blameless. The repercussions of this are ongoing, although under newer management the workings of the Post Office continue as normal, and the operational side the system is as robust as ever, non-withstanding the appalling manner in which the company, and ultimately the government allowed it to treat its staff, and ruined so many lives, seemingly deliberately.

Post Office
Letter boxes were often sited outside (or not far from) Post Offices.

Photo: "Post Office" © Light Straw Archive April 2012. 
National Savings  
National Savings through the Post Office
National Savings through the Post Office. A reminder that Post Office Savings Bank accounts could be serviced at more than 20,000 Post Offices.

Image: GPO - National Savings through the Post Office.
TV Licensing  
TV Licensing
In the modern world of the 21st century, all suppliers are reviewing their options for payment of services. From (about) August 2006 TV Licensing has chosen not to collect its revenue via the Post Office. It's one less service for which to queue as payments and applications can now be made on-line!

Image: TV Licensing
Premium Bonds
National Savings and Investments writes...

"For many years now, we have been withdrawing our accounts and investments from sale at Post Office branches and encouraging our customers to deal with us directly. Premium Bonds are the last of our investments to be sold through the Post Office, and more of our customers are choosing to invest directly with us, so this is a natural next step."

From 1 August 2015, Premium Bonds will no longer be on sale at Post Office® branches - they will only be available direct from NS&I.

Post Office Premises  
Post Office Premises
Traditionally, Post Offices in large towns were situated in fine architectural buildings. In the example opposite, the letters ER (Elizabeth's Reign) and the words Post Office are carved into the stonework. When the public telephone service was still part of the Post Office, shared premises were not uncommon.

In recent times Post Office services are more likely to be found within supermarkets...

Photo © Philip Gates
Post Office Vehicles  
Post Office
The 'Post Office Counters' brand is echoed in the vehicle fleet with a green banding on its vans.


Photo: Post Office Transit © Light Straw September 2012
Post Office
The later 'Post Office' brand is shown on this Mercedes van. This livery is a departure from the traditional red and yellow colours of Royal Mail.


Photo: Post Office Mercedes © LSA September 2013
My Post Office (Set)  
My Post Office (Set)
How many children played 'post offices' when they were little? The photo opposite is from Casdon Toys who produce the latest set.

Image: "Post Office Set" by Casdon Toys. 
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