If we ignore the johnny-come-lately postcodes from the outer boroughs, then London traditionally has eight postal districts: NW, N, E, SE, SW, W, EC (East Central) and WC (West Central).
Those with a sharp mind might have realised that the system lacks two obvious members: S and NE. These did once exist, but were expunged from the map in the 1860s. They didn't attract enough mail, so were merged into their neighbours. The NE postcode was reassigned to Newcastle, while S now represents Sheffield.
But not all evidence of their London existence has departed. Our street signs usually carry the postal district next to the street name. When the signs are old enough, they may include the missing postcodes.
The NE postcode, centered on Hackney, is particularly tenacious. London Fields has one, for example:
Now, a group of local history enthusiasts — led by the wonderful Ghostsigns website — are on the search for all remaining examples. They will create a comprehensive map with photographs as a niche but fascinating archive of this lingering facet of postal history.
If you'd like to join the postcode scavenger hunt, it takes place 2-5pm on Saturday 21 April 2018, with a group briefing at 2pm in the Clapton Hart. Please check the website first to find out what will be expected, then RSVP so the group leaders can get a sense of likely numbers on the day. We will link up the fruits of the research here.