Letters and parcels
Postal mail in the United Kingdom is extremely reliable. Mail
will normally be delivered direct to your house or flat. If you
live on a college campus, mail will be delivered centrally and
put in a ‘pigeon hole’: small boxes labelled alphabetically.
Sometimes a piece of mail cannot be delivered to you, eg if you
are out when a parcel is being delivered. If this is the case, you
will receive a postcard giving details of where you should go to
collect your parcel.
The Post Office
Letters and small packets may be placed in any local post box
for collection if they have a correct postage stamp on them. Read
the sign on the side of the post box to get an idea of what time
the post will be collected. If you do not know the cost of posting
a letter, visit your local post office or look at www.royalmail.com.
Post Offices are open during normal office hours, and as well
as postal services, they can often help you in other ways. You may
be able to pay certain bills there (such as electricity and gas),
send flowers by post and even have photographs developed at some
of the larger post offices. Social Service benefits and claim forms
are also available.
You can send parcels and letters to addresses within the UK either
by first or second class post. First class post normally gives a
next day delivery and is the most expensive. Second class post takes
3-5 days. You can buy any type of stamp from your local post office.
You can also buy some types of stamps (those most commonly used
to send letters within the UK) from other shops, such as supermarkets
Writing the address
Always ensure that you use the post code for addresses within
the UK. Always PRINT the name and address carefully and use an airmail
sticker for letters going abroad by airmail. At Christmas, mail
takes longer to arrive due to the increase in numbers of letters
being sent, so make you allow long enough for the letter to arrive.
If you need to send a letter in a hurry, ask for the special fast
service available from any post office. There are also services
available for sending valuable items. ‘Special Delivery’
is the fastest service, and guarantees delivery by 1pm the following
day. You can also insure any piece of post you send by Special Delivery.
‘Recorded Delivery’ is a cheaper and
slower way of guaranteeing that a valuable piece of post reaches
its destination – as the recipient must sign a form when they
receive the letter.
If you move house or return home, you may arrange for any mail
that arrives at your old address to be redirected. Redirection can
be arranged for 1 month, 3 month or year periods. There is a charge
for this service. For details of this service, ask at your local
post office or look at www.royalmail.com.
This guide is copyrighted © Friends International 2005. No
part of this work may be reproduced without
the written permission of Friends International.
Additional local information provided by Friends International in Guildford, 2007.