In Other News: Whitton Streets Campaign to Join Twickenham

In a slightly bizarre but perhaps understandable move, residents of 34 streets in Whitton have been petitioning to be part of Twickenham rather than Hounslow. The Richmond & Twickenham (but not Hounslow) Times is reporting on how a ‘We Want to be Whitton’ campaign is trying to get the ‘postal town’ of the 34 roads changed from Hounslow to Twickenham. In other words, they want to be part of TW2 rather than TW3 or TW4. Now some might say that people generally don’t define themselves by their postal towns, after all, who are the Royal Mail to tell us where we live and if you want to say you’re part of Whitton then, hell, you’re part of Whitton. However, it’s not quite as simple as that. Postcodes and postal towns can influence house prices, insurance and more, and if you expect estate agents, insurance companies and automated systems to understand the nuances of what’s Whitton and what’s not then good luck to you.

The campaigners are taking the line that as residents of the Borough of Richmond upon Thames they should be able to associate themselves with it in more ways than just paying their council tax. The R&TT reports that they’ve taken their petition to El Brute, discussed the matter with Vince Cable and want to get support in lobbying Royal Mail for a change.

Given that Twickenham already spans two postcodes, including TW2 which also covers Whitton, perhaps the question should also be asked: are we ready to welcome them in? Well?*

Richmond & Twickenham Times

(* of course we are, aren’t we?)


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

41 responses to “In Other News: Whitton Streets Campaign to Join Twickenham

  1. Anonymous

    Wasn’t there a campaign some years ago by people in Hampton Court and Hampton Wick, with Kingston postcodes, to have them switched to a TW postcode? It failed, of course, as will this one.

  2. Blimey! It’s now made the Evening Standard:

    This issue which affects 34 streets has, as of now, secured 68 signatures on the online petition. That’s almost two for each affected road!

    Things are clearly warming up nicely!

    • ” one resident who was told her child could not attend a Richmond Borough School because she was wrongly considered a Hounslow Resident due to her postcode. For those that live in Whitton and pay Council Tax to Richmond Council it should not be too difficult for Royal Mail to bring them into line with their fellow residents.”

      I think I would feel a bit miffed as well to be honest, especially as Richmond rates are higher than Hounslow. But if the guys running the petition are serious and want more signatures, door to door must be the best option. 68 doesn’t seem too impressive. .

    • Postcode geek

      But it is complete rubbish, school admissions do not work on postcode, they work on distance, which is why the schools on the borough boundary are full of children from neighbouring boroughs. This is the Orleans Park School map showing places offered including over the Hounslow border, and refused, purely on distance [[]]

  3. roger

    Postcode is not a location device, post town is just where the delivery office is, its a rather London thing to be so concerned about postcodes much like what side of the river.

    where the streets are I can see why royal mail made its choice, to be honest it should be a technical choice not political that way lies madness.

  4. Anonymous

    To be honest, royal mail should be free to use the postcodes as they wish and not pander to politics, The streets are part of Whitton, but post codes don’t work like that, its to do with the delivery office and I can see why Royal Mail gave them the post code they did.

    It is one of the London peculiarities worrying about which postcode your in and what side of the river, you happen to live.

  5. Anonymous

    Could I use this an excuse to have a rant about Parcelforce who think Twickenham is part of Whitton? Despite living on Heathfield North which is 0.4 miles from Twickenham PO, I have to travel to Whitton PO to pick up non-delivered parcels. Honestly, what is the point? Hey? (Ooh that feels better…)

    • Rufus McDufus

      Do you mean the sorting office near the rugby ground? I believe everyone in Twickenham has to trudge over the A316 at some point to pick up that missed parcel from there! Glad I have a car.

    • Anonymous

      No, I mean the PO on Whittin High Street. Handy, hey?

  6. George

    Windsor = SL4, Surely if anyone were to want a postcode change it would be Her Majesty the Queen. Maybe we could have it as a TW outpost.

  7. Anonymous

    There’s a good deal of misunderstanding here about how postcodes affect insurance and house prices. As an ex-insurance professional, I can tell you that home insurance premiums are generally derived empirically from published burglary/fire/accidental damage rates in that postcode, similarly for motor insurance. Changing the postcode to something else will not make a jot of difference as the same statistics will be applied to deterimine premiums.

    Not so sure about house prices. I would think being in Richmond (or not) would have more effect than the postcode, even allowing for the scandalously high Council Tax rates in Richmond.

    • shim2014

      So postcode does affect insurance prices then – I can assure you the crime stats in TW4 and TW3 are much higher than in TW2. Having moved from one end of the borough into one of the 34 streets, I have seen my motor insurance double, despite my no claims bonus going up and my vehicle moving from street parking to a garage…

  8. Just a thought

    So do we now rename Twickenham rugby ground to Hounslow rugby ground?

  9. Bigdave13

    I’d prefer Whitton have it’s own identity, but our problem is the continual encroachment of Twickenham. Whitton’s international rugby stadium has been taken, the secondary school is now called twickenham academy, the cemetery is called twickenham and I even learnt today that the rifleman pub is named after a whitton war hero. The only good thing about twickenham is the fishmongers and guess where they come from….whitton. Please keep to your own side of the 316.

    • Rickytwicky

      The war hero of The Rifleman pub, Frank Edwards, resided for many years on Twickenham Green. Indeed the renaming of the pub in his honour in 2010 shows that us Twickerati respect our war heroes unlike…

    • Anonymous

      The Rifleman has been so named for at least 30 years. However, your point is taken: Twickenham takes the lead and other follow.

    • Anonymous

      Dave. Some parts of Whitton are the other side of a316. Its the river that divides not a316.

    • anonymouse

      It’s a shame that the Whitton fishmongers closed down. It was pretty good. Maybe you didn’t appreciate it.

    • Simon H

      I’d prefer Whitton to have it’s own identity, too. Don’t want it dragging Twickenham down by association.

  10. anonymouse

    FYI Tesco Twickenham is actually in Isleworth, in LBofHounslow.
    Conclusion: Twickenham is aspirational.

  11. Purple Haze

    Re the article on page 4 of the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Friday 24th, January:
    Ms Adams-New, who lives in Conway Road, said: “We live in Whitton, but because of the Royal Mail we are labelled with a Hounslow post-town. This can impact in a number of ways, including house prices and insurance…”
    -A patronizing and disingenuous remark.
    So being associated with Hounslow town is detrimental to house prices is it? Is that a proper or legitimate reason to change a post code? And what does that say about some peoples’ attitude towards folk who live in Hounslow?
    As your contributor michelangelo states, it’s ironic that a LibDem MP supports these changes when they voted against the Boundary Commission’s proposals.

    Ad nauseam…

    • Postcode geek

      I also notice someone was trying to claim it affected admissions to borough schools, utter and total rubbish and there is no shortage of Hounslow pupils at Twickenham Academy and Orleans to prove it.

    • Alexis

      Following my exchange on another thread with PPending about LibDem C’llr Gareth Roberts, I have been tipped off to have a look at another Twitter account run by “mrwilsunshine” This turns out to be none other than LibDem ex-Twickenham Riverside Councillor Michael Wilson – remember him – no? I thought probably not.
      Since losing his seat he appears to have been working for the LibDems but has reappeared in Whitton standing close to Vince in support of those who would change the local postcode. That’s understandable for the local residents because they pay their Council Tax to LBRUT, however, what a tacky bit of political opportunism of Vince and Mr Wilson to showboat so blatantly – they really are shameless. Vince has form but Mr Wilson should set his own agenda if he has hopes of joining Gareth on the front benches – well said Purple Haze.
      Is “mrwilsunshine” standing for election in Whitton? If so, local residents might like to question him about his apparent invisibility when he was elected to represent the residents of Twickenham Riverside in 2006 – always a tricky job given Lourie’s unpopular Riverside vanity project, however, to give them their due, his co-Councillors, Carr and Trigg did their best – where was Mr Wilson?
      Is this yet another LibDem shoe-in of a favoured son?
      PS: Sorry Nemesis – just occasionally Twitter is worth a comment

  12. Purple Haze

    The point about well-heeled Chiswick being in the borough of Hounslow is a good one. What’s wrong with being part of that borough anyway?
    Is it just because some people don’t like the idea of being associated with Hounslow?
    Are these the same people who elect to go to Kingston hospital in Surrey rather than the West Middlesex in the borough of Hounslow? Heaven forbid if you give birth to a child there and you live in a posh part of Richmond Borough, as the birth certificate will have Hounslow on it as the baby’s place of birth!
    Whitton has a strong identity of it’s own and if you live in a postcode you don’t like, then why did you choose to move there?
    It just smacks of snobbery, hoping that house prices will increase as a result of these proposed changes, and gerrymandering by Councilor Elliott. Maybe they should also change the name to East Richmond or Lesser Chelsea? That would surely add value wouldn’t it?
    And be careful what you wish for. Until very recently many residents of TW1 could not get house and buildings insurance, because of the risk of flooding, even if they lived in areas that hadn’t experienced flooding in living memory. If you could get it, the cost was staggering. Insurance companies use postcodes as a ‘one size fits all’ solution to determine risk, and I guess you can’t blame them. Same goes for vehicle insurance. Some folk I know in TW3 or TW4 pay a lot less for the same model of car than a resident in TW1 does.
    Be Whitton. Be Hounslow. Be proud!

    • Jules

      Be proud to live in Hounslow….NEVER!!! We live in WHITTON pay our council tax to Richmond, so why the hell do the post office say we live in Hounslow when we DON’T…. If we had wanted to lower our living standards we would of bought our houses in Hounslow & not in Whitton……SIMPLES !!!!

    • Purple Haze

      ‘Be proud to live in Hounslow….NEVER!!!’
      ‘If we had wanted to lower our living standards we would of bought our houses in Hounslow & not in Whitton…’

      Why buy a house in Whitton knowing it has a Hounslow postcode then?
      Another insult aimed at the residents of Hounslow Borough. Which incidently includes well-heeled Chiswick, Turnham Green, Isleworth, Spring Grove, Osterley and up and coming Brentford.

      Maybe Trevor Phillips had a point when he talked about liberal Powellites as we know what the real issue is here don’t we?

  13. Jon-Paul

    I think the people affected would like a moat between themselves and Hounslow. Or a ‘ Cutteslowe Wall’, where in Oxfordshire a wall was built along a street to separate the private houses from the council estate.

    When you look at a map of Hounslow it’s noticeable how Whitton is in many ways a big chunk out of the middle of their borough. So maybe Whitton should be absorbed into Hounslow.

  14. I spent my teenage years (the 1970’s) in Whitton and we always wrote our address as being Whitton, Twickenham, Middlesex. Whitton was a suburb of Twickenham, that’s how it always seemed to us. We never ever thought of ourselves as being Hounslow, in fact Hounslow seemed a rather distant place. If it makes Whittonites feel better though, good friends of mine who live in a very upmarket street in Chiswick, are also under the borough of Hounslow. All very odd!

  15. Rufus McDufus

    Can the people already in TW2 campaign against this? I’d do it myself but must get back to my ant-wrangling.

  16. Postcode Geek

    Good luck to them. Postcodes districts are determined geographically by number of households not neighbourhood affinities. If you have ever done any analysis of neighbourhoods for social or marketing purposes (which is how Royal Mail make their money out of selling on the Postcode Address File, which in turn generates effective direct mail) you will understand the importance of maintaining that statistical integrity to the Royal Mail. It’s big business and a review in 2007? put the direct revenue from the PAF at £18m (in addition there is even further indirect revenue and economies from better addressing, enabling posters to presort, improving direct mail response rates by better targeting which increases the share of marketing budgets etc.) A proposal to make it a public service at little or no cost, the overlay of demographic and socio economic data is also widely used by government to improve their statistical knowledge and planning, got no where. So against that backdrop I somehow doubt that Royal Mail will want to leave themselves open to every aspirant neighbourhood in the country messing with the system and increasing their costs to get a “better postcode”.

    Although of course there is a consumer marketing opportunity there. How much would you pay to get a better postcode? Thing is that everyone who was allowed to desert a postcode district would mean evicting someone from the “better” postcode, and evicting someone from a “worse” postcode to fill the gap in the old “not good enough” postcode……… So who would we kick out of TW2? Presumably some of TW2 want to be TW1? Who do we kick out of TW1? Who lives somewhere that is so much worse they would want to be Hounslow?

    There are of course other ways to mark out your neighbourhood, like a moat……..

    • Rufus McDufus

      They could introduce the new ‘premium’ TW0.

    • nemesis

      Interesting comments Mr Geek.
      Does the Local Authority also have restrictions on their boundary? Im wondering if its possible to retain their postcode and just transfer their LA allegiance to Richmond? LA boundaries have changed several times over the years. Dont think I can ever forgive Heath for disbanding the historical county boundaries.

    • Postcode Geek

      You assume I am a Mr 😉 there are Ms Geeks as well! I think that someone makes the point above is that they are LBRUT. I think that may explain Councillor Elliott’s interest? Perhaps he should show solidarity and move across the moat to Whitton’s lost streets of TW3 and 4?

    • michelangelo

      A bit rich for a LibDem MP to call for boundary changes when you remember what happened last year in the Commons when there was a vote on the Boundary Commission’s proposal to change constituency boundaries to even up numbers of voters.
      PS – In case you can’t recall, LibDems voted against

  17. Simon H

    Surely, the division between Whitton and Twickenham should be made even stronger. A moat, perhaps?

    • Simon H

      No, thanks. I don’t agree with it. And I doubt many people reading this blog do either. You want whitterati.