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Packet Mail in the UK

Packet mail, roughly synonymous to a mix of internet email and newsgroups, may be considered fairly legacy, however it is the only current practical means of passing traffic over distances greater than the horizon of interactive connectivity, though initiatives are under way to improve this situation.

The packet mail network appears to have fallen into a bit of a state of disrepair, however there are efforts to restore it. We’ll capture these efforts on this page with a view to giving others an idea of where and how to contribute.

The UK is divided into Regions and Counties - see this old document for details. The boundaries are fairly legacy compared to modern-day county boundaries and there is a desire to firm them up a little. It is generally accepted that the only GB7 station within a county should take on mail forwarding for that region if they desire.

In terms of how to handle mail, set up forwarding, and access your mail locally, see this UK-centric guide.

Forwarding arrangements

GB7IOW (Isle of Wight) and GB7CNR (Northumberland) are forwarding mail to/from an increasing footprint at either end.

GB7RDG (Reading, Berkshire) currently forwards mail for the following paths to GB7IOW, for onward forwarding via 40m:

  • All of Scotland regions

GB7CNR (Northumberland) currently forwards mail as follows:

  • GB7NED - #18.GBR.EURO
  • GB7ODZ - #13.GBR.EURO - County Durham
  • GM5AUG - #75.GBR.EURO
  • GM5AUG - #78.GBR.EURO

GB7NXT (Vale of Glamorgan) acts as hub for #53.GBR.EURO and provides some RF and AXIP forwarding. Forwarding is as follows:


The Scotland cluster are organising themselves at present - see Scottish BBS info (page a work in progress) for an introduction to this. At present, GB7AUG acts as the link between Scotland and the rest of the UK, using the 40m link to GB7IOW. He then forwards messages on accordingly.

UK Regions and Addressing

For the purpose of packet mail, the UK is divided into county or county-ish regions, each numbered, and grouped by RSGB region as the first digit of that number.

Clearly these regions are problematic in 2023 since many of these entities do not exist any more, but this is still considered the authoritative sub-division of the UK for packet mail at this time. Credit G4APL.

Example address:


This would be the fully qualified packet mail address of the station M0ABC at Reading node (GB7RDG), located in Berkshire (#42), UK (GBR.EURO).

The global packet mail system has a hierarchical addressing protocol, into which the above convention fits. See packet_country_identifiers.pdf. The main entry/egress point for international packet mail seems to be GB7CIP, although at least GB7IOW is known to be exchanging mail internationally via HF.

#1 RSGB Region A - Northern England

#11 Cheshire GB7WSM
#12 Cleveland
#13 Co. Durham GB7NED
#14 Cumbria
#15 Humberside
#16 Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Merseyside, Lancashire GB7VAX, GB7HAL, GB7ELE, GB7ROS, GB7ESC, GB7MBC
#17 Northumberland GB7CNR
#18 Tyne and Wear GB7ODZ
#19 North, South, and West Yorkshire GB7RVB

#2 RSGB Region B - Midlands

#21 Bedfordshire GB7BED
#22 Cambridgeshire
#23 Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire GB7CPL
#24 Hereford & Worcester
#25 Leicestershire GB7NWL
#26 Lincolnshire GB7LCN
#27 Northamptonshire
#28 Shropshire, Staffordshire
#29 Warwickshire, West Midlands GB7COV

#3 RSGB Region C - South East

#31 Essex
#32 Greater London GB7KUX, GB7WEM
#33 Hertfordshire
#34 Kent
#35 Norfolk GB7ZAH, GB7MSX
#36 Suffolk GB7PTM
#37 Surrey GB7CIP
#38 East and West Sussex GB7IDD, GB7BEX

#4 RSGB Region D - South West

#41 Avon
#42 Berkshire GB7RDG, GB7WOD (no mail service), GB7WOK
#43 Buckinghamshire GB7OUK, GB7MNK, GB7IPF
#44 Devon, Cornwall GB7COW, GB7HTL
#45 Dorset, Somerset GB7GDT, GB7OTJ
#46 Gloucestershire
#47 Alderney, Jersey, Guernsey, Sark
#48 Hampshire, Isle of Wight GB7IOW, GB7SOU
#49 Wiltshire, Oxfordshire GB7BDH, GB7OXF

#5 RSGB Region E - Wales

#51 Clwyd
#52 Dyfed
#53 Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan GB7NXT
#54 Gwent
#55 Gwynedd
#56 Powys

#6 RSGB Region F - Northern Ireland

#61 County Antrim
#62 County Armagh
#63 County Down
#64 County Fermanagh
#65 County Londonderry
#66 County Tyrone

#7 RSGB Region G - Scotland

#71 Borders GB7JED, GB7BDX
#72 Central GB7AUG
#73 Dumfries and Galloway GB7AUG
#74 Fife
#75 Grampian GB7HIB
#76 Western Isles, Orkney, Highland, Shetland
#77 Lothian MM3NDH
#78 Strathclyde GB7AUG
#79 Tayside GB7YEW
packetmail.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/22 18:46 by m0lte

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