The Post Office Tower: now you see it…


Now you don’t…


This stamp of the Post Office Tower from 1965 is superb, even if it misses out the Post Office Tower itself due to a printing error (thanks to @stampmagazine for the image).

In fact, that seems kind of appropriate as the Post Office Tower was deliberately left off Ordnance Survey maps for decades because it was deemed to be an official secret and therefore of such great military importance nobody was allowed to know where it was even though it had become one of the most recognisable buildings in Britain pretty much as soon as it was opened by Tony Benn (who narrates this brief history of the tower).

It even appeared in an episode of Dr Who in 1966.

And in 1966, its revolving restaurant featured in one of Look At Life‘s fabulous films. Here are two pages from the menu, taken from the excellent Butlins Memories website.



The Post Office Tower was bombed in 1971 (often attributed to Irish nationalists but more likely the work of the Angry Brigade) and even survived an attack by a giant kitten in the 1970s.

It’s still very popular. Here’s a film by somebody who collects memorabilia about the tower.

Rob Webb has scanned some pages from the original souvenir brochure on his website and James Ward has a nice selection of postcards featuring the Post Office Tower on his blog. I like this one.


6 responses to “The Post Office Tower: now you see it…

  1. Ah that’s made my day. I used to love working at Dennis Publishing on Cleveland Street as it meant my commute from Warren Street station took in the bottom of the tower, which doesn’t give you any idea of the wonders above it

  2. Years ago, when I did a lot of work with BT, I went to a Christmas party in the revolving restaurant. I’ll always remember looking out over London as the room revolved slowly and a string quartet played in the background. Bliss…

  3. sciencetechnologyart

    Thank you. That is just what I needed. I LOVE the Post office Tower and did a sponsored walk up it a couple of years ago just so I could see inside. Worth every step. What happened to the threats to re-open the restaurant? I’m hanging on in for that.

  4. Meet James Ward. He claims to like boring things, but actually a lot of his stuff is pretty interesting. Don’t tell him I said that.

  5. DOH! GODDAMMIT I didn’t see until after I’d posted that comment that my cleverness in knowing someone else who’d blogged the tower was already name checked. My apologies.

  6. I was taken to the restaurant for lunch with my parents as a 12 or 13 year old I guess. (born 1954) I seem to remember being told the revolving part was powered by a petrol driven lawnmower engine. Can anyone confirm? Also all kids were given a “Certificate of revolution” I think it was called…

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