Published on April 15th, 2019 | by Sam Rose
Penguin Post Office – The Post Office With a Difference!
If the Penguin Post Office sounds a bit unusual, that’s because it is! Learn more about this fascinating landmark and the guests that inhabit it in our newest Post Office Shop Blog article.
For many of us, our local Post Office can usually be found in a city centre or on the edge of town. But for this Post Office in particular, things are quite a bit different!
Travel to Antarctica and you’ll be likely to come across one of the more unusual yet incredible sights of the South Pole – the appropriately named Penguin Post Office!
Described as ‘a little bit of Britain in Antarctica’, on first glance, it arguably is just that. But a closer look reveals an incredible not so hidden feature of this Post Office – the more than 2,000 Gentoo Penguins that inhabit the area around it!
The Penguin Post Office
The Penguin Post Office located within Bransfield House (Base A) functions exactly in the same way in which any conventional Post Office in the UK does. It contains a postbox, sells Stamps and postcards and has four dedicated staff on site to operate the counter.
Ownership of the Penguin Post Office though, belongs to the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) and staff from the trust are the ones who help to run the Post Office on a day to day basis.
If the building itself looks familiar, it could be due to the Penguin Post Office featuring as part of a documentary series on television back in July 2014.
The programme, titled ‘Penguin Post Office – Natural World’, was broadcast on the 24th of July and provides insights into the history of Port Lockroy and on the Gentoo Penguin population that inhabit the site.
History of Port Lockroy
The main location of the Penguin Post Office, known as Port Lockroy, has a history which goes all the way back to the Second World War. In fact, it was first established in 1944 and was used as a British government initiative.
It was planned for Port Lockroy to provide Britain with a permanent year-round presence within Antarctica, before it was later adopted by the British Antarctic Survey and was used as one of their research stations.
Port Lockroy is known as the only surviving base from Operation Tabarin, and it’s perhaps not surprising that it has become one of the most visited tourist sites within Antarctica since it was constructed.
Many of the staff based at the Penguin Post Office are amazed by their incredible surroundings and the historical significance of the Post Office based in Antarctica, with the base leader, Helen Annan, commenting that “It’s a dream job and, like the penguins, I would like to come back here every year!”
From Flightless Birds to Birds of Prey
If this article has amazed and fascinated you, then you’ll likely be just as impressed by the newest Special Stamps issue from the Royal Mail released this month – Birds of Prey!
Each bird featured in this astonishing collection has been photographed and stylized in the highest quality thanks to the incredible work of renowned British photographer, Tim Flach.
The Birds of Prey Special Stamps are available right now on the Post Office Shop in a sleek Presentation Pack and as a set of ten Stamp Cards, which feature an enlarged image of each individual stamp released in the issue.
Why not check them out and view some of our other Themed Collectibles too?