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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 August 2005, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
First postcode for remote UK isle
Mike Hentley and his wife with his new parcel
The administrator was the first islander to receive an internet parcel
An intervention by the Royal Mail has given a boost to online shoppers living on one of the world's most remote islands - Tristan Da Cunha.

Few online companies would agree to post goods to the UK territory in the South Atlantic because it did not have a postcode.

To complicate matters, mail has been going astray because its capital is called Edinburgh.

The Royal Mail hopes it has solved the problem by assigning it TDCU 1ZZ.

The island's administrator has since received an internet parcel from Amazon - a book about the island's history.

Mike Hentley said he was "delighted" with his delivery.

"Having a postcode to order online has opened up a new way of buying for the people of Tristan Da Cunha," he said.

The Royal Mail worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Universal Postal Union in Switzerland to provide the postcode.

The 276 inhabitants of the volcanic island still face a long wait for letters and parcels - mail comes via Cape Town and must be put on board a fishing vessel for the 2,800-kilometre journey to the island.

Boats leave on average once a month for the island so deliveries can take up to four weeks.

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05 Jun 01 |  Americas

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