Some years ago I wrote to Edward Davey, pointing out that mail from his constituency and surrounding parts of Surrey no longer arrived postmarked “Kingston”, but with the long-winded and meaningless “jubilee mail centre” on it instead.

He wrote back to say that he could not help me – but said he was passing my letter on to my own member of Parliament.

Obviously, I was not asking for his help.

I was pointing out that a geographically meaningless string of words had replaced the name of his constituency – the county town of Surrey, the royal borough and ancient crowning place of our kings, of which my great uncle was mayor a century ago.

I am copying this letter to James Berry, the newly elected Member of Parliament, in the hope that, with a greater sense of civic pride, he will lean on the postmaster general.

Hampton Wick