GP 3155 (the ‘doctor’s plate’) was on a 1931 Panther motor bike found in bits in a store in Castle Acre, Norfolk. I rebuilt it and used the bike for some years. NG 3339 was on a 1933 Triumph van used to deliver goods for the shop. HRK 612 – on a Brooke Bond van with their name red painted out – replaced the Triumph but I guess our first interest in personalised number plates was 45 years ago when, as a sales area manager in East Kent, I bought our first six cylinder car an Austin A99 Westminster and, for a fiver, obtained the number DPH 6 from Surrey County Council. The car was used extensively both for pleasure and business. Mileage takes its toll so, after a good many years together, we had to part company.
When the Westminster was sold, my number moved to the new car: a Humber Sceptre. When in turn that moved on, the number stayed again. It was by then an open secret that company cars were to be supplied and it seemed a good idea to purchase a Bedford Dormobile Motor Caravan – fine for work and also as a useful leisure vehicle for our holidays abroad.
We shared many holidays, did many thousands of miles, and visited over a dozen countries before the camper was sold to a keen fisherman and his lady, who could then enjoy the luxury of a warm home on wheels close by the fishing lakes. The number plate? Well, that went too, but this time to a registration number company who sold it and gave us more for the number than the other chap did for the vehicle!
The company had provided bigger and better cars, as promotion through the firm had meant more responsibility. It had reached a level where a tow bar could be fitted and with it, the opportunity to buy a touring caravan to take on holiday.
The next bench mark was retirement, and that did mean that the next guy to do my job wanted the company car so we had to look around. Autosleepers had just started to convert the newly imported Volkswagen T4 vehicle to a Kombi Motor Caravan. It was powered by a 2.4 litre, five pot diesel engine and as a Galop is a dance in 2/14 time it was to be called ‘Galop’. Should we try for a personalised T4 registration? The allocated number was to be K24 VDG but just a minute, Kombi 2.4 Volkswagen Diesel Galop meant that the camper had it’s own personalised registration, so we didn’t go for a T4 number (though the first camp site we stayed on with this new ‘van, booked us in on pitch number T4!).
Many years later we downsized and no longer had garages for both our vehicles. The camper was far too tall, so some 3 years ago we sold it to a good home together with its ‘personalised’ plate.
Now with a new car scheduled we looked for a personalised plate once more -T4 again? Why not, we are both tea drinkers.
The Regtransfers website EasyView page is fantastic, so we fed in some ideas. The grid showed a reasonably priced T4 with JND – short for Jean ‘n’ Derek? Ideal for a couple who will go into a pub and order “two teas” also “Tea for J and D” is just about the first thing that is said each morning. This was a must have number and soon we were pressing a few buttons and giving our credit card number. There was e-mail confirmation by return, and soon after by post, that the number is ours. Then a V750 certificate to hold until the new car is delivered and that becomes ours too. And now just in time for the New Year 2007 the car has been delivered, the new number plate has been fitted, so off we go again!
Jean and Derek Hazle