We are always asking for interesting stories for the magazine. Well, Anne Gifford’s story was certainly that. We don’t recall any other story involving such subterfuge!
Anne managed to keep a personal number (G1 FFX) a top secret for nearly two and a half years!
In March 2007, Anne purchased K5 KGX as an 18th birthday present for her daughter Kristy Sarah Kimberley Gifford. Shortly after purchasing K5 KGX, Anne received an email from Regtransfers.co.uk informing her that G1 FFX was also available to purchase.
Anne told us, “This was the perfect number for my son, Jack Gifford. Jack’s nickname since his school days, has always been ‘Giff’. His friends phone and ask for Giff, on the football pitch his team mates call out ‘over here Giff’, in fact, I think the only people who ever call him Jack are family members.
“I had always intended to purchase a personal number for Jack at some time in the future, probably for his 18th birthday, as I did for his sister. But when G1 FFX became available more than 2 years before, I had to buy it – even though Jack was only 15, and not even old enough to have a driving licence at the time! It was even more perfect because it meant both of my children had a ‘X’ from their mum at the end of their number plates!”
So in April 2007, Anne bought G1 FFX and kept it on retention for the next 28 months until Jack turned 18 on 20 August 2009.
“I didn’t tell many of our friends and family about it at the time, but those I told were sworn to secrecy and threatened with death if they let the secret out before the big day!”
Anne tried to put the plate to the back of her mind but, every time the retention certificate renewal drew near, she panicked that Jack would find out about it. Occasionally the stress even gave her nightmares.
When Jack passed his driving test in March 2009, and got his first car, he was over the moon. He mentioned to his mum that all he needed now was a great number – he even mentioned that ‘Giff’ would be perfect! Anne suspected then that he must have found some of the hidden paperwork and that he was trying to get the secret out of her – but she stayed strong and gave nothing away.
The big day finally arrived on 20 August 2009. The family were on a cruise on P&O’s Oceana in the Mediterranean at the time.
“I’d had a mini version of the number plate made to take on holiday with us. On the morning of his birthday we gave him his presents – lots of aftershaves, CDs, shirts, etc – but no special keep-forever 18th presents. He accepted his presents graciously and never showed any signs of disappointment, although I suspected that secretly he felt it!
“I arranged for all our friends to meet up with us in the bar at 7 o’clock that evening (which happened to be a ‘formal’ night on the ship – so we were all dressed in our finest) to celebrate Jack’s 18th with a glass of champagne before dinner.
“After two and a half years of keeping G1 FFX the biggest secret of my life I finally presented the mini version of it to Jack in front of our friends. He was thrilled to bits and when
I told him how long I’d had this number he couldn’t believe it! He had a dazed look on his face for the rest of the night!
“While we were sailing round the Med, the folks at Regtransfers were busy completing the official side of the transfer. They were also sworn to secrecy and kept to it! At the same time, the actual number plate was being fitted to his car by some friends at home.
“As we returned from our cruise and pulled onto our driveway at home – Jack was thrilled to see his little Fiesta complete with G1 FFX standing proudly on the front.
The photo is of Jack giving his new number the thumbs up!”
Anne Gifford (Managing Director)
Southern Drain Services Ltd