Alan and Heather Dunn own the Open All Hours convenience store in Keswick, in the English Lake District. They have run the shop for 29 years.
One of Alan’s particular specialities is the sale of good beer.
“I have a keen interest,” he says, “and I am a judge of the International Beer Challenge, which annually awards prizes for the best bottled beers from around the world. I am also a founder of the Keswick Beer Festival which raises in excess of £50,000 for charity each year.
“Our shop is well known among beer aficionados and was voted The UK’s Best Independent Retailer in 2006 and again in 2007. People travel long distances to buy from our selection of over 200 different bottled beers from around the world.”
In addition to his fascination with beer, Alan has a long-standing interest in personal car registrations. It seems, then, somehow unsurprising that he should have ended up owning a beer-themed registration: but more of that later.
For my 17th birthday, my elder brother bought me a book on car registrations, by Noel Woodall, which I cherished. This furthered my interest and, although my early career didn’t allow me to have a private plate because I had a succession of company cars, as soon as I became self employed and could indulge in a private plate, I did.
“Along the way I have owned other numbers. I had DNH 1X – although I can’t remember why now. I also hadABD 1X (ABD being my initials). I eventually sold ABD 1X to a gentleman from Exeter who had the same initials.
“I had V50 PPY, which looked like ‘Very Soppy’. That one looked good on a Ford Puma but was eventually replaced by R15 KYD, ‘Risky D’ and then T3 EER which looks very like ‘Beer’!
“For the past 6 years I have owned TW04 ALE, (‘Two for Ale’) which is my favourite plate. I think we will keep this forever.
“I recently bought an old BMW Z4 and, to disguise its age, I put PJZ 4383 on it.”
Alan is a keen member of Lions Clubs International, the worldwide fundraising and charitable organisation. Recently the registration L1 ONA (‘Lion A’) became available at around £6,000, but wife Heather mounted a firm resistance to Alan’s thoughts of acquiring it!