Cherished was the first term ascribed to registration marks when such marks were regarded as having sentimental value in the UK. For example, perhaps the personalised plate had been in the family for some time. So, cherished number plates were the first kind of personal or private number plates.
A particularly good example of cherished personalised number plates is provided by Earl Russell, who queued outside the London office, UK, in 1903 to acquire the plate, A 1 for his Napier. Apparently, the Earl sat up all night to be the first in the queue and he successfully beat his nearest rival by five seconds. The 'Car Illustrated' magazine issued on the 23rd December 1903 mentioned that a Mr Oliver of Edgeware handed the certificate to Earl Russell. Later in the mark's history A 1 was acquired by the chairman of London county council until, in 1907, Mr. George Pettyt purchased the car together with the cherished number plates. A 1 was then subsequently transferred onto all Mr Pettyt's new vehicles in turn. When Mr Pettyt died in 1950, the plate was on a Sunbeam Talbot, which was left to Mr T. Laker in the will. However, there was the stipulation that Mr Laker should retain the cherished number plate until his death and, despite many offers, this was adhered to. In 1970 upon Mr. Laker's death, Dunlop Holidays Ltd. purchased the mark and donated £2,500 to the guide dogs for the blind service as Mr Laker had stated it was his wish for the money from the sale of A 1 was to be donated to a dog's charity.
It may be of interest to know that of the previously unissued cherished nmber plate 1 A sold at the first classic DVLA auction in 1989 for £160,000 on the hammer!
Another interesting example came from a customer of ours, Philip Walton of Newcastle-upon-Tyne who provided us with lots of interesting information about his late fathers car. Mr. Walton sent us photographs and magazine articles about his father's career as a well-known rally driver in the 1950's and early '60's. He entered the Monte Carlo rally about twelve times in addition to other events such as the RAC rally and Dutch July rally. His cherished number plate, GTY 7, seemed to bring him a lot of luck so he decided to keep it.
A Cherished Plate is used by some in the same way as collectors of antiques or paintings. For example, a collector has the cherished number plates: 28 EVA, 8 DEW, KW 26, 29 KW and WNW 999.
When National Numbers Ltd first started in the business in the early 1980s, we used to buy and sell vintage British motorcycles. If, as often happened, the bikes were exported we used to 'rescue' the cherished number plates. The following are some details of some of the old vehicles which have passed through our hands, all with very early plates:
BR 5145 On 1926 Rudge
TY 861 On 1931 AJS
JJJ 627 On 1942 Indian (yes it is a motorcycle!)
DN 829 On 1914 Elswick
STE 844 On 1954 Norton
BD 2884 On 1915 Thatchless
OX 2813 On 1928 BSA
All the motorcycles were works of art in their own right - absolutely beautiful. Such dateless registrations as those listed above deserve the term 'cherished number plates' as they are as antique as a Chippendale chair. If any previous customers who subsequently bought any of the above marks are reading this article, we would love to hear from them.
Nowadays, you do not have to spend pots of money to acquire a number plate significant to you in some way. We, at National Numbers have been successfully guiding clients through the transfer process for more than one quarter of a century. We are a quality award winning company and, obviously, have bags of experience. We are also very friendly so, start searching for cherished number plates and design your own plate - whatever you spend or choose, you will probably get to cherish your personal registration.
If it's any help, we offer 0% finance plus personal loans if you have problems with credit.