UK Single-Single Number Plate Registry
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A 1 - A 2 - A 3 - A 4 - A 5 - A 6 - A 7 - A 8 - A 9 - Complete Set
1 A - 2 A - 3 A - 4 A - 5 A - 6 A - 7 A - 8 A
A x plates were originally issued by London County Council in 1903, all x A plates are DVLA auction sales
By close of business on 2nd January 1904 London County Council had registered 1,714 cars and 603 motorcycles. The area did not cover parts that now are, namely Middlesex, West Ham and Croydon.
A 1 was originally issued to Earl Russell on 7th December 1903 and placed on his Napier vehicle. A 1 was the first registration to be issued by London County Council and is commonly referred to as the first number plate in Britain (It isn't, the first issued was DY1 issued in Hastings on 23rd November 1903). Some stories say that Earl Russell queued overnight for the registration, however A 1 through to A 11 were allocated by ballot.
In 1907 the plate was handed over to the chairman of the London County Council and placed on his offical car and it remained on it when it was sold for £30 to motor trader George Pettyt. George left it to a friend, Trevor Laker, with the proviso that on his death the plate be sold and proceeds donated to a dogs' home. Laker sold the plate for £2,500 and donated the proceeds to the Guides Dogs for the Blind Association. The buyer allowed Laker to use the plate for his lifetime. Dunlop owned the plate for many years.
Recently it was purchased by the brother of the Sultan of Brueni, Prince Jefri Bokiah of Brueni who purchased it with 1 A as a set
A 2 was allocated to David Waterlow whose family business was famous for printing postage stamps and banknotes. Davidís father donated Waterlow Park in Highgate to the Borough for use of those who didnít have a garden. Having retired from the family business he became a London County Councillor and when the Motor Car Act came into power itís almost certain that the councillors shared the spoils amongst themselves. In 1922 David became chairman of Waterlow & Sons and died two years later. Waterlow & Sons ultimately became part of Thomas de la Rue and was finally dissolved in 2009
A3 was allocated to Joseph Allen Baker. He and his three brothers set up a successful engineering firm that expanded into America. In 1895 he became involved in politics and became a Progressive party member, eventually becoming chairman of the Highways Committee and was instrumental in choosing the third rail system of electrical supply of Londonís Tram system.
A 4 was allocated to Mark Mayhew who registered it to his Napier. His father became the owner of Battersea Flour Mill and when he died in 1894 left an estate in excess of £150K. Mark became a London county councillor is 1899 (are you noticing a link here). He also owned A 17 and A 19
A 5 was allocated to Sir William Bell who registered it to his Napier. He was involved in Scottish politics and at one point was a bodyguard to Queen Victoria. He moved to London in 1901 and two years later became an alderman of London county council
A 6 was allocated to Sir John Poynder Dickson-Poynder. In 1892 he became a conservative MP and six years later became, yes, youíve guessed it, a member of London county council. During the Boer War he served as a Major, in 1910 he was offered the position of Govenor of the recently independent New Zealand
A 7 did start life as a Royal car, but not on the current registration. It was allocated to Willoughby Hyett Dickinson who in 1900 was elected chairman of London county council. He died in 1943 but itís not clear what happened the plate until it resurfaced in the 1970ís.
A Daimler manufactured in 1900 was the first car owned by a member of the royal family, the then Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VII). A year later it was owned by Lord Hastings of Melton Constable, in his ownership it was heavily modified and sold in 1904. In 1907 John Bone, a coachbuilder, owned it and again heavily modified it. It was laid up before World War I and Daimler bought the vehicle in 1930. They used it in the 1946 Daimler jubilee cavalcade and in the 1960ís presented it to the Queen and it was later restored by the Veteran car club and by 1971 was re-registered as A 7. It has previously worn AH 65, BJ 56 and FRW 767. The car is now in the Sandringham Collection.
A 8 was allocated to George Baker. Surname sound familiar? He was the brother of Joseph Allen Baker who managed to get A 3
A 9 was allocated to Philip Barton Baker. Sound familiar? Indeed. He was the brother of Joseph Allen Baker and George Baker. Shame no family photo exists of A 3, A 8 and A 9 together.
Now owned by the Wood's family in Edinburgh.
1 A was sold by DVLA in 1989 for £198K. Sold to Prince Jefri Bokiah of Brueni along with A 1
2 A was sold by DVLA in 1991 for £19K, owned by Dick Devigne, a former Essex Nightclub owner
3 A was sold by DVLA in 1992 for £8K
4 A was sold by DVLA in 1994 for £9K
5 A was sold by DVLA in 1994 for £10K
6 A was sold by DVLA in 1993 for £6K, and no, I have no idea whatsoever why it was transferred from a gorgeous Aston Martin V8 Vantage to a rather humble Mini...
7 A was sold by DVLA in 1993 for £10K
8 A was sold by DVLA in 1993 for £11K