Friday, 21 September 2007

The first personalised number plate

As you'll now be well aware (give yourself a slap on the wrist if you're not), the industry of personalised number plates is massive, but nobody really knows how the fascination began. Lies. I do.

In fact, if you discount the rush for A 1 at it's issue, which was won by Earl Russell, the earliest known personalised number plate was T 8, owned by Scottish comedian and musical hall artist, Harry Tate. The plate is now owned by Johnny Tate of the sugar company Tate & Lyle. Funnily enough, that's not where this sweet tale ends. Prior to finding his fame in the music halls, Harry Tate worked for Henry Tate & Sons, a sugar refining company. The pioneer of the phrase 'How's your father?' was unfortunately killed in the Blitz in 1940, but his son Ronnie continued his act under the name of Harry Tate Jnr.

So, there you have it - the earliest personalised number plate. Fact.


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