England issued its first car license plate, number A1

Thursday 24th December 1903

England issued its first car license plate, number A1. The plate was issued to Earl Russel, the brother of the philosopher Bertrand Russell, who was among the throng that queued all night outside the offices of the London County Council to secure the honour. The chairman of London County Council also briefly owned A1. Later, in 1907, George V. Petty bought the car with A 1 assigned to it. He then proceeded to transfer it to several vehicles throughout his lifetime. On his death, in 1950, Trevor T. Laker inherited the plate. Petty’s last will and testament actually stated that Laker should use the plate until his death, at which point the registration plate was to be sold and the proceeds were to be donated to a dog charity. An ageing Laker actually sold the plate to Dunlop Holdings Ltd, although they did not take possession of it until his death. The £2,500 he received was donated to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

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