Number Plates > Blog > October 2009

Rare police plate's number is up

A century of tradition will come to an end in North Yorkshire when a flagship number plate which adorned successive chief constable's cars is relinquished. The A J1 plate was the first registered in the county and used on chief constable Major Sir Robert Bower's single cylinder Argyll car in 1903.

Major Bower became the top officer in 1898, when police patrolled on foot or used a horse and cart.

The plate is to be used on a mobile station which tours the county.

The number plate has been retained for each new chief constable's car over the past 100 years.

Current chief constable Grahame Maxwell has decided the historic plate should be used on a mobile station and be seen "at the heart of the force's Safer Neighbourhoods campaign".

Mr Maxwell said: "Safer Neighbourhoods is about modern policing methods delivered in a traditional way.

"Transferring 'A J1' to our mobile police station sums up that ethos very well.

"I'm proud of our traditional roots.

"This number plate belongs to the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

"Putting it on the mobile police station for use by our Safer Neighbourhood Teams will give them a chance to see it."

Major Bower also introduced a number of other "modern" innovations to the North Yorkshire constabulary during his time in charge.

These included a typewriter for use at headquarters, a telephone at Guisborough Police Station, fire-proof safes across the force and electric lights in the police offices at Northallerton.

In 1902, the major bought 10 stop watches and placed constables on a number of the county's roads to time motor cars - leading to 42 drivers that year being prosecuted for exceeding the speed limit - the first ever in the county.

Chicagoans snap up The Obama number plate

Obama number plateChicagoans who visited the auto show at McCormick Place over the past ten days might not have been in the market for cars but, hundreds snapped up special commemorative Barack Obama number plates.

At 50 dollars a pair, David Drucker with the secretary of state's office says a thousand Illinois drivers bought the temporary number plates during the ten days of the auto show.

Drucker says, "This is what is called a special event plate which means that it's not a permanent number plate. Rather it's good for a 60-day period which will expire on April 17th."

The number plates feature a large picture of President Obama and read Illinois salutes President Barack Obama.

After April 17th, the commemorative plates have to be removed and replaced with your regular number plates. They can be kept as keepsakes.

Revenue from the commemorative plates goes to the Illinois Library association's summer reading prorgam.

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