Boxing B1 TCH Number Plates

Sportsmen and women love their number plates, and boxers are no exception. Chris Eubank is often spotted in London or Brighton in his black Hummer with the number 1 KO, and up until recently ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed was a regular feature in Sheffield with 1 NAS and NAS 1. But when we think of boxers, why do we immediately think of men? One woman who is constantly breaking the mould in this feisty sport is the 5’1” Women’s European Flyweight Boxing Champion, Cathy Brown.
After a successful seven years in kickboxing, Cathy made the switch to boxing in 1999 when she was approached by The World Sports Organisation. Just two months later, she made her pro boxing debut, defeating former WIBF world title holder Veerle Braspenningx of Belgium. ‘The Bitch’ was officially born.
Always a pioneer in women’s boxing, Cathy says that although the last few years have been an uphill struggle, it makes her ever more determined to succeed. “Unfortunately the number of professional women boxers has gone down from 5 to 3 since 2001. It is simply because there is no back-up for women in this sport and England has proven to be a very sexist nation.”

In America, Laila Ali (daughter of boxing legend Mohammed Ali) made her boxing debut in New York on 8 October 1999, just two months after Cathy. It was thought by many that it would give women’s boxing across the world a much needed boost to have such a big name in the ring. Laila has indeed followed in her father’s footsteps, becoming very successful, but it hasn’t affected opinions about women’s boxing in Britain. “UK boxing promoters are still not convinced that spectators and TV viewers will be interested in watching two women fight,” says Cathy.
Despite this gloomy outlook, Cathy’s own boxing career continues to flourish alongside her freelance Personal Training business. She teaches kickboxing to women and to girls with special needs aged 10 -16, as well as boxing to mixed classes of men and women. Some of her clients include celebrities, such as Sara Cox and Alexander McQueen. On top of all of this, she somehow fits in her own intensive training schedule!

Keen to promote her sporting name, Cathy thought from the very beginning that a good way of doing this was with a personal number plate. When she was offered B17 CHX, she was delighted. “The plate is on my red Hyundai Coupe at the moment. It looks great! When people see my number, they know it’s me driving past – it’s excellent for self-promotion.”
Always looking to broaden her horizons, Cathy is looking to clinch more TV work. She has appeared on several shows over the years but in November 2005, she was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘The Challenge’ in which she had to learn to sail in just five months before embarking on a challenging race across the Atlantic Ocean in a yacht. The programme focused on her physical and mental journey through the gruelling training and subsequent attempt at the transatlantic speed record. Cathy has also appeared in the BBC 2 programme with Sir David Frost, Through the Keyhole, where a panel of celebrities guess who owns the house shown to them, from a set of clues.
“My main goal for this year is to present an Extreme Sports show on TV. My agent is working on that for me right now.”
Cathy’s latest boxing appearance was in a European Boxing Union (EBU) title fight at Hammersmith Palace on February 25, 2006.

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Number Plate Requirements

Replacing your reg number plate

When replacing your number plate you should make sure that the correct material has been used to manufacture the plate. It should be made from a reflective material. Front number plates must display black characters on a white background and rear number plate must display black characters on a yellow background.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is not aware of any self-adhesive number plates that meet the British Standard requirements.

Characters on a number plate can be 3D, providing they meet all the other requirements, but honeycomb or other background patterns are not allowed.

Also, the characters on a number plate need to be a standard height and width.

Your number plate should show the correct:

character height – 79 millimetres
character width – 50 millimetres (except the figure 1 or letter I)
character stroke – 14 millimetres
space between characters – 11 millimetres
space between groups – 33 millimetres
top, bottom and side margins – minimum 11 millimetres
space between vertical lines – 19 millimetres

Motorcycles and tricycles

Motorcycles registered from 1 September 2001 must only display a number plate at the rear of the vehicle.

Motorcycles registered before 1 September 2001 can display a number plate at the front, but do not have to. The number plate must be a ‘two-line’ number plate.

Motorcycle number plates should have a:

character height – 64 millimetres
character width – 44 millimetres (except the figure 1 or letter I)
character stroke – 10 millimetres
space between characters – 10 millimetres
space between groups – 30 millimetres
top, bottom and side margins – 11 millimetres (minimum)
vertical space between groups – 13 millimetres

Tricycles made from motorcycles must meet the number plate requirements for motorcycles.

Tricycles made from four-wheeled vehicles, such as saloon cars and quad bikes must meet the same number plate requirements as all other vehicles.

How to get a number plate made up

To have a number plate made for your vehicle, you’ll need to go to a registered number plate supplier (RNPS). The registered supplier will need proof of your identity, as well as proof that the registration number belongs to you.

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Displaying your registration number

The registration number format

Vehicle registration numbers are a way of identifying vehicles. The current vehicle registration number format was introduced on 1 September 2001 for all new vehicles being registered.

The first two letters (the local memory tag) tell you the office where the vehicle registration number was first issued, the two numbers are the age identifier, and the last three letters are random.

Example: SR signifies Dundee, 60 represents September 2010 and BMD are random letters.

The age identifier changes every six months, once in March and once in September.

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Registration – Rules Governing Display and Appearance

Rules Governing Display and Appearance

NB: This article is summarised in bullet points at the foot of the page.

When the new registration format was introduced in 2001, regulations governing the construction and display of car number plates were revised. These revised regulations apply to the number plates on any and all vehicles registered on or after 1st September 2001. They also apply to all replacement plates made and mounted on vehicles on or after the same date.

Number plates must now use one specific, mandatory typeface – a very simple sans serif typeface intended to make the numbers easy to read by both humans and automatic recognition systems, which are increasingly being used by the police and other agencies. All hard-to-read variants, such as multiple stroke and italic fonts, are now prohibited. The one decorative variation still permitted is a 3D effect version of the mandatory typeface.

The size and spacing of number plate characters is specified in the regulations, as follows:

Each character must be 79mm high and 50mm wide (except the number 1 or the letter I). The width of each character stroke must be 14mm. There must be a space of 11mm between characters within the same group, and character groups must be 33mm apart. For the purposes of measurement, each character (again, excepting the number 1 or the letter I), regardless of its shape, is treated as a rectangular block of dimensions 79mm x 50mm

Optionally, number plates may display one of the following national emblems: British Union Flag with “GB”, English Flag (St George Cross) with “ENG”, Scottish Flag (St Andrew Cross) with “SCO”, Welsh Flag (red dragon on green/white field) with “Wales” and “Cymru” or Euro Flag (circle of stars) with “GB”. If the Euro/GB configuration is displayed, then the bearer vehicle need not display a separate “GB” emblem when driving within the EU.

The colours and reflectivity of number plates are also specified in the regulations, and there is a British Standard (BS AU 145d) which describes the physical characteristics of number plates, including: visibility, strength and reflectivity. Front plates must have black characters on a white background, while rear plates must have black characters on a yellow background. The British Standard also requires that a number plate must be marked with the following information: the British Standard Number, the name, trade mark, or other means of identification of the manufacturer or component supplier, the name and postcode of the supplying outlet. A non-reflective border is optional. There may be no other markings or material contained on the number plate.

SUMMARY: What is required and permitted on UK road-legal number plates

Required:
•White front plate (to British Standard BS AU 145d)
•Yellow rear plate (to British Standard BS AU 145d)
•The registration number of the bearer vehicle in the mandatory font (black ‘Charles Wright 2001’)
•Spacing of characters and character groups in accordance with the measurements specified in the regulations. Variation is not permitted

Permitted but not required:
•3D variation of the mandatory ‘Charles Wright 2001’ font
•Coloured, non-reflective border
•National emblem: English St George Cross with “ENG” legend, Scottish St Andrew Cross with “SCO” legend, Welsh Dragon with “WALES” and “CYMRU” legend, British Union Flag with “GB” legend) or Euro Stars symbol with “GB” legend.

No additions or variations are permitted. Common illegal variations are:
•Fancy or decorative typefaces
•Bolts placed in such a way as to alter the appearance of characters
•Adjusted spacing between characters or character groups
•Altered characters
•Additional logos or symbols, such as sporting emblems and religious symbols.

There are concessions for older and vintage cars. “Historic vehicles”, i.e. those built prior to 1973, are permitted to bear the old-style black plates of either plastic or traditional metal construction.

To quote the DVLA: “Vehicles constructed before 1.1.73 may display traditional style ‘black and white’ plates i.e. white, silver or grey characters on a black plate.”

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Pimlico Plumbers’ Plates

The Pimlico Plumbers of London are almost more famous for their wonderful collection of number plates than the vital 24 hour service they provide.

Their collection of over fifty numbers began a few years ago when Managing Director Charlie Mullins first saw DRA 1N for sale. He thought it would look good on one of the company vans, so he bought it thinking it would be the only one he’d buy. “I couldn’t see the potential when I first had DRA 1N, but as soon as I realised the interest it created, I started to buy more plates. We have had so much publicity from them, it really is quite incredible. I honestly don’t think there is a better form of advertising. We really cannot quantify the interest in them. We’re mentioned on the radio at least once a month and Radio stations often base competitions around the plates, ‘spot the plumbers plate’ for example. We are more than happy to donate cash prizes.”
Plumbing Private Number Plates

The vast collection includes, B1 DET, GAS 9, T1 LER, 8 WC, RAD 5 and 51 NKS. Charlie says he’s noticed that other companies are copying their plate success, with one even rushing out to buy £30,000 worth of plates for their own fleet of vans. “They are such a talking point among our customers too. People ring up and ask for an engineer by their number plate – ‘BOG 1’ or ‘W4 TER’ for instance. Our engineers love them too. They ask me if they can have a plate for their van or use a specific van, with ‘LAV 1’ or whatever plate is their favourite. It is a real moral booster for them.”

Tony Walker has worked for the company for many years and says that after Charlie bought DRA 1N, he asked if he could have a plate for his van. “When the ‘X’ plates came out I found X1 EAK. I asked Charlie if I could have it. He agreed and after that the collection started to grow. When we speak to customers, they don’t ask what’s your name, they ask what your number plate is. Some customers even want a different number plate every time we go out to them!” Tony has his own collection of number plates at home, including X7 ONY. At work he has the prestigious W4 TER on his van. “Some people think that this is the best plate, but it’s not as amusing as BOG 1.”

Another engineer, Sam, has the privilege of having that one on his van. “I find that I’m constantly waving at people who are waving at me! I often find notes on my windscreen from cab drivers, saying what a brilliant plate they think it is. I’m known by everyone as the BOG 1 man.”

Pimlico’s most recent purchases are F1 USH and C15 TEN, but Charlie says, it won’t stop there. Pimlico Plumbers have over 100 vans in their fleet. “The aim is to have a plate on each one eventually. We even have a company policy to have a plate on every new van.”

Charlie has his own personal collection at home, C114 RLE, C114 RLS, LM 1, LM 54 and LUC 3Y.

“Yes they’re a great investment, but to us they really are priceless.”

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DVLA Accused of Ignoring Illegal Number Plates

The DVLA has been accused of turning a blind eye to the use of misrepresented car number plates. The accusation comes from Better Driving Please, a pressure group which aims to improve driver and pedestrian safety on the roads by asking people to report number plates. According to the group, the DVLA is ignoring drivers’ displays of illegal registration numbers because the Agency does not want to lose out on money.

Founder of BetterDrivingPlease.com, Andrew McGavin, has expressed great concern on this matter, saying that the DVLA does not want to damage its sales of plates by punishing offenders.

According to the DVLA’s rules governing the display of number plates, vehicle registration numbers must not be altered in any way. This includes no changes to the font (the standard ‘Charles Wright’ must be used), character positioning or appearance. Additionally, no logos must appear on plates. The rules in the UK are particularly strict, with the aim of all car registrations being easily traceable.

If plates do not adhere to the rules, police inform the DVLA, which initially warns drivers that they must make changes to the offending plate. If this fails, the plate is withdrawn.

The DVLA has been accused in recent months of failing to take the second step of removing registrations. Often, letters are sent out and ignored, Mr. McGavin believes, and this is the end of the matter. The motorist is able to continue driving with the plate.

The DVLA has been very successful with its sales of personalised number plates, with an estimated £1.3 billion being made for the Treasury since 1989. Mr. McGavin believes that this is the main reason for the lack of misrepresented plates being withdrawn.

The DVLA stands by its claims that illegal plates are being monitered and dealt with. In November, suppliers selling misrepresented personalised number plates will face fines of up to £2500. As a result, there should be fewer illegal number plates on the roads.
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The World’s Oldest Number Plate

According to the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, the first ever licence plate was one issued to a Canadian vehicle in 1884, flying in the face of conventional wisdom, which states that plates were introduced by France in 1893.

The discovery is causing quite a stir in Victoria, British Columbia, which is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Plate enthusiast, John Roberts, has the black enamel plate ‘6’ in his collection of artefacts. “Collecting licence plates and selling them has been my hobby for 35 years,” he says. “An old gentleman in his early 80s responded to a classified ad saying he’s got this black and white Victoria plate. I knew exactly what it was and I went around and bought it for $1,000 which he thought was outrageously high.”

The registration was, indeed, one of a series issued to Victorian taxis in response to concerns about over-charging by operators, although some are questioning the authenticity of the plate itself, claiming it to be a reproduction.

Furthermore, Canada’s claim to number plate posterity is hotly contested on the grounds that the 1893 taxis were, in fact, horse-drawn. Whether this necessarily disqualifies the claim depends on your definition of ‘number plates’ and whether they are exclusive to road vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

When the commonly accepted earliest registrations were issued in France, it just so happened petrol driven cars were in proliferation. The legislation could equally have applied to diesel or electric modes.

Nevertheless, Roberts feels that this little piece of history should be exploited to the full and has urged the city council, who are said to be “jumping up and down” at the news, to issue a special commemorative series of plates numbered 1 to 2012 in the same style, to mark the anniversary celebrations.

However, the licensing authority spokesperson, Adam Grossman, is not optimistic about the success of the proposal. “We receive hundreds of applications a year,” he says. “Only two have ever been approved: one edition for the veterans and another for the Olympics.”

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