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Lot No. 118 - Registration Number O 10

Sold for: £128,800

First time to market since 1902, the 10th number plate to be issued in Birmingham!
Details Specification

According to our vendor their great grandfather just happened to be the tenth person in line for a number plate when they were first issued in Birmingham in 1902.

His name was Charles Thompson, he was born in 1874 and died in 1955. He owned a wholesale company which sold stationery to companies around Birmingham.

At that time Charles, his wife Ellen (nee Fitter) and their two children Charles Raymond (Ray), our vendors grandfather and his sister Gwendoline Ellen (Gwen) were living at Robin Hood house with Charles’ father in law Joseph Fitter. 

When Joseph Fitter died in 1923 he left the equivalent of nearly 5 million in today's money. He had clearly been very successful. On his death the family took the decision to sell Robin Hood house. It was bought by the M&B brewery and converted into a pub. It is still trading as a pub to this day.

Our vendors grandfather, Ray Thompson was born in 1905 and lived for the first few years of his life at Robin Hood house. He worked as a manager of a garage for most of his working life.

He married Norah Geraldine Whitmore (1898 - 1958), her father was an industrialist in Birmingham. His company produced high quality leather goods under the company name Whitmore's Makers of Birmingham. Ray and Norah had a son Joseph Barry Thompson, who was always known as Barry. 

When Charles Thompson died in 1955 the car, which had been kept in his garage at home with the number plate O 10, was left to our vendors father, Barry Thompson and the plate was on all of his cars for over 60 years until his death in 2017. The number plate is now held on a DVLA retention certificate. 

Barry spent most of his working life employed in his uncle's timber business. His role was to sell timber to companies in and around Birmingham and the Cotswolds. Our vendors father never went anywhere in these areas without being spotted in his car with the O 10 plate, something he loved.

Our vendors  father had the number plate on a wide variety of cars including several Austin A35s, Mini's, Vauxhall Cavaliers, Cortinas, Peugeots and most recently a couple of Jaguars. 

Barry was a huge sports fan, in particular he loved cricket and was a member of MCC for nearly 50 years. The number plate was regularly seen at different cricket grounds around England. He also loved Aston Villa Football Club and regularly used the car (which ever car at the time) to visit Villa Park.  

The following extract was taken from the 1972 book by Noel Woodall "5000 Cherished number plates".

 

Since our vendors father died they have spent two years driving round with the number plate on the Jaguar and have met some interesting people who always want to know about the plate and its history. It is a wonderful conversation piece.

We hope this brief history of the family and how the number O 10 came to be in their possession is of interest. They have owned the number plate for over 118 years and hope the purchaser has as much enjoyment of O 10 as their father did.

Certificate of authenticity?
No

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