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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-   10 July 2006

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NEW WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR CAR NUMBER PLATE - £331,500

ONE of the most sought-after UK registrations "M1" was sold on 7 July 2006 for £331,500 by Bonhams at its annual Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale in Chichester.

The number plate was expected to fetch £80,000 to £120,000, but with fierce bidding in the marquee and on the phones a new world record price was achieved. Previous top price of £285,000 was paid recently by the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich for the VIP 1 plate of Pope John Paul 11's Popemobile.

The M1 number plate went to a private UK bidder who will be taking the plate back to the North West of England where it came from. The buyer who wishes to remain anonymous said that he had bought it for his son's sixth birthday. There was stiff competition for the number both in the room and on the bank of Bonhams phones.

Proceeds from the sale of "M1" will be put towards the preservation and conservation of Tatton Park, near Knutsford in Cheshire, owned by the National Trust and leased to Cheshire County Council. Its General Manager, Brendan Flanagan said:- "We are absolutely thrilled with the figure achieved for the M1. This will allow the new Tatton Park Charitable Trust to do so much in support of our conservation, education and access projects for years to come. It is particularly nice to know that the M1 registration will return to the North West of England."

"M1"
was the first registration to be issued in Cheshire, when, in 1902, motoring enthusiast and then owner of Tatton Park acquired the registration for his 1903 12/16hp 2 cylinder Darracq - the same car that was driven by Henri Farman and came second in the 1901 Grand Prix de Pau.

In 1904, the registration number transferred to a 60hp, 20 cwt dark green Panhard. The same year, Maurice entered the vehicle in the Gordon Bennett Run, held at Homberg, and then the Irish A.C. 200 Guineas Challenge Cup for racers at Portmarnock, near Dublin, where he lost by just 20 yards to A E MacDonald, who was racing S F Edge's Napier.

In 1920, Maurice, Lord Egerton, inherited Tatton Park and his father's motor cars, including a 1900 Benz, which he asked his mechanic Charlie Blake to restore. It was in 1924 that he transferred the registration "M1" to the Benz.

Although the National Trust and Cheshire County Council have decided to sell the right to use the registration "M1" this year, the 1900 Benz with its original registration plate will remain in their ownership at Tatton Park.

Bonhams' Group Director of Collectables, Jon Baddeley, says:- "The registration 'M1' has huge appeal, not only as one of the earliest registrations issued, but also one with a fabulous history This price goes to prove that."

Councillor Bert Grange of Cheshire County Council, Chairman of the Tatton Park Select Committee and a Trustee of the charity, said:- "This is a unique opportunity for Cheshire County Council and the National Trust to work together through the new Charitable Trust to provide additional benefit for of Tatton Park and its many visitors, both today and in the future. Sale of the right to use the registration mark on the public highway has a value that will be of enormous benefit in funding charitable projects that may not otherwise happen."

Ringo Starr Fields Forever!

WORK started on Friday July 7 on a £1 million scheme to transform a rundown recreation area into a state-of-the-art school sports facility named in honour of former pupil Ringo Starr.  Dingle Swings Recreation Ground is being converted into "Starr Fields", with a floodlit synthetic pitch, three tennis and netball games areas and a changing pavilion for Shorefields Community School.

At the moment the school has outdated physical education facilities for its 1000 pupils, and the scheme will enable it to be able to provide a first class environment for youngsters to get fit.  It will also be used by a number of local primary schools, giving younger children the chance to take part in a wide range of sports.

Headteacher of Shorefields School, John Charnock, said:- "We are hugely excited about this scheme as it will provide a fantastic facility for pupils and the local community to use.  Ringo Starr has offered his support for the scheme and is as enthusiastic as we are about the opportunities it offers to young people."

The money for the scheme is coming from the school and the Big Lottery Fund.

Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services, said:- "This is a brilliant scheme which will transform PE lessons for pupils at Shorefields and surrounding primary schools.  Encouraging kids to get active is a huge priority for the city council, but in order to do that we must ensure they have excellent facilities to use. 

This project will transform a piece of land which is not very well used into a valuable community resource."

EVERTON FC ON BOARD THE ARRIVA FUN BUS

THE Arriva Fun Bus on 7 July 2006 teamed up with Everton FC to bring pupils of Roscoe Junior School a morning of football mayhem.

Roscoe Junior School won the opportunity to have a visit from the Fun Bus as part of Arriva’s school liaison activity aiming to provide Year 6 children with a great day at the end of the school year.

On board the Fun Bus was a team of experts from the premiership side, including women’s England international stars Fara Williams and Rachel Brown.

Nick Gordon, marketing manager for Arriva North West said:- “The day was a great success and everyone really enjoyed themselves. The Fun Bus teaming up with Everton FC is a fantastic way to give Year 6 pupils a memorable day to celebrate the end of the school year.”

The Everton team gave the children the chance to take part in a number of football activities and receive expert advice and information on fitness and nutrition.

Graham Lewis, chief executive officer for Everton Football in the Community said:- “We are really pleased to have been involved in this project. It’s a great way for the children to combine fun and learning.”

Arriva and Everton FC are also working together later in the year as part of a community project to help raise health awareness across schools in Liverpool.

Southport's 2006 Beach Babe & Beach Hunk Vote Winners...

LAST week we started our online vote to find the Southport's Beach Babe and Beach Hunk 2006 in Springbok Trekkers at their beach party.   These are the results for your voting for Southport Beach Babe 2006...

Southport Beach Babe 2006!

2nd place! Runner Up Southport Beach Babe 2006!

These two are joint 3rd place...

These are the results for your voting for Southport Beach Hunk 2006...

Southport Beach Hunk 2006!

2nd place! Southport Beach Hunk 2006 Runner Up.

3rd place! Southport Beach Hunk 2006 Runner Up.

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