Early Africans unearthed

December 13, 2018

Members – Visit the 

TEHA2 website

 

13 Dec 2018        Part one – unfinished

Pioneer Europlate member Jacques Lambin, an adventurous and very well-travelled Frenchman, has donated some of his collection of worldwide shots to our Europlate Historic Archive (TEHA2) so greatly increasing our picture coverage of the  Equatorial and West African territories which formed part of the French empire.    An unexpected, marvellous benefit to us all!

In the process of identifying each photo, slide or negative so that each could be given an accurate title, some of these rare plate formats were difficult to decide, and even after research, a few still remain to go under the scrutiny of our readers, who may be able to finish the job!      Of course, Jacques was able to help with many of them, but so many years having passed since they were photographed, not all were fresh in his mind!       Some of the pictures shown here are from our existing TEHA2 collection……

An interesting example of such difficulty was that of Cameroun, the former French Trust Territory adjacent to Nigeria, which France administered after Germany surrendered it to the League of Nations after WW1, and brought it through to independence in 1963.    Cameroun started with a simple white-on-black numeral and a ‘C’ suffix letter, in about 1919.   

(We don’t know if there had been a German system in use before that.)

The International Oval 1919-63 was TC for Trust Territory-Cameroun, and nearby Togoland was allocated TT on the same basis.        The 2619-C photo comes from our former president, Bernt Larsen E somewhere back in Europe, on a Plymouth coupé

Cameroun commercial/public service vehicles ran on black-on-white plates.  Black-on-white 3421-C and 3423-C below, in service in the 1930s, using Mercedes chassis with local bodywork  and not French marques, as as might be expected!

 

In 1932, it is thought that 1-9999-C was exhausted, and a serial suffix number was added, starting at 0001 C 1 – though not necessarily using lead zeroes – it was not a strict regime…..

Then, from 1932 until 1963 the serial number changed each time the registration number reached 9999 and ran up from C1 to C8, when a new system was introduced after 1963 independence.    No pictures of a C8 have yet been found.

 

A Fiat 1500 Sports seen in Juan-les-Pins, summer 1960 by VB.

 

 

 

 

 

The International oval changed in 1963/4 and used a variety of codes, including RFC and CAM,

settling now on CMR, built-in to the current plates.

 

 

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The new 1963/4 series used a regional code, 0-9999 numerals and one serial suffix letter, which was later changed to two as required by increasing registration needs:.

 

W=Western Region, Buea

N=Northern Region, Garoua

C=Central Region, South

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All well and good, we might say.   BUT –  Jacques hurried to explain to the Blog that French Congo (Brazzaville)(AEF) once used an identical system and that a few Congolese had been mixed up with our Camerouns.           The guilty parties in the above line-up are the C7 and C9 pics, which are guaranteed Congolese by Jacques – because that’s where he took the pictures!     

You will see that all have now been placed in their correct countries within TEHA2, at Link:

website

 

 

While we contemplate such duplication in world plate issues, we might remember that the Cameroun’s first plates,

 

were the same as Tahiti’s

and of Madagascars

AND of the Comores Islands (but no picture!)

 

– so if you saw such plates as these as you wandered round 1950s Paris, for example, you wouldn’t know where they had come from, especially as they would all have carried an ‘F‘ International Oval, IF they carried one at all…….

I have just realised that if you HAD been in 1950 Paris as a 15-year-old plate-spotter, you would be reading this at the age of 84.          Anyone left out there??

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Confuse-a-spotter

December 7, 2011

Most of the territories which Britain managed in the earlier years of the 20th. century were given registration systems firmly anchored in the design and layout of the Construction and Use regulations of the home country.     As a result, far-flung places could have identical plates and an early spotter relied on the vehicle carrying an international oval at the back, if it travelled outside its own land.

The most prolific type was the letter ‘P’ (which usually stood for Private vehicle-but not always) followed by up to four numbers.     First, though, are three  ‘AY’  examples, all still legally circulating in their respective countries.     First, Turkish Northern Cyprus, AY 255.

Turkish Northern Cyprus AY 255

Then, AY 230 – Alderney, Channel Isles (GBA)
Alderney, Channel Isles - AY 230

and Hong Kong (HK) ( a  re-issue, as AY 995 is quite old now, on a new car.)
Hong Kong AY 995

No identifying ovals, unfortunately, but I do remember where I took the pictures!

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Perhaps the most confusing set of identical plates was issued in the Windward Islands.    One had to chase the car and interview the driver to obtain the island of issue, as they hardly ever carried an international oval….

GRENADA (WG) on an MG TD in Newmarket, GB in 1964. P 2734

1972 photo of an Austin 1300 in London, from Barbados, where P codes the parish of St. Philip.

1972 photo of a Morris 1300, P 475, in London, from Barbados, where P codes the parish of St. Philip.

 

P 2909 - the original series for Antigua.

P 2909 – the original series for Antigua.

St. Kitts & Nevis went on to P and numbers, when it had exhausted its original CN prefix (Christopher & Nevis)   1980 picture by Vic Brumby on St. Kitts.

P 335 – St. Kitts & Nevis went on to P and numbers, when it had exhausted its original CN prefix (Christopher & Nevis).   1980 picture on a Rover 90, by Vic Brumby on St. Kitts.

St. Vincent, the rarest of the W set of Windward Islands, seen in London in 1969, and still the only one ever.    The owner had to be stopped and asked, to learn the island of source.    Peugeot 404 - Brumby archive.

St. Vincent, the rarest of the W set of Windward Islands, (WV, WG, WL & WD) seen in London in 1969, and still the only one ever. The owner had to be stopped and asked, to learn the island of source.   Months later, P 2277 was found parked in a far distant part of London, ad a photo grabbed – Peugeot 404 – Brumby archive.

Trinidad used up to P 9999 long ago, but still re-issue as cherished plates if needed.    That's what this one is.    P 6000, taken there in 1987 by VB.

Trinidad used up to P 9999 long ago, but still re-issue P as cherished plates if needed. That’s what this one is. P 6000, taken there in 1987 by VB.   Black on white indicates taxi licence, as with Mauritius below.

Bermuda is not far away, though not in the West Indies, and used the same P system.   The motorbike shows P 1936 and was photo'din  the early 1950s.

Bermuda is not far away, though not in the West Indies, and used the same P system. The motorbike shows P 1936 and was photo’d
in the early 1950s.

P 135 is from distant Mauritius, where the white background shows it to be a taxi - a Hillman Minx, shot by VB in Port Louis, 1980s.

P 135 is from distant Mauritius, where the white background shows it to be a taxi – a Hillman Minx, shot by VB in Port Louis, 1980s.

 

Northern Rhodesia allocated 'P' code to Lusaka and Mumbwa and Reg Wilson capured P 1106 in Britain in 1961.

Northern Rhodesia allocated ‘P’ code to Lusaka and Mumbwa and Reg Wilson captured P 1106 in Britain in 1961.

P 5373 was issued to Penang as a Straits Settlement in Malaya  in the1920s - and this Ford Anglia was photographed there as recently as 2012!

P 5373 was issued to Penang as a Straits Settlement in Malaya in the1920s – and this Ford Anglia was photographed there as recently as 2012, by Douglas Fox!

France kept the enclaves of Pondichery and Karikal in Madras State, South India, tagging the vehicles there in the P and K series.     This Cadillac P 1452  has survived the obligatory change to white Indian plates, when this photo was taken.   Thanks to Cedric Sabine.

France kept the enclaves of Pondichery and Karikal in Madras State, South India, tagging the vehicles there in the P and K series, using the British-style font of India. This Cadillac P 1452 had survived the obligatory change to white Indian plates, when this photo was taken. Thanks to Cedric Sabine.

 

P 8825 - Similarly , French Tahiti sometimes used British-style plates for the original series of up to four numerals followed by a 'P' for Privé.   VB photo in Papeete, 2002.

P 8825 – Similarly , French Tahiti sometimes used British-style plates for the original series of up to four numerals followed by a ‘P’ for Privé.        VB photo on a Land Rover in Papeete, 2002.

END (Unless you know otherwise????


Tahiti Consular CC IT 4

October 25, 2011

Tahiti isn’t much seen outside the islands.   In 53 years, I have seen it twice in France and once in New Zealand, PLUS this very unusual Consular Corps version, un-noted in any official references to the islands’ plate systems.     This Volvo Amazon was captured by VB in London around 1962

and the cheerful owner advised that he was the Danish consul in Papeete.

I went over there in 2000 and square-searched Papeete for any remaining evidence of consular plates, but there were none – just regular registrations with  separate black on green ‘CC’ ovals.     And Air New Zealand wouldn’t give me my money back!

The typical  ‘TAHITI’  silver on red plate was carried at rear, used in the absence of a dedicated international oval, though officially, I suppose it should carry an ‘F’  oval.

(As should St. Pierre et Miquelon and Guiane etc. etc. etc.  but how dull that would be!)

Anyone else seen a Tahiti vehicle outside the islands?

Addendum Nov 2011:     Recent contact with the island motor bureau reveals that they are sure no such series has existed!     They are sure CC IT 4 is not from Tahiti!      (I wonder where that Dane is today?   He could fill us in….)

8011 A - This E-type Jaguar was seen in Auckland in 2002    Brumby archive

8011 A – This E-type Jaguar was seen in Auckland in 2002 Brumby archive

 

1250-P seen in Antibes during the 1980s, displaying the TAHITI alloy label often used when travelling abroad.     Brumby archive.

1250-P seen in Antibes during the 1980s, displaying the red TAHITI alloy label often used when travelling abroad.                     Brumby archive.