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MG MGA - Bygone Roadside Assistance

Just going through boxes of memorabilia in the attic. Who remembers being issued with one of these for calling out the friendly AA man on his motorcycle with sidecar?

Also being saluted by the AA man when he drove past and spotted your AA radiator badge.

Pity they did not make it Octagon shaped!


Steve Gyles

Ha ha. Yes I remember that. Those were the days
Graham V

I wonder if they ever bothered to change the locks and reissue the keys (change the password).
Barney Gaylord

AFAIK the AA and RAC used the same key profile.
Dave O'Neill 2

And if no salute, more than a clear hint that a bobby was just down the road ...
D Smith

Weren't the AA set up originally just to warn about police traps?

Paul Dean


It would appear you are spot on. I found this on the web:

"On 19 June 1905, Charles Jarrott and a group of other like-minded individuals met at the Lyons’ Trocadero Restaurant in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. Forming a committee and operating under the initial title of ‘The Motorists’ Mutual Association’, (MMA) they came together to consider ways to overcome the perceived police oppression of early motorists and their use of speed-traps.

Just a week later, on 26 June, the MMA committee voted to change its name to The Automobile Association (AA). They held their first General Meeting as the AA at the Trocadero on 29 June.

The strategy they formed was to employ cycle scouts to patrol main roads and warn members of any police traps ahead. Initially, a motor cyclist and three pedal cyclists were recruited."

Steve Gyles

Must try my AA key in box number 456 at Aylesbeare, Devon when next passing.

Treated the family to a drive this week in the A after 30+ years off the road.

Merry Christmas to all on the forum.

Brian Paddon

Here is the 'official' synopsis: (together with a snap of a charming young lady who seems to have pulled over in order to help out an AA patrolman in apparent distress ...)
D Smith

Fascinating reading D Smith. Thanks.
B Mayo

Not many of those boxes around now Brian -only 19 of which 8 are listed buildings and so protected - there are 2 close(ish) to me - one at Mere cross roads near Tatton Park Cheshire and another on the A591 between Grasmere and Keswick in Cumbria.

List below of the 19
137 Porlock, Somerset: on A39 (Dunster-Lynton) at junction with New Road161 Nantyffin, Crickhowell, Powys: on A40 (Abergavenny-Brecon) at junction with Talgarth A479289 Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion: at junction with A4120 (Devil’s Bridge-Ponterwyd) and Cwmystwyth B4574372 Mere Corner, Cheshire: on A556 at junction with A50442 Aysgarth, North Yorkshire: on A684 (Aysgarth-Leyburn) near junction with Buckden B6160456 Halfway House, Newton Poppleford, Devon: on A3052 (Exeter-Sidmouth) at junction with B3180472 Cambus o’ May, Aberdeenshire: on A93 (Aberdeen-Braemar) near junction with Strathdon A97487 Dunmail Raise, Grasmere, Cumbria: on A591 (Grasmere-Keswick) at Raise House south of Thirlmere504 Ardgay, Highland: at junction of A836 (Bonar Bridge-Tarlogie) and B9176530 Brancaster, Norfolk: on A149 (Hunstanton-Wells) around 300 metres west of junction with Common Lane, Brancaster Staithe573 Garrowbay, East Riding of Yorkshire: on A166 (Driffield-York), 4.5 miles east of York, opposite entrance to Garrowby Hall580 Boduan, Gwynedd: on A497 (Nefyn-Pwllheli) around 1 mile south of junction with B4354631 Brachla, Highland: on A82 (Fort Augustus-Inverness) around 4 miles north of Drumnadrochit687 Trinity, Jersey: at junction of Rue du Presbytere and Rue des Picots, Trinity714 Threapland, Elgin, Moray: on A96 (Elgin-Fochabers) east of junction with B9103, Threapland Wood, 3.5 miles west of Fochabers723 Cappercleuch, Borders: at St. Mary’s Loch on the A708 (Moffat-Selkirk)746 Loch Allen, Dava, Highland: at junction of A940 and A939 (Grantown on Spey-Nairn), south of Forres753 Glen Dye, Strachan, Aberdeenshire: between Bridge of Dye and Strachan on B974 at junction with Old Military Road817 Beadnell, Northumberland: on B1340 (Alnwick-Bamburgh), quarter of a mile north of Beadnell
Cam Cunningham

Does any one what is inside the current boxes, or if keys still work?

Paul Dean

The keys and the badges were (in theory) the property of the AA and should have been returned when a member left the organisation, although very few were. The early badges had the member's membership number stamped at the bottom, but those records no longer exist, so if you've got one there's little chance of being able to trace the original owner. I started working for the AA in 1973 and left in 2000, but not on the technical side, which is why you'll find me asking some pretty basic questions on this forum from time to time. Happy days!
Robert Sinclair

No.321 is in a pub car park in Eardisland in Herefordshire
Nigel Munford

I have an AA badge I received from a GB work associate about 35 years ago. Is there a way to approximate the date of the badge thru the stamped member number?

George G.

Come on Steve put the jacks aside now and start a new library on AA boxes, keys and badges!

We 'salute' you! You may even make "Sir" for service to the motoring public!

In jest, your friend, Barry
Barry Gannon


Here's some info on AA badges
Dave O'Neill 2

and more...
Dave O'Neill 2

Hi Barry

Happy New Year. The bygone jacks can't be put away. I get about 25 emails a day about them. Already a backlog from the festive season. Will be on the PC all day today sorting. I did spot a badly advertised Lake & Elliot jack for the Aston Martin DB4 over the period. I put in a £20 bid and was the highest bidder until 20 seconds to go. It went for £450.

I have a selection of those AA badges from my late F in L he had during the 30s. I will check them out with Dave's database.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 20/12/2016 and 03/01/2017

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