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Warning Signs AA VILLAGE SIGNS

AA Village Signs

From 1906 to approximately 1932,The Automobile Association erected nearly 30000 signs in villages and towns across Great Britain. Most were removed during the war when a Nazi invasion seemed highly likely. At the end of World War II, only 600 or so were left and today there are around 65 still in situ around the country. Many more have survived in museums and private collections.

These pages illustrate the diversity and show some of the obscure signs so far unearthed. There is an opportunity below for you to report a sign or send a digital image for posting here..

Hatfield model sign

The very first sign to go up, in 1906, was on the Great North Road (to become the A1, now the A1000) at Hatfield in Hertfordshire. The design was immediately recognisable in that it was circular and in the AA colours of yellow & black. It differed considerably from later designs, not least in being mounted on a street lamp rather than a wall. The model is by the excellent English manufacturer DG Models / Autocraft Plus who also model AA vehicles.

The most common design is the circular sign approximately 1 m in diameter. The earliest show the interleaved letters "AA" but not in a badge form. These were erected from 1906 - 1910, when the AA merged with the Motor Union. A rare second style shows the AA encapsulated in a badge, but without wings. These pre-date the merger of the Automobile Association and the Motor Union, whose badge of a winged wheel, seen head-on, gave the merged Association the familiar winged AA badge. Signs which state "AA & MU" are from the period after 1910. The first circular post-merger badges are enamelled in a very deep violet-blue and not black. These are rare. Eventually, in 1923, the "and MU" was dropped leaving just Automobile Associatio with the winged badge and in black on yellow. The badge-shaped signs are the second most common and these all say "AA & MU" and date from 1912-1920. Scottish signs were erected by the AA and Scottish RAC, there being less rivalry between the two organisations north of the border! Irish AA signs were also prevalent before the 1922 partition and many of these are in Gaelic script and co-feasture the badge of the Royal Irish Automobile Club - RIAC.

Ottery St Mary

Colne Valley Postal History Museum

Loxhove Cott

Colne Valley Postal History Museum

Wetheringsett

Colne Valley Postal History Museum

Great Gransden

Colne Valley Postal History MUseum

Brent Eleigh

Ipswich Transport Museum

Cavendish

Ipswich Transport Museum

1st design after AA & MU merger

Ipswich Transport Museum

1st design after AA & MU merger

Claydon

Ipswich Transport Museum

Gt Waldingfeild

Ipswich Transport Museum

Kedington

Ipswich Transport Museum

Preston

Ipswich Transport Museum

Rishangles

Ipswich Transport Museum

Redingfield

Ipswich Transport Museum

Marldon Devon

In Situ

Non-standard wording and layout"THE Automobile Association"

Longformacus, Borders

Norham Station Museum, Northumberland

AA and Scottish RAC. No mention of London.

Duns, Borders

Norham Station Museum, Northumberland.

AA and Scottish RAC. No mention of London.

Hawkesbury Upton S.Glos

In Situ

Non-standard wording and layout"THE Automobile Association"

Blyth Northumberland

CVPHM

Popham Hants

CVPHM under restoration

Hartley Wintney

CVPHM

Codnor Derbys

CVPHM under restoration

Amberley

Amberley Working Museum

Aylesham Norfolk

East Anglian Transport Museum

Second style befor MU merger, AA badge with no wings, no black bar

Helmsley, Yorks

Private Collection

Second style before MU merger, AA badge with no wings, no black bar

Hose. Leics

Coventry Transport MuseuM

Southease, Sussex

Coventry Transport Museum

Kettering Museum

Kettering Museum

Oxford Bus Museum

Oxford Bus Museum

Kersey Suffolk

In Situ

Halse Somerset

In Situ

Staple Fitzpaine, Somerset

In Situ

Mevagissey, Cornwall

In Situ

Collyweston Northants

In Situ

1st design after AA & MU merger

Bosherston Pembroke

In Situ

St Breward, Cornwall

In Situ

Kings Cliffe Northhants

In Situ

Mylor Bridge, Cornwall

In Situ

Nateby, Cumbria

In Situ

Marks Tey

Private Collection

AA Duloe

CVPHM

Hitcham Street

Private Collection, Essex

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Bredon, Worcs

In Situ

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Iron Acton, S Glos

In Situ

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Bishops Cleeve, Glos

Cotswold Motor Museum

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

POulton Glos

Cotswold Motor Museum

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Watton, Norfolk

Cotswold Motor Museum

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Cromhall Glos

In situ

Langton

In Situ

Apperley Glos

Cotswold Motor Museum

Peopleton, Worcs

Cotswold Motor Museum

Marston Meysey, Glos

Cotswold Motor Museum

Salford, Oxon

Cotswold Motor Museum

Winford, Avon

Cotswold Motor Museum

Dangerous Roads

Cotswold Motor Museum

Pre-marger AA badge

Measured Mile

Cotswold Motor Museum

South African AA

Reward

Cotswold Motor Museum

Erected below the main sign to attract small boys catapult shots! Size 8" diam.

Seaton Yorks

In Situ

1st design after AA & MU merger

Newton, Suffolk

Ipswich Transport Museum

Wiggaton

Stolen early 2006, replaced 13/9/06 by plastic replica

New Wiggaton plate

Replacement 13/9/06 plastic replica

St Mawes Cornwall

In Situ

(Notice only one place nearby, the rest is sea!)

Ford Street

Private Collection Essex

West Mersea

Private Collection Lexden

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Witney Oxon

Colne valley Postal History Museum

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Tadley

AA collection - (Was Milestones - gone)

Cooksbridge, Sussex

AA collection - (Was Milestones - gone)

Earliest design in widespread use - before adoption of the "badge" logo and the merger with the Motor Union 1906-1910

Bedingfield Suffolk

In Situ

Aldbourne, Warks

In Situ

Deane, Hants

AA collection - (Was Milestones - gone)

Hundleton, Pembroke

In Situ

Quendon Suffolk

Milestones Museum, Hants

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Ramsbury Wilts

In Situ

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Warren

In Situ - 2 signs both different

Warren Pembrokshire

In Situ

Wyverstone Lancs

Private Collection

Dunmow

Private Collection, Hampshire

Second style befor MU merger, AA badge with no wings, no black bar

Duddington, Rutland

Private Collection, Wirral

Monk Okehampton, Devon

In Situ

Mary Tavy Devon

Sold On Ebay 1/9/06

Aislaby, Yorks

Private Collection, Wirral

North Dalton, S Yorks

In Situ

Caythorpe, Lincs

Private Collection, Wirral

Second style before MU merger, AA badge with no wings, no black bar

Howlett End, Essex

Private Collection, Wirral

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Itchen Stoke, Hants

In Situ

Lower Whitley, Cheshire

In Situ

Olveston, S.Glos

"Olveston" In Situ

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Rhosneigr, Conway

Beaulieu Autojumble Sept 06

Shoreham, Sussex

Beaulieu Autojumble Sept 06

Dennington Suffolk

Beaulieu Autojumble Sept 06

Broughton, N Yorks

In Situ

Toft, Lincs

Baldock Mill Museum, Bourne

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Wrinehill, Cheshire

Private Collection East Sussex

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Great Marlow, Bucks

CVPHM

Early Blue enamel, by Bruton & Co

1st design after AA & MU merger, 1910-1923

Sherborne St John, Hants

CVPHM

Fitted with rear bracket

1912-1920 "winged badge" design

Langford, Notts

CVPHM

Kessingland, Suffolk

Private Collection, Kessingland

Hollesley, Suffolk

CVPHM

Bergh Apton, Norfolk

CVPHM

Cople, Beds

CVPHM

Bircham Newton, Norfolk

CVPHM

 Private collection

Line of Totality, Richmond, Yorks

Possibly one of the rarer and most unusual signs is this one in Richmond Yorks marking the centre line of the 1927 Total Eclipse. It was visible across a large swathe of north east England. How many others were there?

Colchester Essex 2

This Colchester sign is different from the early one shown right, indicating different distances from London and Witham. One explanation could be that distances are measured from the actual sign and not the centre of town. This one also swaps Rowhedge for Ipswich. CVPHM Collection.

Colchester

Private Collection, Essex

Early Blue enamel bar,1st design after AA & MU merger, 1910-23. Witham appears to be only 11 3/4 miles away on this one. Bruton & Co.

LLanddewi Brefi

In Situ

Bedells End Essex

Battlesbridge Motorcycle Museum

Almeley Herefordshire

Almeley Herefordshire

Private collection, Eire

AA and Royal Irish Automobile Club