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Homepage. This page: Seen in the 1950s, an AA patrolman with his motorcycle attending to a member's needs.

AA Patrol motorcycle and sidecar.

Judging by the presence of a four door Austin A30 in the background, this photo must date to some time in the mid-1950s. It shows an AA Patrol man attending to an Automobile Association member. Rather than attending to a car problem, he appears to be peering at a gent's leg. Clearly visible is the AA motorcycle and sidecar combination. The motorcycle is registered PYE 342, a London series first used in January 1955. Parked to the left is a Morris 8 Series 2 (painted grille surround, rather than the chrome of the Series 1), and just behind the grandly-dressed lady, a Ford Prefect 10hp. The rear of another car, possibly a Morris, is also just visible, as is another motorcycle and sidecar combination (reg. DYC 10).
A British AA motorcycle and sidecar
Quite what was going on on this sunny day I'm not sure - three of the gents look like they're dressed for a wedding, whereas the two ladies look like characters from a period costume drama. Meanwhile another bloke on the right is wearing shorts, and someone else a flatcap and coat.
AA motorcycle patrol
Another clue as to the time of year captured in this photo, comes courtesy of the book called Golden Milestone, celebrating 50 years of the AA in 1955. Motorcycle patrol men wore slightly different uniforms depending on the season of the year. In Spring, they wore a dark cap or helmet, tunic, breeches, leggings, boots and gloves. In Summer they wore a white cap cover, and dispensed with the gloves. The patrol man in this photo is wearing just such a Summer cap cover. In the Autumn they would wear a waterproof cap cover, along with waterproof coat, leggings and gloves. In the winter they'd switch to wearing a short overcoat, black cap, and different gloves again.
Dinky model of the AA motorbike
Between 1946 and 1952, Dinky did a toy version of the AA's motorcycle and sidecar combination, no. 44B, complete with a patrolman on the saddle. Is anyone able to identify the make and model of motorcycle used by the AA in the above picture? I have seen BSA motorcycle combinations used in the 50s, but did the AA use other marques too? If anyone can help, please drop me a line and I'll update this page accordingly.
Update.Fred dropped me a line from Australia. He spent a couple of years being an AA patrol motorcyclist (500cc BSA - M20?), in the North Wales area. He remembers on one trip, returning from Corwen on the A5, to find a little Ford that had gone through a wall. He had to jam the motorcycle's sidecar against the kerb, and attach a rope to it and the Ford, so that it wouldn't slip down into a field. Another time, he rescued a lady who was stuck in her upturned car, which also had gone through a wall, and into a tree. Petrol was dripping into the car, yet all she seemed worried about was some hats on the rear seat that she had to deliver. Fred was having none of it, and got her out of the car asap.
A few other bits and pieces relating to the A.A. appear on this site, including a look at the popular chrome & yellow AA car badges, and tips on how to discover when they were issued, by analysing the issue number stamped on them.
Return to Old Motoring Photos Page No. 9. Various other motorcycle & sidecar combinations can be seen on this page of the site.

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