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AA Box
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2612
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:57 pm    Post subject: AA Box Reply with quote

I know this has been an OCC subject before, I didn't know that the numbers had diminished so much.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54585748
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3665
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:00 am    Post subject: Re: AA Box Reply with quote

Peter_L wrote:
I know this has been an OCC subject before, I didn't know that the numbers had diminished so much.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54585748

I never got the concept of the AA box , given that at any time in history there were 100 times as many normal GPO/BT phone box's as there were AA box's ?
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1499
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: AA Box Reply with quote

ukdave2002 wrote:
Peter_L wrote:
I know this has been an OCC subject before, I didn't know that the numbers had diminished so much.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54585748

I never got the concept of the AA box , given that at any time in history there were 100 times as many normal GPO/BT phone box's as there were AA box's ?


I think it would be that the normal GPO phone boxes would be placed where people lived - in a village, for instance - while the AA / RAC boxes would be placed in more remote but strategic locations. I know the box in the story, it's next to a road junction (A40/A479) that's pretty much in the middle of nowhere. While it isn't too far to either Crickhowell or Tretower, both would be further than you'd want to walk on a wet night before mobile phones.

Indeed, I think in rural areas like this particular part of Wales there could still be a case for retaining such boxes - or even providing new ones - because of the poor mobile signals. A few years ago now I suffered brake failure (failed master cylinder) with my modern at Bwlch, the next village along the A40 from here. Luckily no accident resulted from this and I was able to stop safely, but with no mobile signal I had little choice but to drive slowly on gears and handbrake only back along the A40 to Crickhowell, thinking there would be a mobile signal there to summon assistance. There was no mobile signal in Crickhowell either, but there was and hopefully still is a working BT phone box, some public toilets and shops selling newspapers to while away the obligatory 3 hour wait for recovery... Rolling Eyes

Incidentally the call handler at the breakdown firm initially sounded quite panicked when I told him I had broken down on the A40, I reckon he must have been thinking of one of the busier sections near London rather than a sleepy Breconshire market town. Maybe if I had bulled it up a bit I would have been recovered quicker?
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Peter_L



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 2612
Location: New Brunswick. Canada.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: AA Box Reply with quote

ukdave2002 wrote:
Peter_L wrote:
I know this has been an OCC subject before, I didn't know that the numbers had diminished so much.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54585748

I never got the concept of the AA box , given that at any time in history there were 100 times as many normal GPO/BT phone box's as there were AA box's ?


Hi Dave. You are correct about the box's, but "back in the day" who did you call ? Being an AA or RAC member one received a Key to open the box. A direct line connected to Central/Local AA offices. The Box number provided the location and then the AA could either dispatch a Patrol or arrange a mechanic or recovery.

Some more detail can be found here.
https://www.breakdowncover.org.uk/the-aa/aa-call-boxes/
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 1675
Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... and your membership had already paid for the call, no need to disturb the moths for loose change!
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alastairq



Joined: 14 Oct 2016
Posts: 1541
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AA members didn't just get a key..the boxes gave access to safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, and also maps , lamps, etc.....as well as First Aid stuff. Things not normally found in a public telephone box?
Plus, back then the AA/RAC were not considered to be the 4th emergency service..so to call for assistance from a public call box would have necessitated paying for the call. [Plus, having access to the required phone number?] he call to the central AA control would likely have been a long distance call [trunk call?] which costed a lot more than a local call.

What I don't see much hoohah about are the RAC boxes?

One of the original tasks of the Patrols was also to alert members to the presence ahead of Police speed traps.
This was accomplished [legally?] by the PAtrol failing to salute a passing member. The member was requested to stop and enquire of the Patrol as to why they had failed to salute? Information would then be passed during the course of the conversation.
An internet search would likely reveal which of the two Organisations this applied to..But I'm pretty sure t was the AA?

Such a real pity when both organisations ceased to be public services [like the RNLI?] and became commercial undertakings...with all the loss of respect and ethos that went with such a service. Now they just give me the impression they have both become money-grabbing profiteers.
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mikeC



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
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Location: Market Warsop, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had not realised, but apparently the original AA Boxes were not telephone boxes, but 'Sentry Boxes' to provide shelter for the patrol man!


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recently departed: 1967 Singer Chamois, 1914 Saxon, 1930 Morris Cowley, 1936 BSA Scout, 1958 Lancia Appia coupe, 1922 Star 11.9 ... the list goes on!
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting point.

Peter
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petelang



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 311
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you imagine the furore today if you expected an employee to sit stationed in a telephone box for many hours awaiting calls.
He would expect a power supply, kettle, TV draught proofing, fridge, underfloor heating and a picture window, not to mention sanitary facilities, full ppe and weatherproof gear.
Eeh, todays youth have never had it so good.
Peter
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1499
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petelang wrote:
Can you imagine the furore today if you expected an employee to sit stationed in a telephone box for many hours awaiting calls.
He would expect a power supply, kettle, TV draught proofing, fridge, underfloor heating and a picture window, not to mention sanitary facilities, full ppe and weatherproof gear.


With the possible exception of the TV, quite rightly so.
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6575
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petelang wrote:
Can you imagine the furore today if you expected an employee to sit stationed in a telephone box for many hours awaiting calls.
Peter


"Sit". Don't be silly!



Peter
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petelang



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 311
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter Scott, he's not quite the "youth" I had in mind but I take your point.
Peter
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