Then and Now (David Gent) – Trumpington.
View along Shelford Road towards Shelford.
First picture shows the AA box and patrol man. This postcard is undated. First introduced in c.1912, the AA box was a place for the AA patrol man to wait between emergencies. Later used as a means for AA members to seek assistance, and to shelter from weather while waiting for that assistance. The boxes were lit by oil lamps, and had maps, a fire extinguisher and a telephone available for members’ use. Members were issued with a key that fitted all AA boxes. The 1970s and 1980s saw boxes phased out and replaced by more economical designs, ultimately simply a telephone on a post. The spread of mobile phones in the 1990s rendered the boxes largely obsolete, and in 2002, the AA abandoned its telephone network. In their heyday there were almost 1,000 boxes – now only 19 remain, eight of which have a Grade II heritage listing.
Second picture taken July this year
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