Automobile Association (1950) Wikipedia - Link -

The Automobile Association (»AA«) is the English equivalent of ADAC Wikipedia - Link - .

The AA would publish a road atlas and gazetteer. In addition to a road map of the country, there would be:

a) Plans for each town

b) Itineraries for each city, listing pace notes from that city to every other city and town. Route maps were also included

c) Large scale route-finding maps with reduced detail and distance between each node. Each public house was marked and named because it was easy to use these as waypoints. I imagine this would be an imprisonable offense now, with all concerned arrested. Drink-driving laws at this time were not onerous. If one was stopped by a policeman, which was unlikely, the test you were given was that you must prove your sobriety by walking along the white line in the center of the road. One man I spoke with said that on several occasions he witnessed fellow drinkers too drunk to stand up having to be carried to their automobile so that they could drive home. The roads had little traffic on them in those times.

I spoke with a chauffeur who had learned his trade after the Great War. He said that until the 1960s he could drive everywhere from memory, but at this time, construction and the building of divided highways and by-passes meant that it was impossible to find his way, and he was as lost as the rest of us.

Central London 1950
Central London in 1950. Note that the draughtsmanship on the map is a model of clarity. The map includes the location of all motor mechanics, theaters and cinemas. The headquarters of the Automobile Assocation itself are marked as Fanum House, on the west side of Leicester Square.



Piccadilly 1950


East India Docks 1950


Northholt Aerodrome 1950
1950: Northolt Aerodrome Wikipedia - Northolt


London West and Central 1950
1950: West and Central London from Heathrow Wikipedia - to the City of London Wikipedia - and Docklands Wikipedia - .


London Docklands 1950
1950: London Docklands Wikipedia - The London Docks were some of the largest in the world until containerization Wikipedia - in 1960-1970 destroyed stevedore Wikipedia - cargo handling.

London Itineraries
Routefinding. Each city in the Gazetteer would have a set of routes printed for it.

London through routes
Through routes for London. Each city in the Gazetteer would have a set of through routes printed for it.

London Manchester Itineraries
Itineraries for London

London South through routes
London South exit routes to the south.


Folkstone in 1950
1950: Folkstone Wikipedia - Link - The Automobile Association (»A.A) headquarters in London were at Fanum House. Hence the A.A. telegraphic address Wikipedia - Link - was »FANUM, LONDON« .In a stroke of genius, they made the telegraphic address of every A.A. office FANUM, followed by the name of the town, such as the above, FANUM, FOLKESTONE. This meant that in order to send a telegram to any A.A. office, you only had to remember the name of the town and the word FANUM.

Maidstone 1950
1950: Maidstone Wikipedia - Link -

AA 1950 - Brighton
Brighton and Hove


Ely to Kings Lynn 1950
1950: Ely Wikipedia - Ely to Kings Lynn Wikipedia - King's Lynn along the River Ouse Wikipedia - River Great Ouse. In the Twenties there was staged a race between a train, a speed boat and an aircraft. There was only one place where the three might race together and it was along this section of the River Ouse.



AA 1950 - London Docklands
AA 1950 - London Docklands








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