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The AA took no more active part in motor insurance until 1967.

To cater for the increased popularity of touring by car, the AA appointed agents and repairers throughout the UK.

1,500 agents were listed in the AA Members' Special Handbook, which first appeared in 1908.

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The star system was derived from one used to classify brandy – AA Secretary Stenson Cooke had once been a wine and spirit salesman – with a 3 star hotel being defined as a really decent, average middle class hotel.

Back to top The use of motor cars was initially met with hostility, suspicion and resentment – they were noisy and dirty, and alarmed horses.

We introduced the first AA routes around 1912 with handwritten details, and by 1929 we were issuing 239,000 routes a year.

From 1912 we started inspecting and classifying hotels.

John Drew is credited with serving longer than any other of those early scouts and rose through the ranks to become a superintendent.

He was buried at Watford Cemetery on the 12 February 1936.

A motorcyclist and three pedal cyclists were engaged to operate the section of Brighton Road to Crawley, while four more cyclists operated the Crawley to Purley stretch, all operating at weekends only.

A month after their inaugural meeting the MMA changed its name to The Automobile Association. Being energetic and physically fit and using their own bicycles, this weekend activity was seen as a bit of sport and a marked a contrast to delivering newspapers.

As motoring became more popular, so did we – the 100 AA members in 1905 grew to 83,000 by 1914. The first AA patrols had no uniforms and only basic pedal cycles.

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