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Photographer's Note

We are having some wonderful warm sunny weather in Scotland and what better way to spend it yesterday than to go for an 80 mile trip in my little old car around the lovely Scottish Borders. And when I came across this old AA Sentry Box, I couldn't resist stopping for a photograph.

The Automobile Association was formed in 1905 in an effort to protect motorists in Britain from some very repressive restrictions, one of which was the imposed regulation that motor vehicles should be restricted to a maximum speed of four miles per hour and be preceded at all times by a man carrying a red flag! Efforts by the AA managed to relieve such oppressive regulations and the assocation later developed its breakdown service whereby AA patrolmen toured the country on motorcycles, and later vans, equipped with tools to enable emergency roadside repairs.

The first AA "Sentry Box" was built in 1911, initially as a stop-over point for patrolmen but later more and more sprung up, there being at one time over a thousand such boxes throughout the country. The boxes were each equipped with a telephone and all AA members were given a key to access the boxes and so be able to call for help free of charge.

However, the introduction of mobile 'phones has now rendered the AA Sentry Box obsolete and now only about a dozen still exist throughout Britain. You can see a list of their locations here. This one, near St. Mary's Loch in the Scottish Borders, is now a category "B" listed building as you can see here.

You can see the location if you click on Map:view but you can also take a virtual drive past it if you look at this map and drag the yellow man down to the red cross and pan around.

Thankfully, I didn't need to call on the services of the AA yesterday - my little car completed her journey with no problems at all!

P.S. I thought I might just add this to the theme "Telephone Kiosks" set up recently by Bev (Royaldevon).

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1928 W: 427 N: 7237] (29052)
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