There’s no point letting the work I did on the medallion talk go to waste, so here is some of it reused as a blog post. Not every one will lend itself to use as a blog post, unless the post is on the subject of curing insomnia, but some will stand on their own.
The medal is, as collectors like to know, issued by the Automobile Association, 45mm in diameter and made from a metal that isn’t easy to identify. It’s copper in colour but likely to be a cheap alloy rather than pure copper. An alloy, because it needs to resist scratching and similar things and cheap because that is the modern way. To be fair, in a world where accountants govern our lives, we are lucky that anyone still bothers to make medals. On the other hand, when you look at what they charged me for membership over the years, they could afford it.
The reverse is plain with as tablet in the middle and the number 1,400 stamped on it. We originally had several others in the shop, with a mix of numbers. I selected this one because I like numbers with noughts on the end.
The obverse bears the dates 1905 – 2000 above an old-fashioned AA telephone box. The box itself is over the new AA logo (the old one can be seen on the front of the box (it used to look a bit like an owl to me), I have no photo, but this link shows several varieties.
The figures represent an AA patrolman of the 1920s on the left and a modern one on the right.
In 2000 the AA demutualised and became just another public company, which is why the medallion celebrates 95 years instead of a centenary, as would be usual. During that time the number of cars on the road rose from approximately 1,000 to 27,200,000. In 2020 we had 32,7000,000. That’s a lot more cars, needing a lot more roads. Originally you used to buy petrol from the pharmacy, but as more cars appeared more people started to sell it. In 1919 the AA opened the first filling station in the UK. I didn’t know that until I looked it up to chek some fats before writing this post. This just goes to show the educational benefits of collecting medallions.