Kay Ogilvie, Senior Curator for the Heritage Lottery Funded Full Circle project has just taken collection of a fascinating piece of history – the AA road rescue collection – which has been deposited with MACE by Lawrence F Dickerson an ex AA Inspector/instructor.
Lawrence was born in 1938 and did his apprenticehship with Ericssons the telephone company in 1956 where he trained as a tool setter in Beeston, Nottingham.
When Lawrence was called up to do national service he had the honour of driving Major Howard, (who comanded the gliders on D-Day around the battle fields), whilst the Major lectured to staff college officers from Sandhurst .
In 1971 Lawrence joined the AA and became a patrolman rising to Inspector/instructor. He was part of the team which trained the AA patrolmen and women in the road rescue service at the AA national training centre at Widmerpool Hall near Keyworth, Nottinghamshire.
Around about this time, Lawrence took up amateur film making and bought his first 8mm movie camera. He began recording significant events in his family’s life – his wedding, Christmas, family get togethers and holidays in Wales and Derbyshire.
It was this interest in film that alerted Lawrence to the importance of saving the AA film collection when it was being disposed of by the new company. Amongst this significant collection dating back to the 1950s are the early AA training films – (no actors were used, but members of the AA and patrolmen and women who took on acting parts whilst in some cases doing their normal work). Highlights of this unseen footage include the collection of motorbikes and sidecars from the BSA factory in Birmingham.