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Latitude: 57.3636 / 57°21'48"N
Longitude: -4.3935 / 4°23'36"W
OS Eastings: 256135
OS Northings: 832879
OS Grid: NH561328
Mapcode National: GBR H9J8.28K
Mapcode Global: WH3FV.H53T
Entry Name: Brachla, Aa Sentry Box (No 631)
Listing Date: 30 May 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396808
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49223
Building Class: Cultural
Location: Inverness and Bona
Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness
Traditional County: Inverness-shire
1956-1967; later refurbishments. Square-plan timber boarded sentry box (approximately 2 metres by 0.75 metres by 0.75 metres) with cross-gabled zinc clad roof, small central ventilator. On concrete base. Vertical black painted boarding to side and rear elevations, rectangular panels inscribed "AA SERVICE" (post-1967 re-branding) to each side; plywood covered door with weathering fillet above. Bargeboarded gablets with square "AA" badge (post-1967 re-branding) to front and side faces. INTERIOR: chipboard flooring; plastic cladding over boarded timber wall lining; single button telephone (disconnected) with cupboard below. Central bulkhead light fitting above Perspex suspended ceiling.
This box lies in a scenic location woodland on the A82, with views down Loch Ness. A symbol of national transport heritage, AA sentry boxes played an important role in the development of road communications and safety in Britain from the 1930s until 2002 when AA phones were finally disconnected. AA sentry boxes were first built to protect road patrollers from the weather when they travelled on bicycles and later on motorcycles in the first half of the 20th century. Later boxes had chalkboards on which to leave messages for passing members, and were also used as safety boxes, equipped with sand buckets and fire extinguishers. Eventually, telephones were installed with the development of the national telecommunications network. This box is of the 1956 post-war pattern that was manufactured up until 1967. After 1967 sentry boxes were no longer produced. The designer of this box type is not known; however the boxes were manufactured by Enham Industries, Alamein, Hampshire, a firm that employed disabled ex-servicemen. At the time of its original installation, this box would have had the AA's winged livery logo; however, boxes were re-badged after 1967 with the introduction of the company's new square logo. In the 1990s, a programme was instituted to return new square- logo badged boxes to the original winged livery. AA sentry boxes are now very rare. At one time there were approximately 1,000 in service but now there are only 21 remaining in all of Britain, of which 8 are listed in England and 1 in Wales. This box at Brachla is one of 7 remaining AA sentry boxes in Scotland, of which 6 are listed (2003). See separate listings under "AA Sentry Box".