Rare Badges & Clubs 3.
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Motor Users' Association.
Motor Users' Association was formed in the State of Victoria in late 1926. Soon
after formation it commenced an agressive membership drive through advertising
in the local press. The association offered various services including
"Guides on the Road; Technical Assistance; 'Get You Home' Towing Service;
Legal Defence and Advice; Touring and Camping Facilities; Licence Reminder
Service and The Best, Cheapest, and Most Comprehensive Insurance Policy in
Australia!" to quote from one of the early advertisements. Annual
subscription was set at ₤1/1/-. The secretary of the association was Harry
Witty and offices were at 57 Queen Street in central Melbourne. To what extent
the MUA was able to deliver on its promised services is not known, but by 1928
it had certainly achieved the publication of touring maps and the provision
of guide services. The MUA's motto was "Service and Defence", a reference to its
proposed role in defending motorists against the various taxes and levies being
imposed by governments at the time.
The association's car badge is certainly the most elaborate ever issued
by any Australian motoring organisation and was of silver plated and enamelled
brass. The design was the result of a competition run in the Melbourne Herald
newspaper during 1926. How long the organisation survived is not
known however I have discovered a reference to it in the Canberra Times
newspaper in 1933, but it was not listed in Motor Trade
Directories by 1936-37 ©
There are two badges in this collection. The badge illustrated
above is No. 407 and is mounted on a base for radiator cap mounting -
the most common form of mounting in that era. The badge shown below, No. 398, is
an even rarer example which was issued without a base, for flush mounting on a
dash or radiator core. Many motoring organisations issued small numbers of
badges without bases to cater for motorists who wished to have a figurine mascot
on the radiator cap and mount the organisation's badge elsewhere on the vehicle.
Badge manufacturers were happy to oblige and in this case the manufacturer,
Stokes & Sons of Melbourne, fixed a small plate with the number on the rear
of the badge.
Northern Motorists Association of New South Wales.
By the middle 1920s motorists in areas of NSW
outside Sydney were seeking the kind of services provided in and around the
capital city by the NRMA and RACA. In Armidale, a city on the NSW Northern
Tablelands, the Northern Motorists Association of NSW was formed in May 1926 to
meet the needs of local motorists. The NMA was formed largely through
the influence of a local garage owner, Charles Purkiss of the Rink Garage, and
membership was fixed at ₤1/1/- per year. The organisation claimed to offer
roadside service, touring advice and a guide service within 50 miles of
Armidale. Initially Armidale Motors Ltd. and the Rink Garage were the dominant
providers of these services, but later other garages joined as well. The NMA car
badge was similar in design to that of the NRMA but used red and white enamel.
Unfortunately, the white enamel was of poor quality and in most of the surviving
badges the white has become chalky and suffered road damage. Fortunately my
badge No.765 has perfectly original enamel. Membership of the NMA must have been
significant for such a regional area, as this badge number would indicate. The
ultimate fate of the NMA is not clear and I assume that, as the NRMA expanded
its activities into country areas, it was able to offer a more comprehensive
range of services, resulting in the eventual demise of the NMA. ©
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