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The history of the MSA is inevitably bound up with the history of the motor car and that of driver training. These brief notes do not attempt to chronicle that history in detail but to give a brief flavour of the background of the past as it affected the MSA.
For a more detailed history of the MSA, please click here ... >>

1880s The First Motor Car early motor car
1905 End of the Red Flag Law
Still celebrated today by the London to Brighton Vintage run
1910 The First Driving Schools
1914 Mass Training of New Drivers for the Military
1920s Traffic legislation starts to be introduced white lines, cats eyes etc.
1934 Transport Minister Hoare Belisha legislates for a driving test
1935 31st March MSA is formed to set standards of professional and ethical behaviour for members. MSA old logo
1st June Mr Bean passes first L test
1939 Activities suspended due to hostilities
1947 Driving Tests Restart
1950s MSA membership grows - Suez Crises - Fuel Rationing - Driving Tests Suspended
1956 MSA adds "of Great Britain"
1958 MSA incorporated as "a company limited by guarantee"
1960s Voluntary Register introduced for Driving Instructors ADI register
1970s ADI Register Becomes Compulsory
Membership basis changed from schools to individuals
Glossy Magazine launched
1984 New Management Team Installed
Old Head Office property sold
Members records computerised
Preparations made for Golden Jubilee celebrations
1985 to 1990 Golden Jubilee Conference attended by Minister
Turnover increased from £35,000 to £350,000
Staff expanded
Membership benefits extended and new ones added
Increasing membership by MSA of external bodies
MSA represents Britain on European stage
Membership rises to nearly 8,000
1990 to 1995 Demographic trends
20 - 30% decline in driving school business
Data Protection
DSA formed
DSA formed - ADI register withheld
Economies enforced, staff reduces
Membership retention improved
1995 to 2000 Re-Focus
Diamond Jubilee Conference
New Computer System installed
Separate Theory Test for Learner drivers confirmed
DSA release ADI details
- First mail shot nets 400+ new members
New MSA logo agreed
New MSA logo
2000 to 2010   MSA produces teaching material to assist with the introduction of show me tell me questions to the driving test
Parliamentary select committee back MSA calls for changes at the DSA
Plans for all ADIs to retake their theory test rejected by the MSA a compromise agreed for ADIs who had not yet passed to sit HPT test, MSA ensure training available for all members none who request help fail to pass the test
Industry assists DSA with standards setting project
Summit meetings of ADIs launched MSA plays full part
A large gathering of members including honorary members attend the Platinum anniversary (70 years) conference and AGM
Presidents of the Council of the Motor Schools Association
1935 - 1939 J Woodhouse-Oakley
1939 - 1946 Activities suspended due to hostilities
1946 - 1955 Col H Atherton
1955 - 1957 C Tetlock
Chairman of the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain
1957 - 1958 H Sands
Chairman of the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain Ltd
1958 - 1960 S A Pearce
1960 - 1967 A M Clare
1963 - 1967 F Spencer-Tucker
1967 - 1973 Capt G E Melville
1973 - 1975 K Leigh
1975 - 1978 R Matthews
1978 - 1980 B E Rogers
1980 - 1982 C Westaby
1982 - 1989 Mrs E L Blair
1989 - 1995 R T Feltham
1995 - Present day P J Harvey
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