Many British designed vehicles use colour coded cables to assist in identifying the various circuits in use. This is an extract from BS-AU7a 1983 Colour Code for Vehicle Wiring, from the British Standards Institution, 2 Park St., London W1A 2BS.
Note that these colour codes may not apply directly to older cars. For example, the wipers on cars up to 1980 (at least) are not on a separate fuse circuit, so they are not orange, but green. Check the schematic for your car to be certain.
And some of the circuits are live switched and not via a fuse
Black earth ground connections
Green feeds to auxiliary devices controlled by the ignition switch, eg wipers, flashers, etc
White base colour for ignition circuits
Red sidelights (parking lights) and rear lights
Blue with white trace main beam headlamp with red trace - dip beam headlamp
Purple auxiliary devices not fed via the ignitior switch, eg horn, interior light
Brown main battery feed
Edited by KernowCooper, 11 April 2013 - 11:48 PM.