Old Bus Tickets

Southport Corporation – Punched


Here we have a Southport Corporation punch type ticket it is over printed ’4d Concessionary Fare’ which suggests that it is not from all that far back.  It looks like a Bell Punch ticket, but may have not been punched because there was no need to indicate a stage because of a flat fare possibly.  Any suggestions as to what this might be?

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


07/04/12 – 09:20

This is from the final days of Southport before it was taken over by the Merseyside PTE (1 April 1974). There was an earlier 3d ticket too. Southport used Ultimates and there wasn’t a spare barrel for a concessionary ticket to be issued from the machine – at least not initially.
It was for the then limited concessionary system – in this case a flat fare on SCT buses (but not Ribble) within the borough only for holders of a Southport pass. Printer is GNP.
I think the conductor was supposed to tear the ticket at the time of issue, but I don’t have any that are punched or torn, so maybe they didn’t usually bother.
Note that the times (not stages) run from 9am to 9pm. Before 9am was ‘too early’ or as it is now termed, "twerly".

Correction – writing from memory! The 3d value was in fact a 3p (same colour) which came in after decimalisation (1971).

DRH – Transport Ticket Society


16/05/12 – 12:40

I don’t think this was as late as 1974. The fare is shown as 4d, not 4p, so it must pre-date the introduction of decimal currency on 15 February 1971.
I was at Southport Corporation from 1969 until it was absorbed into Merseyside PTE and I don’t remember tickets like this. I’m certain that when I was there all tickets came out of the Ultimates, which were 5-bank for conductors and 6-bank for one-man drivers. Therefore I suggest it dates from no later than 1969, and the minimum normal fare was 4d then, so this was probably the flat fare for pensioners.
The concession started at 09:30, but I can’t remember a finishing time. The timetable’s don’t say.
Ribble couldn’t carry local passengers within the County Borough so there could be no question of using this ticket on their buses

Dave Cunningham


28/05/12 – 11:09

I’ve now looked it up.
Southport was one of the few local authorities to introduce a concession scheme for the elderly (from May 1965). Eligible residents were issued with a 3d punch ticket exactly like the one above.
In 1968 when the first OMO buses appeared, these were fitted with 6 unit Ultimates and there was a concessionary Ultimate ticket in the sixth barrel. Conductors with 5-unit machines still carried the punch ticket. (A common objection to 6-unit machines by conductors was the extra weight although this may not necessarily have applied at Southport).
Fares rose on 9-2-1969 and the concession fare became 4d with the 4d punch ticket above and a 4d Ultimate ticket for 6-unit machines.
At decimalisation (1971), the concession became 2p and there was a 2p (not 3p as I suggested above) punch ticket for conductor use and 2p Ultimate ticket. These lasted until the end of SCT. However, there is some evidence that suggests that at some point, Southport went over entirely to 6-unit Ultimates with the concession ticket thus only issued by the machine. Therefore use of the 2p punch ticket may have been short-lived.
My point about Ribble was that the Southport scheme was introduced under the Travel Concessions Act (1964 or 1965). Under this Act, a local authority had powers to grant concessions on its own buses (if it ran them) but did not, I think, have powers to include other operators (where they existed) in such a scheme.

DRH – Transport Ticket Society


29/05/12 – 17:50

I do not know when or how I came to acquire this ticket. I certainly did not receive it as a passenger !
I assume it was given to me in a small job lot of assorted tickets by another enthusiast once. The chances are that if six-bank Ultimates were universally introduced, there may well have been a stock of unused tickets which found there way into enthusiasts’ hands.

John Stringer

Economic Bus Service – Punched

 Economic Bus Service - Punched

Like a few of my tickets, I have no idea how this one came into my possession – a fairly old 1/4d Bell Punch from Economic Bus Service. I assume this is the long established Economic of Whitburn, Tyneside, but I am open to correction.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Ford


17/04/12 – 09:08

They’re definitely from "that" Economic, Stephen. They were a wonderful firm (or firms – Anderson and Wilson – if you prefer). They maintained dual crew operation to the end (1974) with conductors and conductresses using a hand-held punch (as distinct from a bell-punch machine) to clip the tickets.
As a long-standing operation with just one basic, frequent route for most of their existence and whose crews all lived locally and knew all their regular passengers, they were a local institution. When they eventually sold out to the then Tyne and Wear PTE their familiar brown and cream buses and friendly crews were much missed, not only by their regulars, but also by the countless families of holiday-makers who used the Economic each year to and from the seaside.
These days much of the landscape along the route has changed out of all recognition, particularly around Marsden and Whitburn Colliery, but the Stagecoach buses which provide the much-altered equivalent to the Economic route between Sunderland and South Shields still carry the prefix "E" to their service numbers (E1, E2 and E6) almost 40 years after the demise of the firm whose name is thus remembered.

Alan Hall

Silver Queen – Punched

Silver Queen

Silver Queen rev

Here we have our fourth ticket from an operator with Silver in their name this time Silver Queen. The reverse of the two tickets are shown, one being an advert for the Company in question. I wonder whether the base was at Chichester or Bognor Regis, although they’re not far apart. Both tickets are on Bell Punch plate 5017 (no prefix), making them about 1929-30, and the ‘overprint’ fare appears to have been printed before the main body of the tickets.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Bill Nichols


18/02/12 – 11:38

I have some info on this operator, mostly taken from Alan Lambert’s book on "Hants & Sussex" and Colin Morris’ Southdown history.
Cecil James Walling began operations in July 1920, running from Bognor Regis to Slindon as "Silver Queen". At one point he was in partnership with Ernest John Parker but from March 23rd 1927 he was on his own again.
In late 1943 Basil Williams of "Hants & Sussex" agreed to purchase the business but came unstuck when the South Eastern Regional Commissioner refused to transfer the licence. Mr. Walling then sold the goodwill of the service to Southdown for £10,579 on December 21st 1944. Subsequently he sold his premises in Fontwell Avenue, Eastergate on April 5th 1945 to Southdown who used the garage until 1961.

Nigel Turner