Old Bus Tickets

Lincoln Corporation – Verometer

lincoln-verometer

The Verometer, made by Clayton Dewandre of Lincoln, is one of the rarer ticket machines, Midland Red and Lincoln Corporation being the only bus operators to use them in any quantity. Production ran from about 1932 to 1940 and did not resume after the war.
Lincoln adopted them as standard in 1934 after a trial in 1933. Lack of availability of spare parts led to the resumption of use of Williamson punches in 1951 prior to introduction of Ultimate machines the following year.
The ticket is similar in size to a standard TIM ticket but on slightly thicker paper. Never having met a Lincoln Verometer (even the Midland Red machines are very sought after – a recent very good example selling for a sum in four figures).
I can’t be certain what all the numbers mean. The figure 232 may be the date or a code representing the date, the ‘O’ may represent an outward (rather than inward) journey, "20" is implausible for a fare stage on a system with such short routes. No. 8 may be the machine number.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Jon

Lincoln Corporation – Ultimate

lincoln_u_lr

Here we have six Lincoln Corporation Ultimate tickets all printed by Williamson of Ashton. One thing that is fairly obvious is that the base ticket and the Herringbone Red was the first pass on the printing machine, that is presuming it was a two colour machine. The second pass would have been the fare 2d, 3d etc this is borne out by the fact that the 3d and 4d above are well out of register to the base ticket printing. I presume the numbering was carried out on the same pass as the fare, the numbering would always be on the last pass that’s for sure. Or am I totally wrong and it was it was all done in one pass, although I do doubt that mainly because of the fare 3d and 4d above being out of fit.
It would be really good to hear from someone who actually ran one of those reel fed machines, just to explain the actual procedure of producing a roll of Ultimate tickets, if you know please get in touch. 
By the way three of the above tickets were printed on the reverse with local advertisers, the Liquid Fertilizer Injector seems a good idea.

lincoln_u_rev_lr

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24/09/11 – 12:27

Dennis Lewin who came in on the Luton tickets said that he worked for Hunt and Colleys on Ultimate ticket printing machines. Any possibility of inviting him to comment?
Lincoln was a nice little operation and their network gave the lie to the popular misapprehension that all of Lincolnshire is flat! I can’t remember all the route numbers, but some of the destination displays come flooding back : Boultham Moor via Scorer Street, 4(?) Doddington Road Gravel Pits, Skellingthorpe Road, Broxholme Gardens, 8(?) Ermine West via Burton Road, 5 St Giles via Wragby Road, 9 Nettleham Road via Cathedral, 12(?) Monks Road Tower Crescent. Most routes ran up High Street crossing the two level crossings at St Marks and Central stations, then had to squeeze under the Stonebow – a very tight fit not unlike Beverley Bar.

Stephen Ford

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24/09/11 – 18:10

Stephen – the routes (from 1973 timetable but they hadn’t changed much post-war) were
1 – Ermine Estate via Burton Road
2 – West Parade
3 – Monks Road / Tower Crescent
4 – Doddington Road / Clarke Road
4A – Doddington Road / Whisby Road
5 – St Giles via Wragby Road
6 – Swanpool
7 – Hykeham Road
7B – Brant Road via Scorer Street
8A – Ermine Estate (Broxholme Gardens) via Newport
8B – Ermine Estate via Yarborough Road
9 – St Giles via Nettleham Road
10 – Rookery Lane
11 – Ermine West via Newport
12 – Boultham Moor
14 – Cotman Road / Westwick Drive
15 – St George’s Hospital
16 – County Hospital
17 – Cemeteries
18 – North Circular (this was a 1970s introduction)
The Stonebow is now pedestrian only, but did (just) accommodate standard high-bridge buses. The Pottergate Arch (next to Lincoln Cathedral) is also quite a tight fit.
The Lincs Vintage Vehicle Society – www.lvvs.org.uk – re-create some of these routes twice a year at their museum Open Days – mainly the 4A, but usually an uphill run or two past the Cathedral.
One odd feature of Lincoln’s Ultimate tickets towards the end of their use was that they didn’t carry values, the colour represented the value shown on posters inside the buses (presumably to save on new print runs in an age of inflation)
Lincoln had previously been one of the few users of the Clayton-Dewandre ‘Verometer’ machine made in Lincoln.

Jon

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25/09/11 – 07:08

The reverse of the Lincoln ticket showing Holland and Crump amused me because in the famous Ealing film The Titfield Thunderbolt the owner of the Bedford OB which was the rival to the railway was Pearce and Crump,

Philip Carlton

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25/09/11 – 09:07

Slightly off topic, sorry, but can’t resist !! In the famous and very convincing Bedford VAL coach crash in Coronation Street long ago the boot lid displayed an incredibly accurate Lancashire style owner’s name "Searle and Ormerod" – well researched and very convincing.

Chris Youhill

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25/09/11 – 12:05

The Ultimate printing machines used by Williamsons may not necessarily be the same as I operated at Hunt at Colleys. They were made by the Bell Punch Co. of London, who invented the Ultimate system. My memory is a little hazy on the actual sequence of printing (after all, when I joined the company we were still printing halfpenny tickets!) I am getting a photograph shortly so will get back on the subject soon.

Dennis Lewin

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26/09/11 – 15:11

Thanks for the route list Jon. Am I right in my suspicion that the 9 returned as a 5 and the 5 as a 9, via Outer Circle Drive? Also, while from the list all services were "City Centre to outer terminus" and vice versa, it was always my impression that buses actually operated across the city, linking geographically opposite termini (presumably with a change of numbers, and possibly waiting for "time" near the city centre). For example, from memory, I think one of the Ermine Estate routes ran through to/from Boultham Moor.

Stephen Ford

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27/09/11 – 09:19

I can not answer from personal memory, but
Yes, from looking at the timetable it’s fairly clear that the 5/9 (and vice versa) operated as a circular. It’s most obvious on Sunday mornings when the first inward 9 was 0820 from Outer Circle Drive, but the first 9 left City at 0827 – the former was the return of the 0801 departure ex City on the 5. (again from the 1973 timetable.) There is also no obvious turning circle on Outer Circle Drive.
Yes to the second question. Quite a few photographs that I have seen suggest that it was common – but not universal – for buses to work across the city, and to display the distant route number and terminus from leaving one terminus.
I’ve certainly seen photographs of 12′s passing the Cathedral, suggesting one of the Ermine services.
I can’t say how fixed the patterns were, and whether they varied at different times of day / week. "CITY" appears quite frequently on LCT destination blinds, so it wasn’t universal.
Neither the (pre 1985) timetables or fare charts I have seen make any reference to cross-city journeys, apart from some works journeys which continued a short distance beyond the city centre.
An undated (but must date from 1985/6) timetable shows that cross-city working was formalised at or by that time.
Route numbers were at this time fixed to the distant terminus, so that all buses to terminus A would be service A wherever they had started from, but the bus along the same route towards the City Centre could be any one of three service numbers, based on whether the bus was terminating in the city centre (in which case they would retain the number of the outer terminus) or continuing to one or other terminus on the other side of the city.
The principle (if not the same combination of inter-workings) seems to have stuck until at least the May 1988 timetable. I don’t remember it being the case when I moved to Lincoln in 1992.

Jon

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29/09/11 – 11:20

Ultimate Tickets when I worked for J.J.Longstaff of Mirfield we used this system.The tickets were printed as Transport Services and on the back was a tiny drawing of a bus driver complete with a peaked hat.

Philip Carlton

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29/09/11 – 11:20

What a coincidence I am just formatting a posting at the moment with a driver complete with a peaked hat on the reverse, is it as you remember?

Peter

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16/10/11 – 06:53

Further to my comments regarding operating an Ultimate ticket printing machine. All the printing was indeed done on one pass. The web was two tickets wide and first passed through the reverse (advert) cylinder then changed direction to enter the (usually red) security shading, then the base ticket cylinder followed by the odd numbers in 10 pairs (each box moved on 20 at each revolution. Then came the serial letters (called the Initials) which had 10 pairs of characters. These were changed by the chargehand on a spare cylinder to keep stop times to a minimum. They were special triangular type but made from normal printers metal. Next came the even numbers after which the web entered the punching cylinder of 20 pairs and dies. The "holes" finished up in a sack at the back fed via a chute with a wire stripper next to catch the "confetti" which had escaped the mechanism up to then. (Conductors didn’t like the holes finishing up in their issuing machines!) Finally, the web was slit onto two and the tickets were re-reeled into 2 reels of 25,000 at a time. We would produce one million tickets a day and at full speed the machines could do 200 per second! The Williamson tickets for Lincoln have presumable been produced on very similar machinery but the fare is obviously not on the main plate. It could be that the initial cylinder could carry the fare in addition to the initials. Ours could not but maybe a special one was provided which could do just that.

Dennis Lewin

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16/10/11 – 17:19

Great information of the sort that needs to be recorded whilst people remember the system.
Am I correct in saying that the early Ultimate tickets were thicker and in rolls of 500? If I remember rightly, the first rolls of 1000 were rather weak and tended to tear in the conductor’s machine although later ones did not have this problem – perhaps a new type of paper?

Bill Nichols