Old Bus Tickets

Rotherham Corporation – Punched

Rotherham 1

Rotherham 2

Rotherham 3

Most, if not all, of these Rotherham Corporation tickets were for use on the trolleybus services operated jointly with Mexborough and Swinton Traction Company, and some are considerably older than others. For instance, the 1½d Through Half-Fare ticket from All Saints Square to Rawmarsh Post Office obviously dates from before the Rotherham terminus for these joint services was moved from All Saints Square to Frederick Street, which was in 1948 or thereabouts. The 1/4d ticket no B3103, printed by the Punch & Ticket Co. of London N1, as well as the 1d ticket no. LL5604 could well be old tram tickets; hopefully somebody out there with considerably better knowledge of Rotherham Corporation tickets than me might know the answer?!

The three forming next to bottom row are indicative of the tickets that were issued towards the end of single-deck trolleybus operation in the town, which came in March 1961. Note that the standard reverse side of these latter day tickets lists “Bus Connections with these Trolley buses”; as a schoolboy home from Canada on my summer holidays that year, I rode out to the Mexborough terminus at Adwick Road one day on one of the still new forward entrance AEC Bridgemasters that Rotherham bought to run their share of the converted routes, and remember being amused to find that the ticket I was issued with still had this notation on the back, as the stocks of old tickets were being used up. Curiously, included on the 3d ticket no. Sf9447, are the stages between Manvers Main and Conanby Terminus. It seems odd to find this on a Rotherham ticket, as the service between these two termini was operated solely by Mexborough and Swinton as their route ‘C’, the Mexboro’ routes being designated by letters instead of numbers during trolleybus days. The jointly operated service between Rotherham and Conisbrough, (route ‘9’ in the Rotherham timetable, ‘B’ for M&S) ran to Conisbrough (Brook Square), with certain journeys branching off at the Station Hotel to Conanby, shown as Conisbrough High on M&S blinds, and the journeys up the narrow winding streets behind the castle ruins to Conanby village were always operated by Mexboro’ vehicles, so I’m unclear as to why ‘C’NANBY T’MINUS’ shows up on tickets issued on Rotherham Corporation vehicles.

Perhaps it had something to do with the running agreements in place between the two operators. For instance, there was a long standing dispute which went on for years between Rotherham Corporation and Mexborough and Swinton with respect to the Rotherham boundary, and a distance of 1/5th of a mile that they could never seem to agree on as regards fares and responsibility for overhead line maintenance etc. There were some complicated financial arrangements in place too, such as that on the joint Rotherham – Mexborough route, on which the Corporation got a halfpenny for every passenger on a Mexboro’ ‘trackless’ picked up within the Rotherham area, the Company buses on the route far outnumbering the Corporation’s share.

A Rotherham Corporation Daimler single-decker did finally get to Conanby on the last day of operation, but this was on an enthusiasts tour and was the result of a determined effort to have a Rotherham saloon on that section of wiring before the system closed. The net curtains of the houses adjacent to the turning circle must have been twitching like mad when the blue and cream six-wheeler showed up at Welfare Avenue, and disgorged its horde of camera wielding passengers anxious to record the scene for posterity!

Notice that at least a couple of the tickets have local advertisements printed on their reverse sides, in the case of the 8½d ticket, an advert for Holmes Soft Drinks, whilst the 1/4d ticket referred to earlier carries an advert for Bentley’s “Rotherham” Beers, apparently “good for you and the wife”!! Rather conjures up a vision of Andy Capp and Flo, standing side by side at the bar supping their pints!!

As I recall, Rotherham Corporation had standardized on the “Ultimate” system during the period that I lived there, the 1950’s and early 60’s, and this applied to the trolleybus services not jointly operated with Mexboro’ and Swinton, which went over to double-deck operation in 1956/57, as well as the Corporation’s motor bus routes. I have a strong suspicion that these Mexboro’ joint services were likely the only Rotherham routes at that time that didn’t use “Ultimate” tickets; there might well have been others, but if there were I certainly don’t remember them.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Dave Careless

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22/10/11 – 18:01

The joint service between RCT and M&ST is a very complicated business. The service ran from Rotherham terminus to Rotherham Bridge (RCT territory) and onto to Rawmarsh, Swinton, Mexborough and Conisbrough (company territory).
Because of a long history of mistrust, fares were apportioned on the bus; there was no pooling of revenue. When both operators used punch tickets, the system was:
RCT used
(i) its own tickets in the RCT area
(ii) tickets supplied by M&ST (but titled for RCT) in the M&ST area and for through tickets.
M&ST used
(i) its own tickets in the M&ST area
(ii) tickets supplied by RCT (but titled for M&ST) in the RCT area and for through tickets.
In 1957, M&ST began using special Setright Speed registers which recorded the fare in the two different areas separately.
RCT by then used Ultimates but on the joint routes, continued to use punch tickets.
For the short section in the RCT area these were ordered by RCT from their usual printer (at various times, Punch & Ticket, Oller, Bell Punch). For through tickets and tickets for use in the M&ST area, these were supplied by M&ST by their printer (Williamson) but titled for Rotherham. They included stages for the Manvers Main – Conanby non-joint route because at least latterly, these were tacked on to the main Mexborough – Rotherham route M&ST tickets before the Setrights came in. Williamsons simply copied the same layout even though it was irrelevant for Rotherham.
The Williamson examples above are all from this period. The white ones are the through fares; the coloured ones are the M&ST area fares.
The other (Oller or Punch & Ticket) tickets are from the pre-Ultimate era. Latterly the RCT area fare on the joint route was 2d adult, 1d child.
This is briefly the picture. It is complicated further by mistakes made by the printers on various tickets, which included using the wrong title, and also by the practice of using-up obsolete ticket stocks, which went on for years.

DRH, Transport Ticket Society

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I knew there would be somebody out there who could explain all that, thanks so much, DRH.
On the subject of M&ST tickets, apparently Mexboro’ only ever hired conductresses, and took on suitable applicants aged sixteen and over, all female. According to some recollections of a former M&ST General Manager of which I happen to have a copy, he noted that " …. the only complaints they encountered were from driver’s wives." !!

Dave Careless