Old Bus Tickets

London Transport – Gibson / Silver Jubilee

LT Gibson Silver Jubilee

Five ‘Gibson’ tickets (front and back) issued in 1977 on the ‘SRM’ class of 25 silver liveried RM Routemasters that operated on a number of routes in 1977, each spending a few months at one garage allocated to a particular route.
The buses were newly overhauled, and in addition to the silver livery, were fitted with interior carpets (in part a research project on the part of the International Wool Secretariat.)
This was something of a contrast with the buses receiving a gold livery for the 2002 Jubilee, where in some cases the job was done by means of vinyl over the dents and scrapes…
The buses were allocated to a specific running schedule, with conductors on relevant duties being issued with yellow ticket rolls.
Each bus was sponsored, and the ticket rolls carried adverts for that sponsor on the back – probably the first time that advertising had appeared on LT tickets since the end of Bell Punch ticketing.
This collection also helps to answer the question of when LT’s Gibsons were converted to print a code letter rather than the fare value – it pins the date down to 1977 or earlier.
The route 38 ticket shows the ticket class ‘C/M’ – ‘Cheap Mid-day’ was not an official class in use by 1977 (and probably not one ever used officially on LT Gibsons).
The London Transport Museum website has an interior – shot here and an exterior shot here of the ‘SRM’ class.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Jon

Nottingham City Transport – Ultimate & Souvenir


Having waxed lyrical about Nottingham City Transport, I guess its time to show a few tickets. Here is a range of their Ultimates, although I understand that during the war and just after, NCT used T.I.M. machines. I have seen images of some printed in a rather lurid green ink.

There are few matters of note here. First, it will be seen that NCT refused to be in the pocket of their local ticket printer, Hunt and Colleys. For a number of years in the 1960s, they placed orders with "Oller Ltd. London" and there are also "Bell Punch" prints as well. There was a correspondent who worked for Hunt and Colleys, and I wonder if he will want to comment on this.


Second, I draw your attention to the 1d "WB" issues, which I referred to in connection with the West Bridgford tickets. These were used as an aid to revenue allocation, for journeys on the joint services that were wholly within the West Bridgford UDC area.

Third, you will notice that the double 2½d ticket is an "end-of-the-roll" issue, the two tickets not having consecutive numbers. Fare-printed tickets (Ultimate or Bell Punch type) were regarded as equivalent to cash, so you did not throw away the end of the roll. The first ticket on Ultimate ticket rolls incorporated a gummed strip of paper (complete with sprocket hole) so that it could be attached to the last ticket of the old roll. The brown paper on the reverse can just be seen round the sprocket hole.


Finally, in addition to the Ultimates, I have also included a souvenir ticket, issued to mark the end of trolleybus operations on 1st July 1966.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Ford


17/09/11 – 18:10

From my memories of Bournemouth, the gummed section to join the end of an Ultimate roll to the beginning of a new one was called a "Moose end". I seem to remember that it had MOOSE printed on it a couple of times.

Bill Nichols


12/07/12 – 09:04

From my travels on Manchester school buses, around 1958:- A Bell Punch Ultimate double ticket, the last of one roll and first of the next being joined by sticky tape with "MOOSE" printed on each half, was the schoolboys equivalent of a Penny Black:- a "Double Moose". The ultimate prize.

Peter Horsfall


12/07/12 – 12:23

Although I don’t ever remember seeing one, I guess the crown jewels in Nottingham would have been a "Double Moose" with one ticket from a Hunt and Colleys roll and the other from an Oller Ltd! There must have been a few issued around the time of the change in supplier – nearly as rare as hen’s teeth, but unnoticed by most recipients and just dropped in the used ticket bin!

Stephen Ford

Rochdale Corporation – Souvenir Bus Ticket

Rochdale Corporation Souvenir Bus Ticket

It is very easy to date this one to 1960 as it is printed on the ticket. The ticket was given on the occasion of a visit of a Rochdale Corporation double decker to one of Rochdales twin towns Tourcoing France. I am not sure which double decker it was that went to Tourcoing which is about 8kms North West of Lille but it didn’t have to travel far on the continent to reach its destination. There is nothing printed on the reverse of this Bell Punch ‘Ultimate’ ticket but it was printed by Bell Punch London.


The great advantage of the Ultimate system was speed. It was possible for a conductor to whizz round a full bus very quickly and thus to manage easily on busy routes. It did, however, have two disadvantages. The first was that the ticket rolls had value, so that if a conductor somehow lost a roll, he had a real problem. The second was that it didn’t easily cope with extended fare tables on longer routes. The machine had a button which allowed the conductor to issue a multiple ticket – e.g two 2½d tickets to make up a 5d fare, with over-printing to show that it was not two separate tickets – but a fare of, say, 2/10d was harder to accommodate. Maybe these characteristics are why the Ultimate system was very popular with many municipal operators, for whom speed on busy but relatively short town routes was paramount, but not so popular with country operators operating over longer distances with complex fare options.

Roy Burke


The Rochdale bus that went to Tourcoing was their last new Regent V, 322 registration TDK 322 which fortunately still survives today. The visit was to coincide with the British Week which was being held in the town.

David Beilby