Old Bus Tickets

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

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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