Old Bus Tickets

A W C Motor Service – Automacheckit


The company ‘AWC Service’ was actually A & C Wigmore of Dinnington South Yorkshire. The company was known as ‘Blue Wiggies’ due to the fleet colours as there was a ‘Wigmore Excelsior Coaches’ also in Dinnington but that was a different owner. AWC Service operated a service from Dinnington via Thurcroft, Whiston, Tinsley then into Pond St at Sheffield. They operated mostly Leyland buses both new and secondhand until the early mid 60s. Then they changed to Bedfords which they used for the next few years with one or two exceptions. The company was sold and became ‘Northern Bus’ and now I believe they have changed again. The Dinnington – Sheffield service was sold to the South Yorkshire PTE when it was ‘Northern Bus’.
For your info the ticket above was made out for Stage 1 to Stage 3 which was from Dinnington (Falcon Square) to Dinnington Colliery. This type of ticket was used up to about the 1960s when they switched to Ultimate type machines with tickets titled Transport Service I personally could never get on with the Ultimates..
The AWC on the tickets was always painted on the glass over the number rolls on the destination box. The service was numbered in the 70s to 208 something to do with the South Yorkshire PTE placing all bus services with numbers.

Copy contributed by Ian Bennett


05/04/12 – 07:08

I’m reasonably familiar with the history of this operator and the Dinnington service as far the Northern Bus era, I remember their very smartly presented Bristol RE’s and I seem to think they acquired other services and became a substantial operator but what happened to them? They seemed to disappear suddenly, were they bought out or did they encounter difficulties?

Chris Barker


06/04/12 – 16:33

A&C Wigmore Ltd went into liquidation c1987/8 and the assets and rights to the name, including "Wiggies" were purchased by Northern Bus Co.Ltd. Northern Bus operations but not the company itself, were sold to Mainline Group I think, around 1998.

DRH – Transport Ticket Society


10/04/12 – 11:07

Thanks for the info D.R.H a very sad end to a good family company.

Ian Bennett

Stanhope Motor Services – Automacheckit

Stanhope MS

Stanhope Motor Services was closely associated with Weardale Motor Services of Frosterley, County Durham having similar vehicles and livery.  I don’t think Stanhope Motor Services exists any more, but happily Weardale is still with us.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


22/03/12 – 09:43

Strictly speaking, Stanhope Motor Services Limited (incorporated February 7th 1933) is still in existence but as a dormant company only. Control of the company passed to O.S.Gibson in 1955. He had started Weardale Motor Services in the 1920s and that company, as John Stringer says, is still very active under the control of R.S Gibson, S.Gibson, I.Gibson, A.M.Gibson and A.M.Gibson Hewison.

Nigel Turner


30/03/12 – 07:31

These are Bellgraphic tickets. They were issued by Thames Valley for many years until they went over to the Setright Speed in the early ‘fifties. The tickets came in a concertina bundle and the top copy had a carbon backing which transferred any markings on to the duplicate which was retained in the machine. With this machine and the Willebrew system (used by North Western Road Car among others)the conductor paid in ‘blind’ or in other words without a record of the total value of tickets issued (unless a separate record was kept). Like Bell Punch machines, the lock holding the machine closed was protected by a numbered paper seal to prevent unauthorised tampering.
I have a Bellgraphic machine & spare tickets and will send photograph if you would like further info.

Alan Bond


30/03/12 – 12:12

I was pleased some time ago when a friend bought a Bellgraphic machine for me at a rally. I am happy to own the machine, as it reminds me strongly of the happy days of buses in my youth, but I Wonder Alan if you could possibly give me a "beginner’s guide" as to how to thread the bloomin’ thing – I would be much obliged.

Chris Youhill


02/04/12 – 18:08

Whilst straying rather from the subject of tickets, readers may be interested in a little of the background to the twin operators Stanhope Motor Services and Weardale Motor Services which, as in the case of many County Durham independents (Diamond, OK Motor Services and TMS spring to mind)is somewhat complex. It’s also sad to think that, of all the "traditional" independents in the county, only Weardale, Hunters of Tantobie and Scarlet Band of West Cornforth remain: in the case of the last-named, however, their much-expanded operating territory mainly lies well away from their traditional route. As Nigel says, S,M.S. was founded in 1933 when Oswald Huntly bought the businesses of Forrest & Stockdale who operated services from Stanhope to Cowshill and Rookhope in the upper dale: Forrest had, in turn, acquired the business of Arnold Corbett three years earlier. The registered office and garage of S.M.S. was at Shittlehope Burn, Stanhope, which is now the headquarters of Weardale Motor Services. After the purchase of S.M.S. by Oliver Gibson in 1955, the Company was retained as an operating subsidiary for licensing purposes until the early 1990s although the buses soon received the Weardale livery albeit with Stanhope fleet names and S.M.S. on the sides. I was only four years old in 1955 but something tells me that the original Stanhope livery was green: I stand open to correction on that and I would love to know for sure.
The main-line Stanhope to Crook service was operated by O.S.Gibson (trading as Weardale Motor Services) whose Frosterley depot was still in use until fairly recently, Dowson (Safety Coach Service) also from Frosterley and Baldwin & Barlow (Heather Bell Services) of Tow Law; Baldwin & Barlow also operated from Stanhope to Bishop Auckland. Between 1929 and 1939 a Thomas Cook from Consett operated between Consett and Stanhope via Tow Law and Wolsingham; in 1939, however, and just a month after the cessation of passenger trains between Tow Law and Consett via Burnhill Junction, he abandoned his service after which the Consett to Tow Law section was operated by Northern General whilst the Tow Law to Stanhope section was operated jointly by Weardale and Baldwin & Barlow. When, in 1961, Weardale acquired both Dowson and Baldwin & Barlow they had a monopoly of the services in the dale. Certainly as late as the early 1970s I can recall that the 1600 hours journey from Stanhope to Bishop (at least on schooldays) used to turn off the A689 just before Wolsingham Steelworks into Lydgate Lane and up to Tow Law before dropping down the A68 to re-join the normal route at Gate House Roundabout. It was a joy to climb Redgate Bank in a Leyland Titan – glorious scenery and a wonderful sound from the engine!
Apart from Baty of Rookhope, who used to operate between Rookhope and Eastgate, the only other operator which I can remember in the upper dale was Wright Bros of Nenthead who used to run between Alston and Stanhope. I believe this service started in the late 1920s; it was at one time a daily operation but, by about 1960, it had been cut back to a market-day service between Alston and St. John’s Chapel only and it was eventually withdrawn altogether in 1967.

Alan Hall

Yorkshire Woollen District Transport – Automacheckit

YWD Auto
Slightly reduced to fit the page.

This is the first of three postings for Yorkshire Woollen District that I am going to post.

There was Four Yorkshire Woollen District services that passed our house and I often used to board their buses if the chance arose. Getting the crews to let you off again was the biggest hurdle, especially if you were a young child, as many objected strongly to carrying local passengers in the Halifax area – even though they were supposed to do.
The services were 23 (Halifax – Leeds Direct via the A58), 24 (Halifax – Leeds via Cleckheaton) and 29 (Halifax – Batley) – all double-deck operated, and the 40 (Halifax – Cleckheaton via Wyke) worked jointly with Hebble using single deckers.
In the 1950′s Y.W.D. used Bellgraphic/Automacheckit tickets, but by the 1960′s Setright Speed machines were mostly the norm – though they must have retained a few – like Hebble – or I would not have had this one in my possession now. Local services in the Dewsbury and Woollen District towns mostly used Ultimates, so you know what my next two postings are going to be.

Photograph and Copy contributed by John Stringer


07/03/12 – 10:08

A most interesting posting, and the four grids are fascinating too, as the conductor was seemingly obliged to write a large "C" for "child" across the left hand pair. A personal spin off for me – I was away in the RAF in 1955, but on leave I discovered to my excitement that Samuel Ledgard (who I intended to work for and did once Her Majesty had released me) was trialling the Setright Speed machine with a view to replacing the bulky and expensive stocks of Bell Punch and Willebrew tickets. The trial machines were on loan from Yorkshire Woollen and had very low operator serial numbers, for example YO1 YO2 etc.

Chris Youhill


07/03/12 – 15:20

Just a little useless trivia here, but I notice that the serial number of the threepenny child ticket is "HD" – a very appropriate but admittedly insignificant coincidence as that was (prior to local government reorganisation in 1974) the Dewsbury registration mark for many generations of "Yorkshire Woollen" buses.

Chris Youhill


08/03/12 – 14:25

The mention of the reluctance of carrying passengers in the Halifax area reminds me of when I was a conductor at Beck Lane depot Heckmondwike and most drivers never stopped after Hipperholme Cross Roads aiming for a pot of tea in Halifax Bus Station. One Saturday I was on service 29 which on Saturdays was extended from its normal terminus at Scholes. My driver an English Gentleman of the old school stopped at every stop into Halifax and when I queried this with him he told me that he remembered a driver was once fined ten shillings by the Traffic Commissioners for not stopping for people. The drivers name was Alf Carly. Can anybody remember him?

Philip Carlton


10/03/12 – 08:57

The reluctance of YWD crews to carry Halifax local passengers was a long standing thing. My late father often recounted how back in the 1930′s when attempting to travel from Stump Cross to Halifax on his way to school, the local Corporation and JOC buses would sometimes pass by full, and everyone then relied on Hebble and YWD services which were more lightly loaded. Would-be passengers would walk right out into the road, arms outstretched, but the YWD buses – at the time Leyland Tiger TS single deckers – would usually just veer out round them, even on to the opposite side of the road if necessary. One day a friend of his managed to stop one briefly. The bus had the usual vestibule front entrance with a couple of steps then a hinged door at the top. He started to clamber aboard, the driver set off again, and the conductor rushed to the front and held the door firmly shut. The hapless bloke – unable now to get off safely – had to travel all the way to town hanging on to the handrail desperately trying not to be thrown off into the road. To add insult to injury, on arrival in town the conductor jumped off, pinned him against the side of the bus and made him pay his fare !

John Stringer