Old Bus Tickets

Bradford Corporation – Ultimate

Bradford Corporation - Ultimate - Bus Ticket

Here are four pairs of Bradford City Transport Ultimates. I have included them because the correspondence on the "Old Bus Photos" site shows that there is a strong affection for the old pre-West Yorkshire PTE operators and, it seems, especially Bradford. Unfortunately I am struggling to write anything about these, as I have never visited Bradford (other than to go in and out of Bradford Exchange/Interchange on the train). In fact I have no idea how the above tickets came into my possession. My only loose connection is that I lived about a mile from the route of the Notts & Derby trolleybuses for three years before N&D went over to motor buses in 1953, and can distinctly remember seeing the trolleybuses in action before the fleet was sold to Bradford.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Ford

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I remember these particular tickets with a wry smile. As is well known, Leeds City Transport operated the two Bradford services (72 direct and 78 via Pudsey) jointly with BCT. When I was a ticket inspector we had to check the BCT buses in our own locality, and the BCT chaps likewise with LCT buses. I confess to making it in my way at every opportunity to board the Bradford buses, as I admired them very much and found them interesting and in their individual way just as commendable as our dual doorway vehicles. The trouble was that as a result of the limited value range of Bradford tickets their long distance passengers would tender a handful of combination issues, often "twiddled with" and screwed up, making assessment difficult or impossible – I have to admit to a pleasant smile and a "thank you" in many cases. The Bradford drivers were also without exception respectful and friendly too. I slipped up on one memorable occasion though when dealing with a cagey passenger on the 78 route, having boarded the BCT bus at Wortley for what was intended to be a "short hop." At the front upstairs was a chap who was almost certainly on the fiddle and slowly turned out many filthy pockets containing items beyond description in a very unconvincing display of trying to find his assorted tickets. Determined to get to the bottom of the affair I failed spectacularly to notice the progress of the bus but suddenly realised that we were below Laisterdike. Briefly telling the crook not to lose his tickets in future I dived off the bus just in time to catch a Leeds bound one across the road. I spent a couple of days fervently hoping that our Chief Inspector (a tartar of a man) would not carry out one of his much feared forensic examinations of my checking sheet – the penalty for such an extreme penetration into the City of Wool would have resulted in a verbal hanging, drawing and quartering – or possibly a physical one – but luckily all was well on this occasion.

Chris Youhill