Old Bus Tickets

London Transport Red Rover – Day Ticket

LT Red Rover Day                         From the Sidney R G Page collection

A week ago I posted a Red Rover Omnibus Bell Punch ticket and it reminded me of the London Transport Red Rover Day Tickets that I came across whilst sorting through Mr Pages ticket collection that was donated to the Old Bus Tickets website by his son. The dates on the first two are not all that clear so the first one is 02 APR 1960 and the second 16 OCT 1960. The first two if you notice have the day printed in full where the later two just have the word DAY for the conductor to fill in. Looking at the tickets I have there had been price increase from 2/6d to 3/- between 09/61 and 04/62 not sure of the exact date, but that s a 20% increase, I bet that was popular, so todays power companies aren’t all that bad after all (he says through gritted teeth). I also have an adult ticket dated 02 SEP 1961 with a fare price of 5/- it also is for a Saturday and is the same colour as the top ticket above.


24/08/11 – 08:31

According to Ken Glazier’s definitive works ‘London Buses in the 1950s / 1960s’, Red Rover tickets were introduced in 1957, and were initially only available on Saturdays or Sundays – hence it being worth having a printed stock for each day.
From 1963, they were available after 0930 on weekdays during August; from 1964 it was July, August and September, and from 1968 (by which time it was 7/- a go) it became all year round.
Central bus conductors (and OMO drivers) never issued ‘Red Rover’ tickets, though – you could only buy them from LT (underground) stations, bus garages (which at that time allowed public admission to the cash office for enquiries and so on) and the few central London travel information centres.
This was mildly annoying if you lived somewhere a bus journey or two from either – and SE London wasn’t very well supplied with underground stations either. You could buy them in advance though (hence the condition about refunds.)
The sale of tickets through newsagents and the like didn’t happen until the 1980s.
I wonder how many people actually did comply with the requirement to "give up" their ticket on the completion of their final journey, and whether conductors were briefed as to what they were supposed to do with them if anyone did…



25/08/11 – 11:51

Takes me back to my youth in the 60′s, also remember there were green rovers as I remember, being in Borehamwood we could travel up to St Albans etc. I also remember buying a rover ticket that covered tube trains as well, and they were very useful as a youthful bus spotter using the Ian Allan books. I certainly learnt a great deal about London in those days, visiting bus garages for bus numbers, engine sheds for train numbers and Mum & Dad never seemed to want to call me often as nowadays on mobiles.

Rob Body


09/06/12 – 12:21

Over the last years of London Transport and London Country, there was actually a wide range of Rover tickets. The Green Rover could actually be issued by conductors from Gibson machines – the reason the colour of the ticket roll paper changed from year to year. The three shilling denomination could be used for Rovers only – difficult for conductors when working usually OMO Green Line relief workings; you had to use shilling denomination tickets. Loads of them! There was also the Golden Rover – country buses and Green Line Coaches. Rob remembers the Central London Tube Rover. I only ever saw one of these, in 1964, and don’t remember their availability. Finally, for a short while, there was a Weekend Rover. Valid all Saturday and Sunday on everything L T operated. I actually managed a 40 hour Green Line/bus/ Tube / Night bus ride with one of these things – I was 14 at the time and got ‘grounded’ for it – my poor parents didn’t know where I was!

Paul Mowforth

Lewis’s Coaches Pailton Rugby


This ticket is on thin paper and obviously is in book form before issue, it is perforated top, bottom and left, not sure how many tickets per page. To start the ball rolling I’ll guess at six if it helps I have another ticket numbered 79 and that is perforated on the same edges.
As can be seen it is a W. G. A. Workmans daily return and with the aid of Google I have come up with Whitworth Gloster Aircraft who were based at RAF Bitteswell. The ticket can be dated between1961 and 1963 because Whitworth Gloster Aircraft Ltd was formed as a division of the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1961 but two years later Whitworth Gloster merged, to become part of the Avro Whitworth Division of Hawker Siddeley. 
There is a Lewis Coaches based in Coventry not Pailton who run 13 service routes in total and one of their routes goes through Pailton could they be the same company. RAF Bitteswell no longer exists it is now an industrial estate.


24/08/11 – 11:54

Interesting ticket you have there. Lewis’s coaches ran several (4?) daily coaches covering many areas Coventry to Bitteswell Aerodrome, right up until the aerodrome closed. (About ’82 if I remember rightly.) I worked there from ’74 until ’81 and the journey was always pleasurable, if quite long. Interestingly, we were never penalised if there was trouble with the transport. I’m not sure if the Coventry company you mention is the same one. Lewis’s (Pailton) were cream coloured with red writing, the L often being mistaken for a J. It was always said (though unproven) that Norman Lewis had built his coach empire on the back of that particular contract. Hope this little memory is of interest.

Mark Rewhorn


27/02/12 – 15:41

Lewis’s Coaches of Pailton are no connection to Lewis Coaches in Coventry. Lewis’s in Pailton were a long established coach operator with traceable beginnings back to 1904! In the mid 1920s they sold a lot of their work to "Midland Red" for a good sum back in them days and sale contract used to be displayed in their office, I know as I worked for them! They did have a lot of vehicles tied up on this contract, in fact I’m told all of the runs were Lewis’s but they contracted them out. Lewis’s always operated a very modern fleet of mainly Ford coaches with Plaxton bodies. I think one year they bought a whole brand new fleet, and would not be uncommon for four brand new vehicles to be delivered each year! After Bitteswell closed they did school contracts and private hires and owned two travel agencies, one in Rugby and Lutterworth and had their own extensive UK & European Tour Program, always operated with their own coaches. In later years they bought DAF’s, then Dennis’s and the last two coaches were Iveco Beulas. In 2000 Lewis’s closed the doors after selling a prime village location for a housing development, and the end of a very old coach business came to an end.

Ben Hobday

London Transport – Red Bus Pass

LT_Red Bus Pass

The above scans were contributed by Kevin Chamberlain which are Monthly tickets that he bought way back in 1974. Has you can see there had been a change of design of the ticket between February and June but fortunately for Kevin the cost of the ticket had remained the same at £6. The final sentence on the reverse is quite interesting it relates to a refund which was only allowed up to 15 days after purchase:-  
‘A charge of 50p per day or £2.50 per week (and this is the interesting bit) plus expenses will be made for the period which retained’
I think anytime after 10/11 days it would have been a waste of time claiming, then again I could be wrong, I have been before.
The darker orange borders round the edge of the tickets are not part of the design but are the result of Kevin using Sellotape around the edges of the ticket to preserve it for its month of use.

Photographs contributed by Kevin Chamberlain