Old Bus Tickets

East Yorkshire Motor Services – Setright Speed


For the third excursion into East Yorkshire bus tickets, another look at the co-ordination agreement with Hull Corporation is called for. By the late 1960’s the existing agreement was getting less favourable to the Corporation, as most services they were operating terminated in the “B” area. Consequently negotiations with East Yorkshire, by now a member of the National Bus Company, led to a new agreement in which the “A” and “B” areas were combined, and revenue was now split 70/30 in favour of the Corporation. By effectively removing the distinction between the two inner areas, ticketing became simpler, and the Willebrew and Ultimate systems were replaced by the then new Setright Speed. This is fairly typical of tickets issued up and down the country, by One Man Operated buses. The new system was in use throughout the company and fares collected in the Hull area was then easily calculated from the machine recording. Incidentally, although much has been written about joint operations with Hull Corporation, East Yorkshire had agreements with United; on the Bridlington to Scarborough routes and with West Yorkshire on the York/Leeds route.
Although not illustrated another system was used by East Yorkshire in the mid 1970’s. This was the “Farebox” system, which was very similar to the Hull Corporation Autofare system, also on the Old Bus Ticket, website. The major difference was that East Yorkshire buses did not issue any tickets, giving us nothing to illustrate.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Keith Easton

East Yorkshire Motor Services – Ultimate Tickets

Most people think of East Yorkshire bus tickets as being of the Willebrew type, and the reasons for their use are given on the East Yorkshire Willebrew tickets posting. Not many people realise that East Yorkshire used the Ultimate tickets concurrently with the Willebrew types. Willebrew were ideal for journeys which consisted of a large number of stages and fares, but East Yorkshire operated a number of services which had a small number of fares and stages for example Bridlington and possibly Pocklington also. The largest use of ultimate tickets was in the town of Bridlington, where a large number of short services were operated within the town, and the Ultimate system was ideal for services such as these. I have personal memories of Ultimate tickets being issued in the town.



The first version above, with the large fare amount was in use in the late 1950’s, and they were fairly typical of the type. The second type featured a less cluttered look, with the fare in smaller print than previously. Several examples of both types are illustrated.


The third type illustrated poses a question, why were ultimate tickets printed with “A” and “B”, when the Willebrew tickets were devised for such use? Two possibilities present themselves; firstly they may have been used in some kind of emergency, using standard ultimate tickets overprinted for the purpose. The second possibility, which is the more likely to my mind, was as follows. East Yorkshire operated a number of services within the city of Hull, which were held on joint licences with the Corporation. As these services were within the Hull city boundary, they only operated in the “A” and “B” areas, and they had only a small number of stages and fares, charging the fares set by the Corporation, thus the need for the Willebrew tickets would not have been present. The most notable of these services was the 56, Coach Station to Longhill Estate route, although there were others also. Whichever use they were for way, these ultimate tickets were of the second type, in use in the 60’s. I would be pleased for confirmation or clarification of this.

Photographs and Copy contributed by Keith Easton


07/11/11 – 12:09

I worked for EYMS at Bridlington from 3/66 to 8/67 as a conductor and can confirm we used the 1st type of ultimate tickets on town services, otherwise Willebrew tickets were used on out of town routes and town services were we had a mixed shift of services the downside was the waybills were as big as the times newspaper and you had to bookup at every fare stage. I cured that by passing my psv test in June 1966 and taking the driving seat that also meant I had to learn to use the Setright ticket machine to do one man routes as required, so we had 3 types of machine in use at the time I also seem to remember a emergency book, I did not get away from the Willebrew in winter 66 as to continue employment I had to conduct until Easter 67.

Ken Wragg


08/11/11 – 11:12

Oh heck Ken, the mention of the “emergency book” has sent a shiver through me. I take it you mean the beastly things that were based on the tickets normally used in the Bellgraphic or Automacheckit machines ?? Four tickets per page with carbon copies and a cardboard backing sheet to be inserted in the right place “or else.” They may have preserved accurate revenue records for the Office, but you might as well throw the timetable out of the window when a machine failure inflicted them on you – I still have an unused complete one from my days with South Yorkshire Road Transport at Pontefract.

Chris Youhill

East Yorkshire Motor Services – Willebrew

When ever one hears East Yorkshire Motor Services, we tend to think of buses with odd-shaped roofs and odd-shaped tickets, it is the latter which we shall look at here. But first a brief examination of bus services within Kingston-upon-Hull may be helpful.

Hull had two major operators within its boundaries, firstly, the Corporation which operated trams and buses, and East Yorkshire which operated buses only. By 1934 both the Corporation and East Yorkshire were operating buses along the main roads of Hull and in addition the Corporation trams were also running along many of these roads also. This was resulting in vehicles of both operators being under-used. As a result of this on 29th July, 1934 a co-ordination agreement between East Yorkshire and the Corporation took effect, thus service along each main road were now co-ordinated with each other and the trams, thus reducing over-provision of services. Some of the Corporations tram routes were cut back, and it was these new termini which determined the inner ‘A’ area. Outside this area to the city boundary was the “B” area, everything outside these two areas, was sometimes termed the “C” area, but this term was never officially used. All the revenue from both operators in the “A” area went to the Corporation, whilst that from the “B” area was split between both operators, and revenue beyond these two areas went to East Yorkshire.
Upon co-ordination East Yorkshire conductors had to use 3 racks of Bell punch tickets, which was far from ideal. Subsequently the General Manager of East Yorkshire, Mr R T Ebrey had discussions with Mr Brewer of Williamsons, the fruit of these discussions being the Willebrew tickets. It is likely, but unconfirmed that these were originally classed as Williamsons Ebrey-Brewer tickets, soon contracted to Willebrew.

Illustrated below are a selection of East Yorkshire Willebrew tickets.


Initially there were single and return tickets for all three areas, but it is unlikely that many “A” area return tickets were ever issued; indeed I have never seen a full two-sided return ticket for this area. Above is two examples of “A” area singles are shown The normal “A” area ticket is a combined single and return, the return being indicated by a vertical stripe. All “A” area tickets were purple, the return stripe being red.


Here we have a couple of tickets from the “B” area a single and return. Tickets were orange with a green return stripe.


Outer area tickets not marked “C” you may have noticed were blue (single) or grey (return).


Concessionary tickets for Children or workmen were also issued which were used for both single and return. A white ticket was used for fares between 1d and 3/- and a pink ticket for fares of 3/1 to 6/-.


This ticket shows a child’s ticket coloured green with fares between 1d and 3/4d, in this case the stage number at which the bus was boarded was printed on the centre of the ticket by the guillotine.

If anyone has any further information or corrections (I’m not infallible!) or ticket specimens I would be pleased to hear from them.

Photograph and Copy contributed by Keith Easton


26/10/11 – 06:29

The Willebrew was developed by Williamsons of Ashton in conjunction with Ribble Motor Services. The name is indeed a contraction of Williamsons – Ebrey – Brewer, but RT Ebrey was at the time, the Secretary of Ribble, and Brewer was in charge of the Ticket Audit department at Ribble. Ebrey later moved to EYMS as General Manager, which may account for their adoption of the Willebrew.

DRH – Transport Ticket Society


26/10/11 – 15:39

Good grief – a conductor’s nightmare on an outer-city route. Select the ticket, chop it and then punch 5 or 6 precise holes to show date, month and time(?) of issue, plus stage boarded and direction of travel. Imagine that on a well-loaded rush-hour service, jostled by standing passengers! Neither would you want to encounter the system on a OMO service – 5 minutes at each stop while the driver performed this three-act drama for half a dozen passengers! That’s without even considering the "back-office" clerks who had to count the debris and tot up the takings. As far as I can see, the conductor himself actually had no way of calculating how much he should be paying in. So when marginal guillotinings were rounded up, and the resulting shortfall was stopped out of the conductor’s wages, he would have absolutely no redress. A system calculated to create the maximum antagonism between the office staff and those who actually provided the service!

Stephen Ford


26/10/11 – 15:43

As a child I spent much time in school holidays visiting my grand-parents who lived in Hull and much of that time was spent (mis-spent?!) watching and travelling on EYMS buses, I was befriended by a number of drivers and conductors which helped in terms of free rides. I was (and still am) amazed at the Willebrew ticketing system, never really understanding how the conductor knew which ticket to use until I read your notes. Over the past few years I have collected quite a few EYMS tickets and when I get some time I will compare my collection to your notes to see if I have anything different to the pictured samples. Also, it was interesting to see the potential reason why EYMS chose Willebrew tickets in the note left by DRH.

Stuart Warr


27/10/11 – 10:58

Thanks, DRH, for your information, it goes to show that there is always more to learn, in that EYMS was not the originator of the Willebrew system, although it did fit the needs at the time.

Keith Easton


30/10/11 – 12:03

The idea of "the conductor not knowing how much to pay in" was one of the selling points of the Willebrew – along the lines that it led to honesty.
With a conventional system, if a conductor occasionally short-changes people or issues tickets of lower value than the fare paid, then it’s relatively easy for him / her to see what the ticket sales add up to at the end of the shift, pay that amount in, and keep the rest on the basis that’s his ‘float’
With a Willebrew, the conductor would at least have to concentrate more on exactly how much should be held back…
I agree that the amount of staff time in the cash office would be very high for this sort of system (at least with bell punches, counting the ‘confetti’ would only be done as a last resort)
But not sure about the idea of ‘no redress’ – most bus companies now use automatic cash counting machines, but I do have a recollection of there being one or more conductors/drivers nominated by the union as scrutineers in the cash office – I am not sure whether this was a full time thing (possibly only at the biggest garages), or whether it was a case of a particularly dubious set of takings (and in this case ticket portions) being put in a sealed bag for a later ‘recount’
Incidentally, the green ticket was issued by a later version of the Willebrew – the ability to stamp the fare stage number on the ticket was a later refinement.



03/11/11 – 10:37

EYMS were still using Willebrew tickets on Hull services as late as nineteen seventy one I had a memorable ride on a lowbridge Roe bodied Leyland PD2/12 Imagine a full load a lowbridge bus and the idiosyncrasy of the tickets what a company!

Chris Hough