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!
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.
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.
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!