Old Bus Tickets

Barton Transport – Insert Setright

Barton Transport - Inserted Setright Speed                            From the Sidney R G Page collection

Nothing unusual about this Williamson Printers Inserted Setright Speed ticket for Barton Transport although the advertisement on the reverse is quite interesting. Four services to Wales and one to Skegness not sure if these services ran all year or were they just for the summer season only after all they are all holiday resorts. I have an idea Stephen will come up with an answer and probably a bit more as well on Bartons longer distance routes, anyway one thing is for sure this ticket wasn’t issued on any of those routes you would not get very far for two pence even in those days.
Another thing that is a bit rare I think is the three letter prefix (if that is the right word) to the ticket number, I can not remember seeing another one, or I have and it did not register at the time.

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23/07/11 – 12:03

The advertisement may give a slightly misleading impression. Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno were all served by one route – the X34 – which I think was Summer only. It started from Nottingham Huntingdon Street at 7.45, and after a half hour comfort break at Nantwich (Railway Hotel) reached Llandudno at 2.16 (not 2.15!) It returned at 3.00 (always supposing it had managed to push its way through the traffic to reach Llandudno by that time) and was due back in Nottingham at 9.31. The Skegness service was, however, all year round. On Summer Saturdays route 9 had many duplicates, often including the front entrance Leyland PD1/Duple double deckers. The Barton service started at Long Eaton, with duplicates from Nottingham. It competed with Trent’s service X3. The comfort break for Barton was Billinghay (Travellers Rest). Trent broke the journey at Byards Leap (Rainbow Cafe). Insert Setrights had disappeared from the Barton scene (though not Trent) by 1954 when we moved out of the Nottingham City area, into Barton territory.

Stephen Ford

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04/08/11 – 21:59

Interesting comment about Insert Setrights at Trent outliving those at Barton, I think this is correct, I have a very vague and hazy recollection of them still in use on Trent stage services, this would have been in the late 50′s possibly around 1958. After they had been replaced by Setright Speed, they lingered on in the company’s own booking/enquiry offices, being used for excursion tickets, I’m not sure if they were used for express tickets also. Every booking office counter had a small wedge shaped wooden stand for them to rest on and they lasted in this form till well into the 1960′s.

Chris Barker

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23/11/11 – 07:20

Trent was unusual in that it rented its Insert Setrights whereas unlike Bell Punch Setright preferred to sell outright.
That is why Trent Inserts are very scarce with collectors.

Allan T Condie

Barton Transport – Setright Speed

Barton Transport - Setright Speed

Here is a selection of Barton Setright Speeds. I must have received thousands over the years, living in Barton territory (Long Eaton) from 1954-84. During much of my school life I would travel by bus at least once, and sometimes as many as four times a day. You will see that the printing style changed over time. For many years it was the shallow typeface printed on a cream coloured paper, but then they went over to a slightly coarser plain white paper, and a couple of other typefaces were used. The reverse side was used to show the range of destinations served by Barton’s long distance coach services.
For many years, Barton was a fascinating operator, with an extremely varied fleet including many acquired second hand, and a good few rebuilds created in the company’s own workshops at the Chilwell headquarters. Leylands were strongly favoured, although a series of 20 AEC Regents of 1936/7 vintage were purchased from Leeds in 1950/51, a few from City of Oxford, and a single ex-London Transport STL. Of course in later years there was a fleet of splendid Regent Vs purchased new for the Nottingham-Derby "main line" service – routes 5, 5B and 5X, which competed with the Trent route 8. These had very attractive full-fronted Northern Counties bodies with wrap-round windscreens. Mention should also be made of a number of Utility Guy Arabs with bodies from Brush, Duple, Northern Counties and Roe. Finally there was the famous extra-low Dennis Loline 861 (low-floor married to low-bridge upstairs seating layout).
The single deck fleet was equally varied, including a number of Leyland Tiger TS1s, some of which were rebuilt with Barton’s own Viewmaster bodies, while others were eventually rebuilt as double-deckers with Northern Counties bodies. A number of AEC Reliances were bought about 1956.
Second hand Leylands were acquired from at least the following : Allen (Mountsorrel), Barrow, Birkenhead, Chesterfield, Crosville, Cumberland, East Yorkshire, Hebble, Leeds, Leicester, London Transport, Middlesbrough, Phillips (Holywell), Preston, Ribble, St Helens, Todmorden Corporation, West Riding, Western SMT, Western Welsh, Wigan and Yorkshire Woollen District !

Photograph and Copy contributed by Stephen Ford

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30/04/11 – 09:59

"Second hand Leylands were acquired from at least the following : Allen (Mountsorrel), Barrow, Birkenhead, Chesterfield, Crosville, Cumberland, East Yorkshire, Hebble, Leeds, Leicester, London Transport, Middlesbrough, Phillips (Holywell), Preston, Ribble, St Helens, Todmorden Corporation, West Riding, Western SMT, Western Welsh, Wigan and Yorkshire Woollen District !"

Gosh Stephen – that most impressive list puts Samuel Ledgard’s fascinating variety of "one careful owner" suppliers firmly into second place – at least !!

Chris Youhill

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03/05/11 – 17:33

I said "at least"! Actually, further reading reveals the following additions to the list of second hand Leyland acquisitions : Burnley, Chatham & District, Cleethorpes Corporation, Plymouth City Transport, Southern National and Tyneside Tramways, making a total of 28. And, by the way, the vehicle from Phillips (Holywell) originated from Wallasey Corporation.

Stephen Ford

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04/05/11 – 07:16

I may be wrong but I seem to remember hearing somewhere that the first of the rebuilds were produced by cutting the chassis in half and inserting an extension piece in the middle, then it was decided that a better method was to take the front end of one and the rear half of another (of unequal lengths) presumably because this required one weld instead of two. Does anyone know if this was the case?

Chris Barker

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05/05/11 – 07:55

Chris B, I think I have heard that too. Perhaps there was another aspect however. Round about 1957/58 a number of Leyland PS1 single deckers of approximately 1949 vintage were rebuilt as double deckers (some of Barton’s own and others purchased specifically for the purpose) with new bodies from Willowbrook and Northern Counties. It occurs to me that at any given time the maximum legal SD length was greater than DD. I wonder if economy-minded T H Barton OBE noticed that by 1957 the permissible length for double deckers was overtaking the earlier standard for single deckers?

Hmm… Engage brain before hitting keyboard. T H Barton OBE died in 1946 – but still, his ruthless cost-saving principles were ingrained in his sons, and continued to prevail in Barton of the 1950s. (It was an efficient operation, but they took no prisoners. Drivers who tried to take double deckers under Sawley Junction railway bridge would find their cards, wages and P45 waiting for them by the time the debris had been towed back to Long Eaton depot a mile away!)

Stephen Ford

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10/05/11 – 07:08

Well Stephen, since you mention economy, this raises a couple of interesting points. Although Bartons had PD2′s, a couple bought new and some second hand (including the RTL’s) I think it would be fair to say that their first preference was the PD1 or perhaps I should say the E181 7.4 Leyland unit. In his excellent books about Barton, Alan Oxley states that they had had concerns about the under-performance of such vehicles on the Derby service, this doesn’t surprise me as it was a usually heavily loaded and tightly timed route. As you say, the first rebuilds of PS1′s perhaps involved little or no alteration to the chassis as the extra length was already there, the same engine retained and just Barton’s own designation of PS1/B added. The later rebuilds, however, designated BTD1 and BTD2 (Barton Transport Decker 1&2) were forward entrance and presumably required more substantial alterations. The last batch, BTD2′s were 30ft long 70 seaters and whilst I’ve never been sure what engines these had, I imagine that if they retained their 7.4 litre units, they must have been strained to breaking point when hauling a full load up Derby Road hill into Nottingham, in fact the more I think about that, the more inconceivable it seems, but I travelled on all the varieties and they all sounded as if they had the hiss of the 7.4 unit, so was it more economical to run than the 9.8? Others will know much more about such matters than I do.
On the subject of Sawley Junction (there’s a name from the past!) railway bridge, I didn’t know that any Barton deckers were ‘decapitated’ there but the odd thing is that the famous 861 which was bought specially for going under the 12ft 6in bridge was never used for that purpose!
(a footnote; Long Eaton station proper was closed by British Rail and they re-named Sawley Junction as Long Eaton, hoping people wouldn’t realise even though it’s two miles away!)

Chris Barker

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10/05/11 – 16:24

The road/rail bridge out of Long Eaton towards Toton had the road lowered to take Barton deckers by the council at Bartons request, once done Bartons apparently never ran a decker under it !

Anon

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11/05/11 – 07:04

I think there’s a little confusion here, the road/rail bridge out of Long Eaton towards Toton did indeed have the roadway lowered, I think sometime in the 1950′s, so that any double decker could pass under it, not just lowbridge ones. Of course lowbridge deckers had been used on the 5′s (the Derby service) for many years but after the work was done, Bartons continued to use lowbridge vehicles almost exclusively, mainly because it was their principal route and all their most recent vehicles, firstly the rebuilds, then the Regent V’s, were lowbridge.

Chris Barker

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11/05/11 – 07:07

Hi Chris. Yes, it is my impression (on the same basis of sound) that all of the BTD rebuilds were 7.4 litre engines. But remember that once you had scaled Derby Road to Canning Circus, that was about it as far as hill-climbing was concerned on the Derby route. Actually the classic Duple PD1s continued on the Derby run for a long long time. Then of course after a couple of Regent Vs in 1957 and the Bridgemaster 805 in 1958, they were joined by the NC Regent Vs – 5 in 1960 and another 6 in 1963, which together with 861, more or less dominated the 5/5B/5X.
I lived 200 yards from Sawley Junction bridge. There were two or three accounts of deckers coming to grief there, and I remember seeing one of the ex-Leeds Regents (possibly 614 or 644) being towed out backwards with its front upper deck stoved in – about 1956 I guess. The trouble was that the route 15 from Ilkeston had two termini – Thoresby Road was operated by double deckers; Beresford Road by single deckers – but the rest of the route was identical, and it only took a moment’s inattention.
I think the traffic commissioners views on 861 under the bridge were "Nice try, but no!" because it only fitted under the arch in the middle of the road, where the maximum headroom was actually 13 foot 9 inches.
Hello Anon. The Nottingham Road bridge, heading towards Toton, was in fact used for many years by double deckers – but lowbridge ones. I think the road lowering was in order to accommodate HIGHBRIDGE deckers. It is true that these never became regular performers, but I have seen photos of an ex-London RTL and an ex-Birkenhead Massey body highbridge decker bearing route numbers 5A and 5B which were routed under Nottingham Road bridge.

Stephen Ford

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04/08/11 – 11:35

Yes Stephen, I meant highbridge deckers and not deckers in general, must have been a senior moment!

Roger Broughton

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06/02/12 – 15:31

I seem to remember that at one time Barton ran a weekly service to Poland! Somebody told me that it started from Calverton whose coal mine was opened in 1947. There were many Polish and Italian miners in the area at that time and Polish surnames are still common – pronounced with a broad Nottinghamshire accent! Terry Barton still farms at BartonS FarM in the parish

Robin Richardson

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18/02/12 – 11:34

Hello Robin. Yes, Barton certainly ran a service to Poland, although I always thought it was Nottingham (Huntingdon Street) to Warsaw. I saw it a time or two at Huntingdon Street, operated by one of the coach-seated Alexander body AEC Reliances. Warsaw was included on destination blinds (possibly even on double deckers – no, don’t even bother asking. I’m sure they never did!) and I’m pretty sure it had a standard route number, though I can’t remember what it was now.

Stephen Ford

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28/02/12 – 09:12

According to Alan Oxley’s book, Stephen, the Warsaw service wasn’t a success due to lack of patronage and problems entering the (then) Eastern Bloc. Just imagine if they were operating it today!

Chris Barker

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28/02/12 – 14:03

Having made a trip to Warsaw by train in 1971, the mind boggles at the potential for delays, obstruction and coach dismantling and rebuilding on a once-a-week coach service. At the time a return trip via Berlin gave you a full page of DDR stamps : In at Marienbourn, out at Griebnitzsee, in again at Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse, and finally out into Poland at Frankfurt/Oder – and of course, the same rigmarole coming back – dogs, mirrors, stomping up and down the corridor, furtling under seats etc. (And they always contrived to have at least one check in the middle of the night!)

Stephen Ford