Tuesday, 14 January 2014

London Bus Tickets 1970s

For you Londoners who have deeply embedded memories of the clicks and twists of a Routemaster Bus Conductor turning the knobs and handles of their Gibson ticket machines - this first posting of 2014 is especially for you! Of course everyone is invited to the party - and enjoy viewing some of the very same thin paper tickets that were handed to me some 40 years ago...

Below is a 3 Pence ticket. The vogue back then was a Blackjack/Pontoon-like competition, where we'd compare tickets with other school pals and passengers. Here's a 21 winning ticket scored on a 260 Bus:

ORD Class - must have been my Mum's ticket

Back in the mid-70s, the cost of a spiraling inflation hit the schoolkids pockets, and my 3p ticket soon became 4p, and then 5p. A score of 21 was not the only winning bus ticket. Others were cool-looking sequences of numbers - like four of the same:

C Class stood for Child Single fare

Four 2's on a 26 Bus 

All the eights
I must have been over-child's age when I got this ticket which was produced by an alpha-coded Gibson machine. Fare charts were displayed in buses as the machine printed a letter rather than a number in the FARE PAID section. Rising ticket prices meant that instead of a combination of multiple tickets being issued to cover a single fare, or price bands needing constant changing, just a single letter would do the trick.

A chart dated February 1980. Fares went from A to P

Amazing to think that nowadays kids go free on London Buses, and that just one flat fare covers any length of journey. Back then, you were kicked off the bus if the conductor had spotted that you'd extended your journey without paying the correct fare!


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