Hold Tight! - First day
 
Chapter 2
 
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Hold Tight!
Chapter 2
Learning
7 First day
8 Getting started
9 On my own
10 You with me?
11 Perks of the job
12 Winchester fleet
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chapters
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
 
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Monday the second of October 1967, a date inscribed forever in the elaborate hand of the depot superintendent on the inside of the front cover of my Hants and Dorset rule book along with the number 743 which was also on my clock card. The rule book, now battered from spending years at the bottom of my ticket box, covers every aspect of a driver or conductor's working day. I was also given a timetable and a set of fare charts plus five shillings float, to be paid back when I left.

A brief tour of the depot and offices was followed by a long wait in the canteen while it was decided what should be done with me. The canteen was run by the staff social club and had a snooker table. There was a small group in one corner playing cards, several people eating, drinking tea or smoking. The ones in a hurry did all of these at the same time.

It seemed a completely alien world, the more so because I had no idea what any of them were talking about. Eventually, an inspector showed me how to use a ticket machine and how to complete the conductor's official document, the waybill. On this I had to record the start and finish numbers on the ticket machine for each journey and calculate the money taken.

The ticket machine was the Setright. This was loaded with a blank ticket roll and had dials on the top for the date, the fare stage and one each for shillings and pence (later ten pences and pence). There was a lever to select single, return and other ticket types.
Fare charts, a timetable and a rule book.Hants & Dorset Setright ticket machine number 1093 (from my collection).
There were counters to record the value of tickets issued (one in halfpennies the other in shillings), one for the total tickets issued, others for child and return tickets, and one which could be set by the office to any value or ticket type for analysis.
A slot in the front was used to overprint returns and took individual tickets such as weeklies and transfers as well as 'day out' tickets which gave unlimited travel. There was a hole punch on the top of the machine to cancel these on each journey.
The loose tickets were carried on a wooden rack. These were five-day weeklies, six-day weeklies, day-out tickets, transfers to Aldershot & District service 14 and transfers to Southdown services to Portsmouth. These loose tickets had to be issued in numerical order and were difficult to handle when your hands were very cold.
I would not have my own ticket machine until I had completed my two weeks training but I was issued with the sling on which it was to be worn and a cash bag. An old, worn cash bag was best. The stiff leather of a brand new one would leave your fingers sore and a new strap for the machine would cut into your shoulder.
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