|On Hants & Dorset each
conductor and one-man-driver had his or her
own ticket machine which was kept in a numbered
box along with ticket rolls, other tickets
and money bags. Among the other tickets were
five and six day weeklies, transfers to Aldershot
& District and Southdown routes, Day Out
tickets giving unlimited travel and emergency
ticket machines were fairly robust but there
were a few things that could go wrong. One
was self inflicted, running out of tickets.
To be avoided at all costs but it sometimes
happened. The first thing to try was flagging
down another bus and asking the conductor
for a roll. Most would oblige but a few would
refuse. I also dashed into the office in Salisbury
bus station one day but was told I could not
have any tickets as they were printed with
Wilts & Dorset. I took a roll anyway.
Although part of the same group of companies,
the two often acted like enemies.
| Another problem
with the ticket machine was that
it sometimes jammed, usually near
the beginning of a busy journey.
If all else failed you just had
to use emergency tickets.
| These were
in the form of a book, you filled
in the details of the journey
and gave the passenger the bottom
copy. It was impossible to take
fares quickly this way, an absolute
nightmare on a full bus.
| The people
in the office blamed the conductor
for any mechanical problem, changing
a ticket machine meant extra work
for them. I went out one day to
do three return trips on the number
54 from the Central Station to
|On the first journey I
noticed that the shillings counter was not
turning so when we got back to the Rose Gardens
I ran upstairs to change the machine. "You
conductors always blame the ticket machine
when your money is wrong" was what I
was told. So I had to do the other two journeys.
When I got back, I paid in my takings which
were far more than was shown on the waybill
since we sold a lot of one shilling tickets
on this route. Under the rules at the time
the extra cash was returned to me, but now
they wanted to give me another machine!