Hold Tight! - Machine wars
 
Chapter 6
 
Page 51
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Chapter 6
Southampton
35 Fans
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50 Just sack me!
51 Machine wars
52 Not funny
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54 Demon drink
55 One for the road
56 Disputes
Chapters
1 Beginnings
2 Learning
3 Getting Away
4 Winchester
5 Freedom
6 Southampton
7 City Transport
 
<< Back Getting in a jam over rolls. Next >>
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 tickets.
The 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 West End.
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!
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