Ticketing - Change from Big 4 to BR

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tbwbear

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The attached season ticket from St Annes-on-Sea to Blackpool Central (RIP) was issued to my father in late August 1955. I have it because it was kept as a family heirloom; during its validity my father met my mother at Blackpool's Tower ballroom (not far from Central). They married in 1956, and I was the eventual result of this ticket. It was a long wait (engineering works) but I finally came along in 1964.

The ticket is cardboard but I just noticed (after all these years) that it is printed on LMS stock. So that is 7 years after nationalisation and they are still printing to LMS tickets!

So, the question that I am throwing out to you all is a general one ....

What do we know about how ticketing and fares were affected by 1948?

I am assuming there was a standardisation of fares.... ??

And does anyone else have old tickets from any era to share ??
 

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Roger1973

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Not sure the ticket would necessarily have been printed after nationalisation - the basic / undated printed cards were printed in batches, and I've read elsewhere of some tickets that were only issued rarely still being on company ticket stock in to the 1960s. BR didn't replace all ticket stock just for the sake of the new 'corporate image'

I think I've got a few 'Southern Railway' headed tickets (that I've acquired, rather than bought at the time!) that were date stamped in the early 1950s, and in some cases the fare printed on the ticket has been amended in pen by the booking clerk.

This one appears to be unusual as in valid only after 4 pm on weekdays - most season tickets were valid any time. Possibly a local thing in the Blackpool area for people who worked evenings, e.g. in the leisure / entertainment business, so maybe not that many issued?

I'm aware that some lines had a special variety of season ticket at a reduced price for people who worked outside the traditional 'peaks' (there were some from North Kent in the 80s that were not valid for arrivals in central London at the height of the morning peak, I can't remember what, if any, the afternoon peak restrictions were)
 

Gloster

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A few random thoughts off the top of my head. No doubt others will come along and tell me how wrong I am.

I would suspect that the ticket was printed in the fairly early days of BR when the printing works were still using up stocks of blanks printed in LMS days. (Unlike nowadays, nobody would have dreamed of dumping perfectly useable stock just because there had been a change of owner.) I believe that a minimum number of tickets had to be ordered at a time, so if the ticket was a slow seller, but not so slow as to use blanks, it could take some time to get through the stock. I have heard of pre-BR tickets still being sold well into the 1960s.

I think that fares were already broadly in line across the Big Four: there may even have been legislation limiting their room for manoeuvre. There were also far fewer different types of ticket: Single, Return or (sometimes) Day Return were the main ones. There were also the odd local ones, such as Market Day tickets, or specials, such as Distressed Seamen’s tickets, but these would probably be on a standard scale or simple fraction of the normal price. The plethora of different types of fare (while every company tries to grab as big a portion of the pot) didn’t exist.
 
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Bletchleyite

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A few random thoughts off the top of my head. No don’t others will come along and tell me how wrong I am.

I would suspect that the ticket was printed in the fairly early days of BR when the printing works were still using up stocks of blanks printed in LMS days. (Unlike nowadays, nobody would have dreamed of dumping perfectly useable stock just because there had been a change of owner.)

To be fair British Rail branded APTIS tickets were issued well after privatisation (particularly ticket types that weren't issued often e.g. Rovers - there were a number of different colours of blank), as were BR season ticket wallets. The main thing that forced them to stop using up old stock was the replacement of ribbon-printed APTIS with the modern thermal printers requiring different ticket stock.
 

tbwbear

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This one appears to be unusual as in valid only after 4 pm on weekdays - most season tickets were valid any time. Possibly a local thing in the Blackpool area for people who worked evenings, e.g. in the leisure / entertainment business, so maybe not that many issued?
I am embarrassed to say that I hadn’t noticed that.

It fits though. My father was employed in St Annes at the time and went dancing in the evenings in Blackpool, and also on Saturdays to watch Blackpool FC (also RIP….... although if ..... )
 

30907

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What do we know about how ticketing and fares were affected by 1948?

I am assuming there was a standardisation of fares.... ??
The basic answer is " hardly at all" as fares were mileage based anyway.
 

randyrippley

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I'm surprised that anyone would use the train for that short journey
I'd have thought a bus or tram season ticket would have been more use
 

tbwbear

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I'm surprised that anyone would use the train for that short journey
I'd have thought a bus or tram season ticket would have been more use
The journey from St Annes by train to the foot of Blackpool Tower was must faster by train than by bus...

My father could get to the tower much faster in the 1950s from St Annes by train than I could in the 1970s by bus.....
 

The exile

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This platform ticket was issued to me in April 1983, twenty years after the BTC had been abolished, and 12 years after the demise of £sd. Inflation had taken its toll, as well - I think platform tickets cost the princely sum of 6p in those days.Southend.JPG
 

StephenHunter

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To be fair British Rail branded APTIS tickets were issued well after privatisation (particularly ticket types that weren't issued often e.g. Rovers - there were a number of different colours of blank), as were BR season ticket wallets. The main thing that forced them to stop using up old stock was the replacement of ribbon-printed APTIS with the modern thermal printers requiring different ticket stock.
The ticketing system still offers tickets valid to Tilbury or Tilbury Riverside despite the latter station closing in 1992; it's valid on the bus down to the cruise ship terminal.
 

Journeyman

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To be fair British Rail branded APTIS tickets were issued well after privatisation (particularly ticket types that weren't issued often e.g. Rovers - there were a number of different colours of blank), as were BR season ticket wallets. The main thing that forced them to stop using up old stock was the replacement of ribbon-printed APTIS with the modern thermal printers requiring different ticket stock.
Rail Settlement Plan APTIS stock for everyday stuff appeared very quickly after 1994 (I was a booking clerk at the time), but yes, BR branded stuff for more unusual ticket types survived a long time. Really old stock had a tendency to curl and jam in the printer, though, so sometimes it would have to be binned.
 

etr221

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When I started working in 1972, my season ticket said 3rd class.

I would be more surprised to learn that BR did not issue any pre-grouping tickets (for some uncommon flows), than the other way round...

Virtually all fares pre 1948 were standardised and regulated, so the answer to OP's question is essentially that nothing changed in 1948.
 

MP33

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I read that when the MG & N closed in 1952, some of the smallest stations were still selling pre-grouping tickets.
 

PeterC

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I see that several people have beaten the third class LNER "forces" ticket that I was issued with in 1968.

I was in the air cadets and had been given a warrent for a trip to Biggin Hill.
 

D6130

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When I was a relief booking clerk on the Southern Region (South Western Division - Woking Area) in 1977, the first class single blank to blank stock in the passimeter office (rear entrance) at Guildford still consisted of Southern Railway white Edmonson card tickets. On one quiet late shift I issued myself - and of course paid for - a first class single from, I think, Farncombe to Godalming. I must still have it somewhere in one of my boxes, but I can't be sure.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I think fares (based on distance - just a 1-page table of distances and ordinary fares) would have been regulated nationally from 1939 (or even from 1914!).
In any case fares were almost static for years (1d a mile 3rd class).
But the companies would have had special fares or supplements for certain services, and they had their own localised fares (eg for workmen), and for excursions.
It still works like that in much of Europe.
 
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I think fares (based on distance - just a 1-page table of distances and ordinary fares) would have been regulated nationally from 1939 (or even from 1914!).
In any case fares were almost static for years (1d a mile 3rd class).
I vaguely remember reading that the reason public timetables had the station mileages tabulated (from ancient times, through the BR era, right through into the late-lamented printed National Rail timetables) was originally to allow the educated layman to calculate the ordinary fare for pretty much any journey between a pair of station.

Obviously this traditional use fell down after BR introduced "market based" fares on enhanced Inter-City services, tapering for longer distances and no-longer published any standard per-mile rates.

I wonder if distances being quoted in timetables at ¼ mile accuracy was originally so the 1d-per-mile rate could be calculated to the nearest farthing?
 

Dai Corner

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Were booking offices provided with a list of distances between every pair of stations or were clerks expected to calculate distances from timetables or the sectional appendix?

What happened when lines closed, necessitating longer journeys between some stations? Did the fare go up accordingly or was the old fare still charged?
 

Taunton

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Pre-nationalisation tickets basically lasted in stock until they had to be reprinted. 10 years was nothing - John Betjeman got an obscure ticket on the North London DC line in the 1950s which was still headed LNWR. Tickets were printed with the operator of the time, but could then lay in station stock for ever.

Fares were at a standard rate per mile, set by the government, and printed at the front of timetables. This got out of kilter in several places with local competing bus fares, so Cheap Day Returns (available all day every day) and other reduced tickets appeared, which if less than the standard amount were permitted, and these might scoop almost all of the usage of standard tickets between the same stations.
 

grumpyxch

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Back in 1966 I had a Southern Region Railrover ticket. I used it to ride on the Bournemouth Belle Pullman train from Southampton to Bournemouth. On the Belle, you used a normal ticket plus a Pullman Supplementary Ticket, which I bought in the Southampton Station ticket office - the railrover ticket covered for the normal ticket. The Supplementary was a Southern Railway ticket with the 'Issued On' date in 1966 stamped on it. I assumed at the time, that not many people rode the Belle for just that short section so they were still using old ticket stock.

Unfortunately, a few years later, when I went off to university, my parents got rid of the wardrobe I had kept it in, and so I lost it. Parents - they just don't understand the value of some things unless that value is in pounds sterling. They didn't get rid of my car!
 

WesternLancer

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The attached season ticket from St Annes-on-Sea to Blackpool Central (RIP) was issued to my father in late August 1955. I have it because it was kept as a family heirloom; during its validity my father met my mother at Blackpool's Tower ballroom (not far from Central). They married in 1956, and I was the eventual result of this ticket. It was a long wait (engineering works) but I finally came along in 1964.

The ticket is cardboard but I just noticed (after all these years) that it is printed on LMS stock. So that is 7 years after nationalisation and they are still printing to LMS tickets!

So, the question that I am throwing out to you all is a general one ....

What do we know about how ticketing and fares were affected by 1948?

I am assuming there was a standardisation of fares.... ??

And does anyone else have old tickets from any era to share ??
"This ticket must be given up on expiry" :lol:

Nice story - great heirloom to have!
 

steamybrian

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I am a member of the Transport Ticket Society and have a large collection of tickets dating back to the 19th century. One of the last pregrouping tickets available was I think LBSCR Faygate or GER Haddiscoe platform ticket which could be purchased in the 1950s.
I purchased my last prenationalisation ticket from a BR ticket office in around 1977 or 1978 from Martin Mill station in Kent. Around the same time a purchased a Southern Railway car parking ticket at Woodside station (closed 1996).
When I started visiting stations in the 1960s I asked if they had any such tickets in stock at a reasonable price. Platform tickets at 1d or 2d each were a favourite ticket to buy.
 

tbwbear

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Thanks for all the interesting replies so far.

As far as I understand it, the red ink including the "BR (M)" on the ticket would have been printed (along with the black ticket number?) when the ticket was created. The ticket would have been stored at the relevant ticket office and then stamped with the "57" and the date on issue.

So that would mean, perhaps, back in 1948 (or maybe a bit later) they would have printed the BR(M) ticket on the LMS stock because at the time they didn't have any BR marked cardboard. Presumably it wouldnt have been too long before they got BR marked cardboard, but as this particular ticket is possibly one that didn't sell well it was kept around in the office. It would be safe to assume that by 1955 a lot of the more popular tickets would already have been on BR marked cardboard ?

It is interesting to learn that they didn't really bother about purging this sort of thing - and even more fascinating to hear about the much older examples quoted above.

In general, were tickets printed internally at BR or sent out to commercial printers ?
 

Merle Haggard

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Thanks for all the interesting replies so far.

In general, were tickets printed internally at BR or sent out to commercial printers ?

On the LMR all Edmondson tickets were printed by B.R. in Crewe - I think an adjunct to the Stationery Stores. Then distributed by train in those days, of course, with an internal user vanfit to work between the stores and the station. When I attended he LMR Clerical Induction course at Webb House a visit there was included.
There was a security issue. For instance, I was trained, when removing a ticket from the rack for sale , to make sure that the next ticket carried the next sequential number. Print orders were filled very quickly - remember, every excursion required specially printed tickets.
 

Gloster

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I think that all ticket printing, at least in the era of Edmondson tickets, was eventually concentrated on Crewe.
 

matt_world2004

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Wernt the big 4 controlled effectively by the government during ww2 as a wartime measurem I'm sure there must have been some rationalisation and interavailability of tickets during this time in the spirit of wartime cooperation
 

Merle Haggard

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An efficiency of nationalisation was that the Railway Clearing House was no longer needed because it was all one railway.
Before nationalisation, for freight traffic there were rules about traffic exchange points between the railways (so that one railway couldn't maximise its revenue at the expense of another), about loading/empty return of 'foreign' wagons, and a small army of number takers at exchange points - not just wagons, but sheets and wagon equipment. There were more than 1,000,000 wagons.
Presumably there were similar rules for passenger traffic. Certainly there would be calculations of the division of receipts for inter-company tickets.
All done by clerical staff calculation.
 

WesternLancer

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Wernt the big 4 controlled effectively by the government during ww2 as a wartime measurem I'm sure there must have been some rationalisation and interavailability of tickets during this time in the spirit of wartime cooperation
what, you mean it wasn't the sheer complexity of ticketing arrangements and refusal of passengers being allowed to board LNER trains on the former GCR when they had LMS tickets, despite wartime disruption, that gave rise to the popularity of nationalising the railways after the war and swept Clem Attlee to power? ;):lol:
 
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