Every ticket tells its own colourful story


Title: From White and Red to Green

Author: Martin Easteal

Publisher: The Transport Ticket Society

ISBN: 978-0-903209-88-5

Specification: 300mm x 210mm, 84pp, softback

Price: £12

Like postage stamps, a collection of bus tickets can make not just a colourful display but also help illustrate social and transport history.

This book is a case in point. It is the Martin Easteal’s presidential address delivered to members of The Transport Ticket Society twice in 2018, at North Weald in Essex and then in Manchester, adding to the story of the National and Eastern National companies, with added material on Western National, Southern National and the modern day successors of all three.

These begin with pre-World War 1 National Steam Car Company punch tickets issued in London and end in the era of the likes of Wayfarer.

The richness of his Eastern National collection, he explains, is a product of it being unusual in operating three ticket systems for around 20 years: Setright inserts at Southend, Aylesbury and Grays; Willebrew at Chelmsford, Maldon, Bishop’s Stortford and Huntingdon; and punch tickets elsewhere in its territory.

There also are tickets from independents acquired by Eastern National, like Hicks Bros and Moore Bros, scholars’ and staff privilege tickets and some of the advertisements and wartime slogans printed on the reverse side.