Object of the Month – November 2022

Do you remember when bus conductors used to collect passengers’ fares on the buses? If so, you may recognise this portable ticket machine.

This is a Setright bus ticket machine with box, with the name “Thame” stamped it, showing that it was used at Thame depot by the City of Oxford Motor Services.  Also on display some tickets printed on an original ticket roll.

In the 1930s, the City of Oxford Motor Services began to increase its bus services outside the Oxford area and it established depots at key points where drivers and conductors could be based. Thame was one of the first of these

Oxford Motors Bus Garage in Bell Lane, Thame.  1940s

But in the 1950s, it became difficult to operate rural bus services economically and many were changed to ‘driver only’ operation to save having to pay for conductors. Eventually by the 1980s all services were operated this way.

City of Oxford coach on Market Hill 1935

This ticket machine can be found in the Main Gallery in Cabinet 5

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