Bus Conductor’s Winter Uniform

After many years of searching, I am now the proud owner of a genuine bus conductor’s winter uniform. These appear to be as rare as hen’s teeth and this one was listed on Ebay last week. Although it carries no clear identification, it was described as a Western National uniform from the 1960s. This turns out to be correct, because I found several old Western National bus tickets in the jacket pockets!

Another interesting discovery was a wage slip, left by the original owner in the jacket’s inside pocket. The conductor, P Faulkner, apparently earned £3.40 before deductions for 3 hours driving. Perhaps he was driving a One Man Operated bus by this time, hence the tickets in the pocket. This was in 1978, the date written on the slip. Doesn’t seem very much, does it?

The uniform includes a heavy overcoat which is so bulky that I shall only wear it on the coldest of winter days!

Buying items of clothing on Ebay always carries an element of risk. Not only can the description be misleading but also the sizes given can be way out. In this case, the jacket was listed as being size 44″, miles too big for me, but I bid for it anyway even if it meant making some alterations. As it happens, the jacket and coat are a perfect fit, only the trousers needing some adjustment to the length.

This turns out to have arrived just in time because I have some conducting duties to perform this coming weekend, so I shall be properly dressed for the job.

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5 comments on “Bus Conductor’s Winter Uniform

  1. Tim says:

    Hi John

    I’m trying to find the portable ticket machine they used to use. Any clues where to look? see your pic top right.

  2. george says:

    Hi John,

    I think I have one of these winter coats but I am not sure, it has yellow piping and white bits on the cuffs. Does this sound familiar?

    • busmanjohn says:

      Hi George, yes it sounds like you have a driver’s jacket or overcoat from a Tilling Group operator. The white cuffs were there to make the driver’s arm more visible for occasions when he had to make hand signals from the cab. Sometimes they only had one white cuff, on the right sleeve. Of course it’s handy for conductors as well because they have to direct the driver from behind the bus when he’s reversing sometimes.

  3. […] Bus Conductor’s Winter Uniform March 2010 4 comments […]

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