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Bus Tokens


gone but not forgotten
The birmingham council and education department used to give the poor familys plastic coins for bus fares
of all nominations in different colours to parents to give there kids and get them to school
from i penny upwards the penny was red and green was i think was threepenny and six penny was a blue ; i think ;
any of you guys had them ; we did and i used to travel down to hockley brook on the the number eight bus to get to
ickneild street where old man kitchener would wait on the gate for the late comers ;any body go there
my two cousins went there from ford street at the back of the school . Barry and bryan phelps anybody recal them ;
have a nice day best wishes astonian


master brummie
I certainly remember the plastic bus tokens. I can still picture a white one but can't remember the denomination. (Blimey, that's going back a bit !).


master brummie
I bought some recently on Ebay, some have Birmingham Corporation Tramways on them while others (presumably newer) have Birmingham City Transport on them. Up to now I had wondered as to their exact use, it was obviously a way of ensuring that they could only be redeemed for a bus or tram fare whereas a donation of money could be spent anywhere. Does anybody know when they were phased out?

Maypolebaz, the white token was for 4d I think.


master brummie
In Coleshill, you used to be issued with tokens instead of a pensioners pass to use on the buses, mum-in-law had them, so has to be less than 9 years ago.

Old Boy

master brummie
Hi All,
Surprisingly enough we used these in the police service. If we had to travel to court or Coroners office or even from the local station to headquarters we were able to claim the bus/tram fare in tokens. I never knew that some children used them also.
Old Boy


master brummie
Yes I received them when I had to use two buses to get to and from Handsworth Technical School. I cannot remember how I obtained them although I presume they had to be collected from somewhere. As far as I remember everyone in my class who used buses received them.


gone but not forgotten
Yes old boy we used to have those tokens to travel down to Hockley
Ickneild street school and quite area kids from Ladywood area had them as well
And kids from farm street school
Some had different colours
On the subject you being an ex officer when I was growing up and to be quite honest
When I got older I use to see police officers always jumping on the platform of the bus
Or tram travelling area stops along the road then jumping off
I always thought it was except for them to pay habit of a perk I always thought being the law
Have a nice day old boy best wishes Alan,,,,Astonian,,''


knowlegable brummie
I went to Central Grammar School when it was based in Cherrywood Road, as the school did not have it's own playing field at that time we used to be taken by hired BCT buses to Metchley Lane on whatever our games afternoon was.

As we would need to go home in assorted direcions afterwards we were issued with plastic tokens to use for the return journey.

I'm not sure how the amount to issue was worked out - perhaps it was enough to get us back to school and then we were expected to sort oursleves out from there - I can't remember any 'kitty' building itself up in our pockets.

We also used to go to Woodcock Street and Nechells swimming baths but I can't remember whether anything similar was done.

Best Regards

Sandy Sanbrook


master brummie
I can remember seeing these tokens, usually friends living in Birmingham had them, but those not living within the city boundaries never had the luxury of free bus travel.


master brummie

I remember finding a couple of plastic bus tokens with a metal detector! Its not as mad as it sounds
as the person who had lost them had also dropped a couple of coins. We used to be issued with bus
tokens in the 1950's to get us to the swimming baths.

Kind regards

tim eborn

master brummie
We used to be given tokens in our change on the buses which we used to object to , if say you had A sixpence to start with and you went on the bus and spent tuppence on your fare you could be given a penny coin and the rest in tokens. Ok you had your change but the chip shop wouldn't always be happy to be paid for your chips with a token which was not legal tender.
I think I can remember the clippy showing that there was not enough coins in the bag to be able to give all coins in the change !

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
Hi folks

Just been up the loft again found these plastic tokens.

Given to me by my uncle George Cross ex Inspector miller Street & Witton Tram Depot.

He was the Inspector to finally close Witton TramDepot


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anvil man

master brummie
I remember using the tokens for the bus journey from Selly Oak to Handsworth Tech during perhaps 1952 and then to all the inter tech football matches on Saturdays. These were then superceded by a blue cardboard pocket-size pass issued at the Council House. Then , in perhaps 1953 the amount of money spent in a term was worked out by some individual in the Council House, and a cheque sent to parents for that amount.


gone but not forgotten
Hi guys ,
does anybody ever recall those red and coloured bus tokens given by the bus company to the education dept for school kids from old days to cover the cost of them getting to school and back home we had red and green ones

best wishes Astonian,,,, Alan,,,


Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes I recall them, they had various value denominations on one side and the City of Birmingham logo on the other.