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My favourite objects by Graham Page

Graham Page

I was fortunate to have a varied career in LT, from workshop apprentice to railway depot engineer, then to planning for automatic fare collection systems, computer development, workshops training management and finally to London Buses as Staff Development and Training Manager. After retirement I joined the Museum as a volunteer, looking after the extensive ticket collection. My chosen objects reflect my long involvement with London Transport, both professionally and as a lifelong transport enthusiast.

Graham Page's favourite objects

Metropolitan Railway electric locomotive No. 5,

Electric Locomotive No 5 "John Hamden"

This has always been my firm favourite in the Museum collection. These powerful locomotives pulled the Metropolitan Line "steam stock" coaches in which I travelled to school. They seemed quite noisy, and swayed about at higher speeds. The reciprocating vacuum brake pumps made a characteristic thudding sound. At Acton Works they had the largest traction motors and wheelsets to come through for overhaul.

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Metropolitan Railway

The "Chesham" Coach, Metropolitan No 400

I enjoy seeing the maps and advertisements in the compartments. I went to school in coaches like this. As mischievous boys we found some of the advert frames quite easy to open to discover much older maps and adverts behind the current ones, which we then changed around. Later, when I worked at Neasden Depot, I learned how annoying this was to the staff that had to change them back!

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London Underground 1938-tube stock driving motor car No. 11182, 1938

The 1938 Tube Stock Car

When I was Depot Engineer at Cockfosters I was responsible for the maintenance and workshop repair of the 15 trains of this type on the Piccadilly Line. With their conventional steel springing they were more comfortable to ride in than the modern rubber suspension aluminium 1959 stock which also ran on the Line. We usually organised one of "our" trains from the Depot for the homeward journey each day!

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Poster; Billy Brown of London Town; I trust you'll pardon my correction, by David Langdon, 1941

Poster; Billy Brown of London Town; I trust you'll pardon my correction, by David Langdon, 1941

This poster I remember seeing during the war. Seeing it now recalls a vivid childhood memory of a hot summer day in 1944 or 1945. The protective mesh when hot became soft and I was told off severely for lifting one corner away from the glass!

Billy Brown also featured on the backs of bus tickets. He was the model passenger who “paid his fare exact and named his destination”

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London Tramways Company double deck horse tram No 284, built by John Stephenson & Co, New York, USA, 1882

1884 Horse Tram No 284

This tramcar was painstakingly restored after discovery as a hen house. I have seen ticket fragments recovered from behind panels when the car was being rebuilt. From these we have established that the car ran on several routes across South London. The fact that these tickets would have been handled by real people more than a century ago makes this exhibit a particularly evocative link with the past for me.

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Show this object and other favourites from Oliver Green's favourites »

West Ham Corporation Tramways double deck electric tram No 102, 1910

West Ham Tramcar 102

This vehicle, last used 70 years ago, represents for me the important contribution the electric tramcar made to London’s transport. I remember trams in their final years in South London, with their interesting operation and colourful tickets. The car shows the greater attention we pay nowadays to passenger access in vehicle design. Consider the elderly couple on the top deck and the steps and stairs they have had to negotiate!

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Toy ticket punch with embossed front inscribed with L.P.T.B (London Passenger Transport Board) complete with leather strap and working bell, 1930s

Toy ticket punch

Two generations ago, certain children's toys and play sets reflected adult occupations. The bus conductor set was one such. As a child in the wartime/post-war period I had a toy ticket punch similar to this exhibit, which of course was much played with. When it eventually fell apart I was surprised to find that one of the tinplate components had been made from a re-cycled Golden Syrup container!

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Booklet, Country Walks in Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire with sketch maps of routes, No 4 19th edition, issued by the Metropolitan Railway and LNER, May 1929

Metro-Land Country Walks Booklet in the "Out and About" Drawer

The development of suburban London, and Metro-Land in particular, is well covered in the displays. The 1929 Country Walks booklet is a good example of how the Metropolitan Railway attracted weekend ramblers, and hence boosted revenue. I like country walking, and have found that many of the walks and rambles described in the series can still be enjoyed today, once the houses are left behind!

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Train ticket issued by London Transport for special round trip between Acton Town and Houslow West by

Ticket for "The Silver Train"

Tickets are my prime interest and selecting just one is difficult. The "Silver Train" was the prototype aluminium tube train delivered late in 1957. It ran trips between Acton Town and Hounslow West in connection with the Schoolboys Exhibition of January 1958. I was the Technical Assistant on the train to sort out any problems. Note the reference to "Boys or Girls Fare 6d", an early recognition of equality.

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RM-type Routemaster double deck motor bus, bonnet No RM1737, registration number 737DYE,  built 1963

Routemaster Bus RM 1737

My final choice must fall to the Routemaster Bus, with its iconic status. Much has been written about the design, the staff controversy about its introduction and its extended life until Travelcards and Oyster fares made the conductor's job unnecessary. Although I was never involved with these buses as a manager I did enjoy driving them when opportunities arose, including the preserved examples in the Museum's own collection at Acton.

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