The obvious opportunity was on he way to or from Taunton as per yesterday's blog. Seemples.
Now that would not have happened with Edmondson tickets!
Thomas Edmondson, a trained cabinet maker, who became a station master on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway in England.
He introduced his system on the Manchester and Leeds Railway. Previously, railway companies had used handwritten tickets, as was the practice for stagecoaches.
The tickets were printed on card cut to 1 7⁄32 by 2 1⁄4 inches (31.0 by 57.2 mm), with a nominal thickness of 1⁄32 inch (0.79 mm). The whole system, from printing to bulk storage to ticket racks, dating and issue, was based on these measurements. British Rail's centralised paper and printing centre at Crewe had a number of pre-1900 Waterlow printing presses which met its annual demand for 320 million tickets.
The last press was switched off in 1988 and the use of Edmondson tickets by British Rail ceased in February 1990.
But with modern technology "the lads" could do nothing. They don't even have paper pads of emergency tickets any more. But fbb has a suggestion.
Of course, fbb could have ordered his tickets in advance and got them from the machine. But not he £10 special, of course. So it was a second trip to Axminster yesterday and success all round.
Until the phone rang.
Is that Mr XXXX, Mr X X XXXX? This is Axminster Station here. Were you here earlier buying rickets for tomorrow for a journey to Northampton?
Well we have your debit card which you left in the machine.
Gibbering and effusive thanks from fbb; and a query, "How did you find me?".
I've been trawling through the phone book; you were my last hope.
[fbb with much smacking of gob] You're just about to close, aren't you?
Yes, but I will be here until 6 (1800) so you can knock on the door next to the toilets.
So fbb zoomed back from Axminster to Seaton and knocked on this very door ...
But there is a tailpiece. fbb asked the helpful Bob if he would allow his picture to appear on this blog, especially as there is a trend to suspend (or even sack) railway staff who are over-helpful to the public!
Hmmm, you write a transport blog, then.
Yes. [fbb expecting a polite "no" to the photo request]
And do you write under the name of the fat bus bloke?
It turns out that Bob has a chum who sends him assorted stuff that mentions Axminster; including appropriate posts from your rightfully relieved rotund writer.
**Nurdle : a word used by fbb in his youth to describe a tour of anywhere by a succession of buses and occasionally trains.