Stories Inside Stories – Mystery Ticket

Book two of the 52 Book Challenge is a lovely old copy of Jamaica Inn. I loved Frenchman’s Creek and Rebecca, so seemed about time to try another of Daphne du Maurier’s books.

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The story itself is wonderful – so very evocative of the wilds of Cornwall! The characters are visiting places that are familiar from life back home, which is most bizarre and wonderful. To add to the mystery, while reading early this morning a ticket dropped out of the book.

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One of the things I love most about old books is the idea that they were a source of comfort and enjoyment to people in the past. Having a ticket from that life drop into my lap definitely demanded some detective work!

I tried (and failed) to find a date for this book, thought the inside blurb mentions du Maurier’s ‘latest novel is the Glass Blowers (1963)’, which helps a little.

The ticket cost 4 pennies in the pre-decimal system, so that would put it before 1971. Tracking down the route and the stage (!?) that the ticket was bought at was a little harder…

After Google failed me, I contacted Transport for London and the London Transport Museum to ask if they had any ideas…

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 Really appreciated their super speedy response. Armed with the knowledge that it was an old Routemaster, it was much easier to track down more information on Google. (Had one of those moments of realising how dim my tweet sounded after I sent it…)

This led me to London Buses and this excellent page, which set out the bus route –

WEST KILBURN, The Chippenham, Harrow Road, Royal Oak Station, Paddington, Edgware Road, Marble Arch, Park Lane, Victoria, Vauxhall, Oval, Camberwell, Peckham, New Cross, Lewisham, Catford, HITHER GREEN STATION.

Having been in Southeast London for the last nine years, it’s wonderful to see local names on this list. It was also quite a speedy mystery to solve – thanks to TFL and London Buses, it took less than half an hour. Nice early victory for this morning….