Many thanks to Micheal Green. ( 'Alfred Williamson' employee from 1959 to 1965 ) for kindly sending in this information.
Also see the Ticket Punch section of this site for more information and pictures regarding Williamson's history.
The Business was began in 1835 by John Williamson (1807-1862) who ran a small commercial printers from Stamford St, Ashton-under-Lyne ,which was the taken over by his son ,Alfred(1837-1918),who began to develop the' numerical printing' side of the business by printing pawn broking tickets from the 1860s,he designed the Williamson Registering bell Punch in 1900,.
The 'Willebrew'' universal punch was partly invented by Alfred Williamson and John Brewer during the mid 1920s .
J Brewer was a employee of Ribble Bus Services in Preston,Williamson's also designed the special tickets needed for this ticket system,hence the name 'Willebrew',they were the most complex ticket for the compositor to set with many columns and small types required.the 'Willebrew' ticket punch came in more widespread use about ten years later. .
Essentially,'Williamsons' at North Mill was a ticket printing business .they had the facilities to repair and maintain these punches on the premises,and an individual or bus company could hire or purchase these punches.The company also supplied and maintained ticket issue machines for theaters and cinemas.
I am certain that these ticket punches were no longer manufactured from the 1960s.In there time 'Williamson's' was a extremely profitable and busy company with a international reputation; their tickets were exported as far as Africa and South America,but it was quite a stern company to work for and a employee would be expected to work very hard at his duties especially in the pre war years.
'Alfred Williamson' also designed another ticket punch in 1900-patent No 2081,the ,'Conductor's Side Punch', which had a lever operation on the side of the machine and again had a bell sounding when the ticket was punched.i suspect this model was not as popular with tram and bus operators as it needed both hands to use it,and it appeared to have been abandoned quit early on,so' Williamson's' capitalised on their other 'Bell Punch',which lasted until well after the years from World War 11
(Transport Ticket Society Member)
Refer to the " Ticket punches" page on this site for pictures of the above mentioned Williamson ticket punches.