JOIN the Bury Times as we travel back 50 years to the headlines on May 24, 1969, when conductor-less buses, sheep worrying and a stolen altar cross were the talk of the town. BRAD MARSHALL takes a look back in the archives...

BURY'S first coin-in-the-slot double decker buses will go into service next month.

The buses will be one man operated and passengers will get their tickets by pressing a button.

Instead of handing their fares to a conductor, passengers will put their money into an electrically operated ticket issuing machine just inside the bus entrance.

Remote control switches will enable the driver to adjust the machine for the various fare changes without having to leave the cab.

The machines have been designed to take 6d. and 3d. coins, and a more simplified fares system will have to be introduced.

Next Wednesday, passengers will be able to try out the new machines themselves on a display bus near the open market.

Similar machine systems have operated successfully in London and Birmingham, and Bury's will incorporate improvements made in both cities.

At first the new type of buses will run only on one route ­— the No. 29 Bullfinch Drive ­— but they will be gradually introduced to other other parts of the town.

Other services inline for an early change over are the No. 2 Bury to Ainsworth and the No. 5 Ainsworth to Whitefield.

SIX sheep were killed and 20 mauled by dogs at Springbank Farm in Tottington on Wednesday.

Farmer's wife Mrs Eileen Lord received a call at lunchtime from neighbours and rushed to the field.

She found six sheep dead and others injured.

Most of the mauled animals will live but three of them are very badly injured.

Some drowned because they were run into a brook by the dogs.

Mrs Lord said: "Someone told us they saw two dogs, a black and white collie and an Alsatian, but we did not see them."

A THREE feet long brass altar cross has been stolen from St John's Church in Bury.

The thief broke a window to get into the church and left the same way.

The cross was inscribed in memory of the first vicar of the church, Rev E J Smith, who died in 1886.

The theft occurred sometime over Thursday night and was discovered yesterday morning.

Current vicar, Rev A Hulse, said: "The cross is the only thing missing. It has taken 83 years for vandals to get their hands on it. It was a daft thing to do."