Coventry Corporation Transport Society

My Time with CCT

By Chris Marshall

I left school in 1952 and joined the Transport as a probationary body maker.  The probation lasted twelve months and if you were suitable a visit to the Coventry Council House to sign your apprenticeship papers for another five years.  Forty two years later I was made redundant because a back injury stopped me doing the job for which I was employed, so WMPT bosses told me.

I served most of my time at the Watery Lane Works.  After I came out of the army, which took me away for two years, I went to work at Harnall Lane garage.  I have so many happy memories of both workshops and of the people I worked with.  I now live in Norfolk with my wife Pamela, who worked in the Works Office for many years, only retiring to look after our baby daughter.

My foreman at Watery Lane was Ray Hodder, a great foreman and a great character.  I was first put to work with Jack Gibson and Jack Rodgers, then Frank Haynes and Fred Unwin.  I also worked with Doug Stephenson then George Moorin, known as The Prof.  George was a wizard with numbers and also a great story teller of his times in London etc.  A great man to learn under, someone I missed very much when I had to leave and do my National Service.

My chargehand at Harnall Lane was Keg Bruce, a good friend, a fair chargehand and a pleasure to have known.  Sadly Keg was killed by a bus as he crossed Fairfax Street, such a waste of life when he had so much to live for.  I remember Danny Cox very well.  He was an excellent fitter and became an excellent supervisor, another corner stone of Coventry Transport.

I remember many of the lady bus cleaners, always great fun if you had to go and work in their area.  A few years back I bumped into Colin Rowledge when my wife and I were on a day out to the Norfolk Broads, they do say the world is a small place.  Colin and I were good friends and we still keep in touch, even if it is only by a card at Christmas.  The same goes for Doug Stephenson.

My father was foreman in the Harnall Lane paint shop and was the creator of the colour Marshall Red.

I enjoyed my 42 years at the Transport and it was a sad day for me when I had to go.  I'm now 78 and have tried to make the most of my retirement.  I live in a beautiful part of England, have a wonderful family and I'm very happy and content with my lot.