Coventry Corporation Transport Society

Maintenance People

The maintenance people kept the buses running.  After the wartime air raids had destroyed the servicing facilities at Harnall Lane, Coventry Corporation acquired the CCT works site at Watery Lane in Keresley.  Later, this was replaced by a new maintenance facility at Sandy Lane.

Danny Cox

Ron West Danny Cox, was the last workshop manager at Sandy Lane before it closed.  Prior to joining CCT he had been a Sergeant in the REME and, when he came out of the Army, he started as a fitter at Watery Lane depot, where he worked for many years.  He was looking after buses for 32 years starting off at Watery Lane, then Harnall Lane and finally 17 years at Sandy Lane.  His daughter, Carol Beacham said "His family have fond memories from all three garages as we grew up around these lovely old buses.  The camaraderie was wonderful with all the mechanics from when we were tiny they watched us grow up.  When Dad died in 1991 from Pancreatic Cancer it was such a wonderful show of friendship as the church and the crem were full to busting.  It was such a shame when they stopped using the 'Marshall' Red colour (the paint colour was mixed by Burt Marshall and that's how it got it's local name).  The colour signified Coventry and every time I see the old buses out it sends me a shiver."  (Editor's note  Marshall Red and Shetland Ivory were adopted in 1970, replacing the previously traditional maroon and cream.)

When he retired at the end of September 1986, he was works manager at the Sandy Lane maintenance depot.  He was pessimistic about the future of bus services in Coventry.  "The motive now is profit and the days of public service will be a thing of the past.  It's so sad that this depot is going.  We were always proud of the quality and speed of our work here and the bus drivers knew they could rely on us." 

He thought the introduction of rear-engined buses was the start of the decline.  "The old days with a front engine and a clippie were more personal for passengers.  Costs rocketed when the new buses came in.  They are more unreliable and expensive to repair."

Extracted from a news item by Tracey Harrison of the Coventry Evening Telegraph, Friday September 5th 1986
Photograph: Coventry Evening Telegraph, Friday September 5th 1986

Colin Holloway

Colin started as an apprentice fitter at the Watery Lane workshops in 1949.  In 1985 he retired from CCT as Engineering Superintendent, having worked for CCT and later, WMPTE, continuously since he left school.  His father had been a tram conductor, which stood him good stead when he was six years old.  In June 1940 he had been standing outside the Foleshill Depot when Billie Downs, a Depot Worker who knew that his dad was a tram conductor, let him change the points.  Colin said that it was better than a bag of sweets, which were on ration at the time.  This became a regular Saturday treat, which was cut short by the November 1940 air raid that resulted in the final demise of the tram system.  When, nine years later, Colin started work at Watery Lane, Billie Downs was working there as a chassis painter.