It was 37 years ago today that the last of the 2 remaining CCT liveried buses in the fleet went on their final tour of some of Coventry's outer terminals, - - and then a bit more!
The two buses left in CCT colours were CKV 10/22D and the honour went to 22Y as it was still numbered then. I rollled up at Sandy Lane garage about 1.30pm and met steve Knight and the driver ( sorry but his name escapes me now) and from there we headed into Broadgate where we collected our other passengers, Phil Beckett and Martin jarvis. We took some photos here and we observed that virtually every panel was a different shade of red!. Never the less we boarded and headed off on our first excursion.
We left the city centre, out over Hearsall Common and onto Broad Lane with blinds set for "Berkswell 46", my favourite route of that time, when ever possible I would travel there and back to Pool Meadow for the princely sum of 20p!! (Actually if you stayed upstairs and the drver forgot you were there you could do the whole 2 hour return trip for 10p!!!)
Off Broad Lane and into Back Lane we were seeing cows and horses in fields, a truely rural scene but then a loud crash brought us back to reality, a Bedford truck going the other way had smacked mirrors with us! We immediately stopped and some of us ran back up the road, the lorry had continued on but the remains of it's mirror lay in the road, fortunately ours was intact.
We continued to The Bear at Berkswell and took pictures of the last CCT coloured vehicle that would ever be there. This route used to be a CKV D stronghold but sadly no more, and then it was off again, following the route back through to Broad Lane, into the city, around the ring road and then out along the Foleshill Road, a brief stop at Longford and then on into Bedworth. We paused outside the Tesco store and then continued to Steve's house at Stockingford, collected extra passengers and then onwards to the village of Ansley where we stopped a while at the site of the former pit before returning to Thornton Way and then onto Nuneaton bus station. Here we set the blinds to "Nuneaton 747", a possible joint route with Midland Red that may have happened in 1973 prior to the involvement with WMPTE but as far as we know the only time a CCT bus was there with that blind setting until 135 went there during the CCT 100th anniversary events in 2012, certainly the only time a service bus was there ( unless Mr Knight knows otherwise!)
We took time to examine 22Y here, yes it was grubby and the panels were all different shades of red but it drove superbly and there wasn't a rattle or creak from it, it would have made an idea preservation candidate.
We continued to the Manor House 20A terminus and then a long trek out the city to my 2nd favourite terminus, Baginton Airport. On a summer afternoon there was no better spot, the buzz of light aircraft, the breeze blowing through the grass by the runway, the semi rural location and a place we had been with 333CRW on it's own farewell tour only 28 days previously, but sadly that was all we had time for, it was now time to head back into the city, drop off Martin and Phil in Broadgate and then onto Sandy Lane garage.
Sadly, just 10 days later on 19th September 1979 CKV10/22D were withdrawn from service, stripped of engines and gearbox and the bodies towed to the rear of Harnall Lane to await collection and disposal by Askins, Barnsley,in June 1980, what could have been eh?