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We are delighted to offer a late August charter using two superbly-restored buses that were formerly part of the Coventry Corporation Transport fleet, both built in the 1940s and both of which carry liveries prototypical of their first decade in service during the Forties.
Coventry Corporation ran the City’s transport systems from 1912, when it took over the Coventry Electric Tramway Company, up until 1974 when the enterprise passed to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.
Buses were first introduced to the City in 1914 although the service was short-lived when the chassis of the first six buses to enter service were requisitioned for military use by the War Office. Bus services introduced after the First World War were more permanent and, when the devastating German bombing campaign of November 1940 rendered the tram tracks beyond economic repair, the whole tramway was eventually abandoned in February 1941.
Both of the vehicles we are using today are of wartime construction. Our first is a Daimler COG 5/40 single-decker, new in 1940 with a Park Royal body. It worked in Coventry until 1949 when it went to Derby Corporation as a driver training vehicle. In preservation, the bus passed to Derby Museums who still own No.244 and it has been beautifully restored by Roger Burdett; the Daimler returned to the roads for the first time since 1979 in 2012, carrying the Coventry Corporation livery for the first time in over sixty years!
Our second vintage vehicle scheduled to join us for the day is No.366, another Daimler of 1940s vintage. This double-decker is on a 20-year loan from Coventry Transport Museum to Roger Burdett who has undertaken a wealth of remedial work over several years, which will see the vehicle appear publicly again this Summer for the first time since completion of its programme of restoration. The Daimler is a CWA6 which was built to an austerity design in 1944 and entered service with Coventry Corporation Transport in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1951 with a new Roe Pullman body and remained in passenger service for a further eight years. In 1959, No.366 passed into the Corporation’s Maintenance Department for use as a mobile workshop, ensuring it was in use for long enough to enter preservation. In 1970, the bus went to the City’s Transport Museum and it spent many years in storage before a deal was reached that ensured its restoration back to full working order.
We will find a meeting place suitable to leave cars and which should be accessible by those needing or choosing to use public transport. We will be using locations that are easy for buses to access but are reasonably ‘unspoilt’ for photography, which means the centre of town is not an option, but expect to spend the day photographing against the leafy suburban backdrop of the Birmingham and Coventry areas. We are, as ever, aiming for a relaxed and enjoyable day out, recreating scenes reminiscent of the outer city areas that these two vehicles would have worked in service.