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Surviving amongst this however, was the Lucas Factory, where many works services operated from (including some operated originally by West Bromwich Corporation out to that town.) Lozells itself however, remained very much an area of Victorian/Edwardian era shops and terraces and became quite a focus for the many Asian and Afro Caribbean communities that settled in the City from the fifties onwards, many of whom would come to work for both BCT and it’s WMPTE successor.Sadly, the eighties would see the area gain a reputation for occasional civil unrest, particularly in 1985 when a series of riots took place.Saturday Evening Fleetlines and Volvo Ailsa Appearances!
The nature of the 69’s Wheeler Street section was changed drastically during the sixties, when the area’s old terraced back to back houses were demolished to make way for the high rise blocks of the Newtown Inner City redevelopment, with further new, low rise housing surrounding these.This was the route of the former Hockley Garage route 69, which the 46 now replaced.The 69 had it’s origins from the 24 tram route, which ran from City-Lozells via Wheeler Street.The only other bus services near the 46’s outer end were West Bromwich Corporation’s 25 (West Bromwich-Sutton Coldfield) & 53 (West Bromwich-Aldridge/Streetley, this being joint with Walsall Corporation), as well as occasional short’s numbered 27, some of which extended up the 53 route to Barr Beacon but most terminated by turning around at the same roundabout used by the 46 at the Old Horns.So as you can see, there was a genuine need for a better bus service along the Aldridge Road.
Like so many routes on this hilly side of the City, the plateau on which stands Birmingham City Centre was clearly visible, with such iconic Birmingham structures as the Rotunda, the Council House Clock Tower (Big Brum) and the Post Office Tower (soon to become the Telecom Tower following the hiving off of the Post Office’s Telephone business as British Telecom) making a rather impressive view!