For most of our members the activity which the CTSA is most associated with is travel- and the person most associated with our travel services is the one and only Travel Ken Blackmore! In a little over a season and a half Travel Ken has become the most recognisable part of the CTSA family, presiding over a well oiled travel machine. Providing the cheapest official coach travel in the Football League whilst using the UK’s premier coach operator, you might think that we make it look easy- but Ken is very swan like, you just can’t see his little legs pedalling furiously beneath the surface! Anyway, with half the season gone and all of our longest trips out of the way, we managed to find a quiet moment and cajole TK into answering a few questions. Here goes!
How do you feel about being the public face of CTSA ?
“To be honest I don’t think I am the face of CTSA, there are 10 of us on the board all working hard to bring a good service to the members and the local community. People might believe that I am a travel expert but I am just picking it up as we go along. It has been a steep learning curve over the past two years and I would like to thank James Laraman for all his assistance over that time. It’s definitely a two man job”!
Which trip has been your favourite ?
“In my opinion the best trip we have had is the promotion winning Accrington Stanley match last May. The CTSA travel operation with 5 coaches went like clockwork and then to secure the needed victory was amazing. It was a long trip up north but it was clear that all our customers had a blinding day out”.
Tell us about your favourite moment?
“On the run up to our FA Cup match at Hull City the phones were ringing off the hook and there was a lot of background work to be completed. The best moment for me was when all that work finally paid off and twelve full coaches all rolled out of the Broadfield and set off in convoy up the M23. It was a fantastic day for the Club, the fans and CTSA and it was lovely to be a part of that”!
What do you enjoy most about the role ?
“The best part of this job is when we all arrive back at the Broadfield safe and sound having had a great day out, there is a great deal of satisfaction knowing that another CTSA event has been completed without hitches or problems. There is always a good deal of banter on the coach, especially if we win. Sometimes the boys sing out my name to various Crawley songs. Its all good fun and I don’t mind a bit”. We can reveal that they sometimes they blast out the John Akinde song towards Ken. When asked if that was true Ken abruptly replied, “NO”!
He added, “it’s been really enjoyable in the main. I have met and worked with some brilliant people and it’s nice to be recognised by the club and the fans. Like everything though, there are pitfalls and boring things like paperwork and accounting have to be done.”
Ken and the Travel team would like you to join them for January trips to Tranmere Rovers and Sheffield United. Before or after any home match, go and see Ken in the CTSA Cabin opposite Redz, or you can call 07843124845, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the club during office hours.
Travel Ken’s Barmy Army!
Words and pictures from Colin Bowman. A version of this article may appear in a matchday programme near you soon!