Since I acquired GCT 113 she has been enjoying the full variety of different weathers as part of our Great British Summer and has been covered with tarpaulin for the majority of the time, owing to the frequency of rain we have to endure. During this time, she has had a number of minor modifications made and today was the day when the first tranche of changes had been completed and I was able to store GCT 113 in her new home, undercover, in Lincolnshire.
However, before leaving the confines of my dealer friend's yard, one last fiddly job needed to be undertaken. Namely the fitment of the new rear number blind end gear mechanism.
Sadly the rear number blind had been seized for a number of years and soaking the affected cogs in WD40 proved fruitless. Quite by chance a friend had put me in contact with a company that used to make the mechanisms fairly frequently until technology progressed and they had to diversify into other products; but importantly, the do still offer products such as mechanisms for number and destination blind rollers.
Having informed them of the distance between the two spigots, onto which each roller attaches, and the location of the cog that connects with the winding handle shaft, they were able to recreate the seized structure reasonably inexpensively. It arrived this morning and we got to work fitting it.
The rear number blinds in this type of GCT Fleetline actually lean forward; their top roller sits further forward than the bottom one and they're attached to a bracket each side of the glass. The brackets are, in turn, affixed to the surrounding bodywork, which all had to come off, along with the glass. Sadly, the bespoke new mechanism was wider than that which it replaced and the cog which intersected with the winding handle shaft's cog was a different size, so we had to attach the new mechanism vertically, rather than at an angle. Consequently, the corresponding side, where the other end of each roller attaches, may need moving from its leant profile to the same degree of verticality as its opposing sister in due course; for now a blind will be fitted and the worst that will happen is a slight wobble of the material.
Soon after this was completed, I drove the bus to her new home, saving the tarpaulin for the winter, when it will act as a dust sheet.
Provided the DVLA get back to me confirming the bus is now categorised as Historic before the end of the month, GCT 113 will attend her first rally in private ownership on 30 September at the Delaine Heritage Trust Running Day.