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A Year Ago

It was a year ago this week that I first collected GCT 113 from a paint shop in Immingham. This would be the second occasion that I’d need to take the bus for repaint since on the first occasion the bus was painted in the wrong shade of orange.

I’d planned to the nth degree for the preservation of this GCT stalwart. By sheer chance I’d been given the details of a semi-retired paint rep that was the Holy Grail for someone in my position as it was he who, on behalf of employer at the time, supplied paint to GCT during the 1980s & 90s. He was aware of the shade of orange and white used and had sent sufficient quantities of each to the paint shop, which he’d recommended.

Driving GCT 113 to Immingham is worth of a separate entry since it was well below freezing and in addition to the bus having no roof, the driving cab has no heater. Upon arrival I handed the bus over to the paint shop staff and showed one particular member of their team how to start the bus etc. While the paint shop undertook repaints for two or three local bus and coach firms, their main work was to repaint lorries going off lease and back to their owner.

When I went to collect the bus on 21 December, this happened:

Yes, the orange was clearly too yellow. Not only that, an additional 71 miles had been added to the odometer since the closing mileage I'd noted down nine days earlier. No-one at the paint shop was forthcoming and the painter himself suggested this could be a side effect of the painting process, since large amounts of static are generated and this could interfere with the speedometer.

This resulted in me driving GCT 113 away in the wrong shade of paint and with a relatively large number of miles on the clock unaccounted for.

Consider if you will how far 71 miles takes you from Immingham. It's Doncaster and back, along the M180/M18; it's to Hull and a jolly around the city and back along the A15; it's to Lincoln and back along the A15.

Once I'd got GCT 113 back undercover and feeling understandably rather deflated, I spoke with my paint rep who met me early in January 2018 and we corrected the orange to the correct shade, which has been detailed elsewhere on this website.

Perhaps the only positive to come from this tale of woe is that, feeling frustrated that I could not take any further action against the paint shop for the unauthorised use of GCT 113 (I'd sourced CCTV footage from a chemical factory opposite that showed the date and times when the bus was taken from and returned to the paint shop under the cover of darkness, but Humberside Police said they needed a clear image of the driver to prosecute). I chose to contact the local bus and coach operators who sent their vehicles to this paint shop and simply listed the facts. One of the firms said they'd previously suspected additional mileage added to one of their coaches.

It is my understanding that at least one of these operators chose to have their vehicles painted elsewhere, and whether this had an effect or not, by February 2018 the paint shop had been served an eviction notice from their premises and soon after ceased trading.

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