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Gathering Dust

​Well it's been over a year since GCT 113 turned a wheel as such, when she returned from attending the September 2019 Delaine Heritage Trust Running Day in Bourne, where she was exhibited as a static display, located round the corner from the depot in the car park of the Golding, Young & Mawer Auction House. Back then an annoying knocking sound had presented itself while I was driving back from Grimsby a fortnight area. The sound was located in the vicinity of the entrance doors and no amount of specifically placed tissue and old bus tickets would stop the annoying sound.

However, the root cause of the annoying sound was identified when I drove the bus away from the Delaine depot via Bourne Bus Station, where I dropped fellow transport aficionado Steve Knight off to catch a bus to Peterborough. Steve was able to assess the state of play while the bus was in motion and had identified a loose bit of foam that had been strategically placed, presumably by Stagecoach in Chesterfield, over one of the arms that control the door leaves. This had been done to prevent it from banging on the air unit behind and had worked itself loose. The errant piece of foam couldn't have been glued on as it needed to remain in situ as the bar passed beneath it, so it had been placed at a point least likely to be dislodged - and it appeared to work for well over two years as I'd never spotted it was even there.

A few squares of double-sided sticky pads later and the foam had been attached to the static air unit and the banging ceased.

Since then, I've been attending the bus periodically to start her up and move her a few feet forwards and backwards, but that's about it. There will be a protracted interior cleaning job in the lower saloon once I've got a rally in mind as the bus is pretty dusty, and this with a bespoke sheet of tarpaulin overing the entire upper saloon.

The bus's road tax was due in September and I chose to renew it rather than SORN the bus as I was prompted by the DVLA to self-certificate the bus's MOT at the same time, which is perfectly acceptable (provided the bus is in good order) as she's over 40 years' old and additionally benefits from zero fee road tax. This means that when I do officially MOT the bus I won't need trade plates to drive her to the yard of my friend who'll ensure she is in good condition prior to driving to the Boston MOT testing station. Her last MOT expired a few days into 'Lockdown'.

We can but hope that traditional bus rallies will return next year, in some form or other. With GCT 113 being MOTed as a private vehicle, I'd have to ensure strict 2m social distancing was enforced, whereas on public transport in general this is not enforced to the same standard. And no-one attends a bus rally to be issued a fine, so I suspect if rallies are reintroduced next year, GCT 113 will not be carrying the sort of loads she's done previously.

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