The Persistence of 113
Trawling through my transport notes of yesteryear, I was minded that another 113 in the GCT fleet that defied all odds of longevity and carried on in service with the operator long after its sisters had been cannibalised. This 113 was not a Leyland Fleetline/Roe, but an AEC Regent III, new to Nottingham City Transport in 1954 as their 161 and registered OTV 161. It was acquired by GCT at the end of 1966 after a shortage of vehicles, initially entering service in January 1967 with fleet number 81. It came with two sisters, 159/163 (OTV 159/163), from the Nottingham City fleet, which were initially numbered 80/82, but by the end of the year the mini batch had been re-numbered 112-114.
112 (OTV 159) was withdrawn in January 1972, with 114 (OTV 163) leaving the fleet a month later. Yet plucky old 113 continued and was even given the dark blue livery in January 1970. The bus soldiered on as the only second-hand vehicle in the GCT fleet and the last-remaining AEC Regent III, of which there had been plenty of examples operated by GCT and its antecedents.
Eventually, ex-Nottingham 113 was withdrawn in November 1973 after an electrical fault and was left at the depot until March 1974 when it was collected for preservation. Today the bus continues to be taken to rallies as Nottingham 161.
The similarities between these two vehicles, both numbered 113, is quite stark. Both remaining as their only type in the fleet long after all others had been removed and both entering into private preservation. There were only ever two vehicles numbered 113 in the GCT fleet and both survive today in an operational condition. I hadn't considered arranging a photoshoot for both vehicles before, but this should surely be considered in the future to mark the significance both buses had in the GCT fleet.