T31 in front-entrance formWorcester Park 2008

The T

London General AEC single-decker
Bus planned for operation: T31
Now preserved by Cobham Bus Museum and converted back to its original rear-entrance format, T31 is seen here on the 213 at Worcester Park in September 1949.
Photo © Alan Cross
The AEC Regal single-decker, known to London Transport and its predecessor LGOC as the T class, was not one class at all, but a series that stretched from 1929 to 1948.  Detailed accounts of the type can be found at Ian Smith's and Dick Gilbert's sites.  We are concerned here to profile the first batch of buses, delivered to LGOC in 1929 and known as 1T1s.
Chiswick-styleThe 1T1s marked a significant step forward in bus design, replacing as they did elderly K-type single deckers.  The last 5 of the batch of 50 were delivered new to Sutton Garage for route 113 to Kingston, predecessor of the 213, in tghis case replacing S-types.  The 29-seaters were originally delivered with rear open platforms, but were rebuilt in the mid-30s with entrances behind the front wheels.
The back of the 1T1s were obviously substantially rebuilt when converted to front-entrance.  The most noticable feature is the Chiswick-standard central emergency door; compare the picture of an LT Scooter below.  The opportunity was not taken to incorporate a rear blind; the destination board holders on the emergency door are out of use.  It appears that there were long seats along the side at the back, unlike the LT.
The scene is North Cheam, August 1949.  In the background a Sutton Daimler waits at the lights on route 156, to the left is the Queen Victoria.
Photo © Alan Cross
Scoot, scootThe 1T1s were petrol engined, and ready for pensioning off after the war.  But they were lighter than any other full-sized buses, and were therefore in demand for the weight-restricted bridge at Walton-on-Thames, used by Kingston routes 218 and 264.  So 18 buses were sent to Marshalls to be rebuilt and emerged with diesel engines from scrapped STLs.  A further 8 were strong enough to continue and were also converted to diesel; the whole lot were sent to Kingston.  In the photos above, T32 is one of the former, T31 one of the latter.  They lasted until 1953, when the bridge was replaced.  T31 became a trainer until, in 1956, it was the last ex-General bus sold by London Transport and became the first London bus to be preserved.
LT1078 in the same location on the same day, slightly later in the afternoon.  If this was the next bus along, we could deduce that T32 was headed for Sutton Garage.
Photo © Alan Cross