I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD
Sunday, 20 January 2008
TOP TRAVEL TUMBLES
It might not have been a star like Yelloway or Gliderways or even really on the map as far as most enthusiasts were concerned but Top Travel Transfers has been a familiar sight for over twenty-years picking up and taking people mostly to Manchester and Birmingham Airports from their homes in a twenty-five miles radius of Stafford taking in much of the County including the Industrial Areas areas of what is now the County of West Midlands. Top Travel started as a travel agent with a number of Travel Shops before it lost them but it had been a pioneer of the free Transfer with our Insurance concept. Even though it had become somewhat ' run-down and cheap and cheerful', right to the final week we still had an unrivalled reputation for reliability and we were still getting bookings from regulars in our area and as well as Stafford itself of course were particular hot spots like Rugeley and Wednesfield. However that side of the business had really suffered a decline over the last couple of years and especially so after the inheritor of Top Travel's Shops itself went bust meaning that our firm lost not only a large amount of money another problem was that Harveys, the new owners no long dealt with us after a disagreement. The bright areas of the business was some private hire work plus regular school contacts from the County Council. Most of the sixteen vehicle fleet were elderly Ford Transits and LDV's but we had a couple of midi-coaches too which worked out to Denstone College not far from Alton Towers on the other side of Uttoxeter. Painted in Top Travel's rather unusual dark red and silver colours was a Mercedes which came from Halls Taxis, whilst the neat looking Toyota came from Crystal Coaches of Penkridge. Shortly after I arrived they stopped using the easy to spot company livery and later arrivals were used in the various white colours in which they arrived as an economy measure.