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
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Midland Red over the hump-back bridges at Doxey: 1979 Bus Photography, new inspiration
As a youngster and through the Sixties I was 'bus mad' but the changes brought about by the 1968 Transport Act stopped me in my tracks for with the new regime came the death of much of the bus scene as I had known it. The new National Bus Company in particular turned the colours of old bus companies with fine traditions into a kind of unappetising dollup of school food, one version pea-green and the other looking like weak tomato soup. I also hated those grey wheels so I gave up photography for ten years, but two things restored my interest. Firstly I wanted to catch some images of the last of the half-cabs before they were gone and including in 1979 as funny as it may sound now the fast dissappearing London Routemaster!. But the other discovery was much more significant, it was a book by Ray Stenning called 'A National Bus Company Album'. Not only did the book write more about the places and the world the buses worked in it included interesting illustrations from the best bus photographers each with their own distinctive style. My favourite by far was Tom Moore but this now historically interesting shot of Midland Red National 525 heading back towards Stafford Town Centre on the Doxey Road is pure Tony Moyes. Indeed whenever I find a nice spot and wait for the bus that never seems to come I always think he would have been more organised than me. As for the view, even though the old railway bridge in the background over the main West Coast Line with it's sharp bend turning across the main gate of the Universal Grinding Wheel Company is still there, the other bridge the one I was standing on and which once with the other span formed a kind of giant roller coaster took you over the now long time closed Uttoxeter Branch Line. It too is no longer in use and stands beside a new bit of flat road like some stranded ancient monument. What's more significant even the trackside landmark, the once large Henry Venables timber yard has moved and the vast site is now an upmarket housing development big enough to get lost in but boring enough not to notice.