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

Saturday, 17 November 2007

A Gliderways Leopard: Staffordshire's Finest

I get a lot of web searches for the Birmingham firm called Gliderways and obviously many of you still remember those fine classic Leyland Coaches of this seventeen vehicle concern carrying everyone's favourite Harrington Bodywork and sometimes even complete with that period dorsal-fin which made them such a nostalgia Classic Coach . Another nice thing about them is they were based just in Staffordshire at Bearwood just outside Brum Proper and like the Midlands Electricity Board vans they carried those almost exclusive Midland Red Smethwick HA registration letters.After Harrington's closed it's Hove factory this operator turned to Plaxton who bodied this Leopard in 1966. Sadly even though it might look like a Gliderways coach this photo taken at St Georges Drive in London was actually captured one week after operations ceased in the Autumn of 1969. We should have spotted trouble looming earlier because of all things and I say it quietly, they were even buying those horrible Dinky-Toy Bedford's towards the end. At the time I was living slightly further down this road and as you can imagine being a budding artist as well as the Tate Gallery which was within easy walking distance the very close Victoria Coach Station at the bottom of the street was one of my regular haunts especially at busy week-ends.

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