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, 30 December 2007
Not only were Southport Corportation buses turned out in an extremely smart red and cream livery they made even that hated Metro-Cammell 'Orion' range of bodywork look stunning. Also one knew exactly which Lancashire town they were in too as the lamp posts were decked in the same splendid colours. But I expect it was not only bus enthusiasts who bemoaned the passing of this rather upmarket retirement town and genteel holiday resort into the enlarged Merseyside Authority in 1974. Indeed it must have been something of a shock for the local people, the effect I imagine being rather like seeing true blue Worthing being absorbed into Brixton and other poor South London Boroughs. As you might have gleaned Southport is a bit special for me as my grandparents had a big house there in Lulworth Road. But as far as bus operations were concerned there seemed little operational sense amalgamating the small 55 bus system with the giant Liverpool and close-to Wirral because unlike St.Helens which passed over at the same time and was much closer, the buses in Southport never saw much from Liverpool apart from buses of now NBC owned Ribble whose vast territory provided a cosy semi-rural buffer-zone. However absorbing the all-Leyland fleet which had recently recieved new Atlanteans with very Liverpool style Alexander bodywork and at the time of the take-over a delivery of Leyland Nationals there would not be a problem as there were already plenty of similar buses in the fleet. Even Southport's twenty-two Panthers would feel at home as Liverpool had contributed 110 MCW bodied examples of this rear-engined beast, albeit with far less attractive bodywork by the same manufacturer of this bus. Of interest might be the fact that from this working view of former No.70 of 1968 we can clearly see there is a definitely bowing of the window-line either side of the central-doors with the rear section tilting slightly backwards. Whether this was part of the design or worrying signs of structural weakness I'm not too sure, but it is no secret that this generation of 36ft rear-engined single-deckers from Leyland, AEC, and Daimler all suffered from flexing caused by mounting the heavy power-unit on it's side right at the back which also affected their reliability and ride.