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 5 November 2008

Greatrex of Stafford

Greatrex grew up during the War and was the main Stafford coaching concern till it's demise in the Eighties when it passed to the Austin family who also ran buses and coaches from nearby at Knightley near Woodseaves. Happy Days coaches as they are better known now have their premises just a stones throw away from the site used by Greatrex before this scruffy area off Greyfriars was redeveloped as small business and retail park. Once like many others till the early Sixties the distinct light metallic-blue and maroon fleet was full of interesting gems but the lightweight era brought firstly Duple bodied Commers and then it was the same combination on Thames and Ford. By the time Ford 1114 No.153 YRE 465S had arrived the metallic finish had been replaced by a more managable light blue. With a change of ownership and fleet name to Staffordian Travel the livery was changed again to silver, gunmetal and orange but the fleet numbers remained the same. Staffordian was eventually taken over and merged with Happy Days but a few coaches still wear and white livery with Staffordian names.


Wes said...

Chris: You've got some very nostalgic bus and coach photos from around Stafford. By any chance do you have any that show any of the service buses that Nicholls of Milford used on the Haywoods service which I assume Greatrex took over? Wesley Till

christopher said...

Hi Wesley,

I remember them well but as a teenager I think I found them a bit too dull unfortunately and especially as in those days there was so much to take an interest in. But you are in luck as I have a Greatrex garage scene which shows two of the former Nicholls vehicles in Greatrex colours. Next time I do some scanning I'll get it out ready for posting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wesley,

I used to ride on a number of these vehicles regularly in the eighties when they had transitioned to Staffordian livery. YRE 465S is a plate I remember well along with SUX 260R, XWX 175S, GEH 299T, GEH 300T and my favourite MNL 661X with its rhombus-shaped windows