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 30 December 2009

Mid 90's: Arriva buses in the snow

It doesn't seem that many years ago since Arriva Stafford operated a large number of Tigers it inherited from Midland Red North in the town plus mainly former Stevenson's Lynx's. Sadly Leylands have been gone some time now and no doubt the jerky automatic transmission and sprightly performance of buses like H408 YMA would not have been appreciated in the slippery conditions of snow where the more solid ride of the conventional mid-engined Tiger was better.

Trent's first Volvo's were a spot-on

For the newly Privatised Trent the first big gamble was making a major investment in new buses. Their choice of Alexander R bodied Volvo B10D buses must have been a good one for it is one of the few former NBC companies that have managed to stay Independent. Go-Ahead like Trent a former BET company has off-shoots beyond it's roots on Tyneside but apart from buying out Barton who shared much of it's territory this operator hasn't really changed too dramatically.

Monday 28 December 2009

Warrington Bus Station 1998

When trying to get girls in my pictures too it has produced some fine pictures which would not have merited it on their own

Sunday 27 December 2009

Bask in the warm Devon Sunshine

Bretonside Bus Station in Plymouth is a bit of sun-trap and if one can cope with the angle of the sun and it's brightness they can take pleasing views but sadly no longer of it's once ubiquitous Western National ECW bodied Bristol VR's and the girls.

Friday 25 December 2009

Thursday 24 December 2009

Now this is Winter

It takes a lot to disrupt public transport in Switzerland, but on this occasion it came close. I arrived in Davos by bus and fresh snow had fallen on sheet-ice after the previous day's thaw froze solid over night. It was so slippery I almost did the split as I alighted the bus.On the left is a Saurer RH and the other one is NAW built after it became part of Mercedes.

A bit of a squash at Rotherham

Can anyone tell us what the bus underneath might be, iIt must be an Integral to have such a strong roof?

Wednesday 23 December 2009

30 Years Ago Today: Crosville DFG 219 in Liverpool

No it doesn't exactly seem like yesterday but more like Fifteen Years Ago. It upsets me at times but it's hardly surprising that the bus scene has changed so much since my youth. Towards the end of 1979 I got busy with my camera recording the buses from my teens before they departed from our streets for the last time. At this time in Liverpool Ribble was still running it's full-fronted MCW bodied PD3's out to Litherland and Old Roan and Crosville too had a few half-cabs like FS Lowdekka DFB 219 of 1966 heading out to Prescot on the border of St Helens.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Switzerand: Just a little snow

Unlike Britain a couple of inches of snow doesn't affect life in Switzerland and not only do the buses and trains run to time they have time to wash them too. P25360 was delivered to Bern but found it's way to join the other seven 1989-90 Ramseier and Jenzer bodied Mercedes-Benz 0405 buses at the PTT Garage of Hausen am Albis.

Monday 21 December 2009

A Trent National: Derby Bus Station

I had only stopped for a few moment when this official came out to nab me for illegally parking on a disabled bay in Derby Bus Station. I wondered how he saw me so quickly but as you can see CCTV was there even in the days of the National. No doubt he let me off because I was driving a Jag in those days. Trent had plenty of these National1 buses which they repowered with DAF engines, behind it is a Leyland Lynx belonging to Felix. Despite protest from the consevation lobby this 1920's bus station was demolished which was a great shame as not only was it an elegant curved Art Deco structure it was one the first purpose built structures. The council argued that it was not in the right place and it's shape was not suitable for modern buses.

Sunday 20 December 2009

It must be Christmas in Porto

Well this nice liveried Utic Leyland built on DAB frames seen in Porto is going to Arcozelo (Santa) which I expect in English is the village of Saint Arcozelo.

Saturday 19 December 2009

A snowy Knightrider Street Bus Station 1968

I was in Maidstone between 1967-68 and my favourite M & D double-deckers were the Farringdon bodied PD2's and a type that I've grown to really love the Park Royal bodied AEC Regent.

Friday 18 December 2009

PTT Meiringen Garage

The rural garages of the Swiss Post tend to blend in perfectly with their surroundings. Once Meiringen in the centre of Switzerland had quite a varied fleet but by the Nineties much of it's allocation was of these NAW BH 4-23 buses, then part of the PTT but now it's work is done by a pair of local contractors (PAH).

Thomas of Barry

An unusual view of a former Bristol Omnibus Leyland National in service with Thomas of Barry seen in Cardiff in the mid-Nineties.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Lothian 666

If one is superstitious this might just be a bad bus anyway as it bore the Devil's 666 number. Another couple of reasons for it's unpopularity was that not only was it destroyed by fire but of more concern to the local economy was that after buying these it's first two trial Leyland Olympian buses horror of horrors the Scottish Capital's fleet of Lothian went to ECW in England to body a large order whereas most had logicaly presumed the bodies would be built by Walter Alexander nearby at Falkirk like the hundreds of previous Edinburgh Atlanteans. No doubt Eastern Coach Works won it as they could produce them at a lower cost or promised quicker delivery. One of those two-door buses can be seen in the background heading down Princes Street, but might I add Edinburgh's loss was our gain as in the immaculate local madder and ivory livery they were probably the most attractive examples of that type to be found in service anywhere.

Monday 14 December 2009

A stranger rolls in to town

Yes this for me rare Phillips of Ruskington coach parked at Pitcher Bank made my day as I had the good fortune to have my camera with me too. I was particularly fond of smart Leylands like this Duple Dominant bodied Tiger complete with it's wheel-trims and a later added Leyland badge. However I remember there was a problem as I couldn't get a decent enough view from the front because of the tree or maybe there was also another bus parked in front. Okay there was the sun-lit profile of half the coach but as it was it looked wrong like half a picture but then to my delight the lady stepped into shot adding that spark of interest to the composition. Yes I know it's a terrible vice when one starts letting photographic considerations get in the way of those shaky snaps but I'm glad now I tried to make good photographs if possible. The coach was a bit of cracker too as it was new to National Travel NE before being transferred within the NBC to West Riding and no doubt many would remember seeing it.

Sunday 13 December 2009

You haven't had this one: 8516

RN Utic bodied AEC 8516 seen in Evora still looking good in it's old colours.

RN 4990

I don't know if you have had this one before.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Winter is almost here

No doubt it is even colder in Gothenborg.

Friday 11 December 2009

Lunchtime at St Peter's Square

A once familiar sight as a Daimler Fleetline pauses at St Peter's Square in Manchester.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

MAN: Out with the old and in with the new

Towards the end of the Nineties things were changing fast in Switzerand as foriegn interlopers were quickly replacing solid Swiss types. Bern took a large fleet of these MAN articulated buses and they made quite an impression.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Variety in Reading

Reading Transport has always had an individualistic flavour and that continued into the Eighties and beyond with it's liking for nearby London bus types like the Titan and later Routemasters and as we can see here the products of Optare. From the Leeds based manufacturer we can see a Spectre, Delta, Metrorider plus there is a coach-seated Leyland Olympian for the London Service, a former Alder Valley Bristol VR and no less than three of Metrobuses: What more could one want in a photo! Actually I try to get shots with plenty of buses in them and unless it's a special view the maximum is usually eight.

Monday 7 December 2009

Peacock of Dumfries

I have always been partial to AEC and Leyland coaches smartly painted in the colours of Independents. Of course they've pretty well all gone now as is the sort of small operator who took that much trouble. Peacock's Coaches of Dumfries operated this former Wallace Arnold Plaxton Supreme bodied Leopard on it's bus service routes.

Sunday 6 December 2009

Devon General 504 bound for Newton Abbot

Until 1969 Exeter City Council wouldn't allow 30ft double-deckers to operate in the city so consequently Devon General not only did not have any Leyland Atlanteans here till the final G-reg batch, services out to Torbay had to rely on short AEC Regents like this Willowbrook bodied example seen towards the end of it's working life in NBC livery.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Aviero No.40

Aviero's AEC No.40 carried one of UTIC's rather less attractive 'box' bodies.

You're never alone with an Ikarus

A girl enjoys a bit of Spring Sunshine surrounded by the once ubiquitous Ikarus at the old bus station in Potsdam which is also now just history.

Friday 4 December 2009

Greater Manchester N: One-off No.701

This was a real Greater Manchester rarity as Volvo-NC Countrybus 701 was it's only one and was seen in Wigan where I also got spat on by lunchtime yobs departing on an Atlantean. They missed me but as a child I always though Lancashire was always such a friendly place. The trouble is yobs are everywhere.

Thursday 3 December 2009

The start of a new day

When minibuses were all the rage a Maidstone and District rootes bodied Mercedes-Benz 608 minibus leaves Gillingham Garage at 8.am to do a turn on a 'White Road Estate' turn.

Even the trusty Routemaster broke-down.

I have to tell you folks that even the beloved Routemaster broke down on occasion and especially so after the later RML series were re-engined replacing their worn out AEC units.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

North Western Atlantean AN68

One of the reasons cited for Arriva's rather bland aquamarine and sand livery is that it is women-friendly. I guess then this rather colourful former Ribble Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean of the newly formed North Western was very much 'boy's toys'.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

A quick one outside The Tate

It's always easier to pull up somewhere one shouldn't in a van as you can always say you stopped to ask directions. I expect it's even more difficult to get away with it now in London where one of the vast army of over-eager traffic-wardens appear from nowhere desperate to build up their weekly tally of fines. So I don't really miss distance driving any more but back in the Eighties my van often found itself in views too for a quick photo parked on double-yellows. This pause taken outside the Tate Gallery was to record the two Plaxton bodied coaches belonging to the well known operator's Tappin's of Wallingford, Oxford and Kenzies from Cambridge. But in the end I snapped these two passing DMS Class Daimler Fleetlines, one still with London Transport as DMS 469 whilst the other was in the blue and flags livery of sightseeing operator Cityrama.