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, 31 January 2010

Long lived Queen Mary's

Surprisingly the rather clever idea of buying convertable open-top double-deckers never really caught on, perhaps seaside operators prefered to store the usual elderly more-or-less time expired conversions instead during winter when the workload fell. But examples from the two best known operations from Southdown with it's Queen Mary Leyland PD3's 400-429 of 1963/5 and Devon General's 1961 'Sea Dog' class MCW bodied Atlanteans 925-933  not only gave sterling service but their novalty value and usefullness gave them interesting extended careers as they could be used not just on the coast but for sightseeing in cities, a VIP platform at sporting events like Ascot, a welcome home platform for triumphant footballers or even of course for the manual-gearbox PD3 an operator's tree-lopper cum training vehicle. Strageley enough former Southdown BUF 425C spent some time with Wallace Arnold which included service work in Torquay before taking on a similar roll with Appleby who had a large share of the Scarborough sea-front service. This restrained livery suited these rather elegant buses well and riding on top with the sounds of seagulls and the cackle of the exhaust the 50p fare was money well spent.

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