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

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Liverpool: The nice thing about nostalgia

The good thing about nostalgia is that the amount of time lapsing doesn't neccesarily make it better. I see the Eighties and Nineties as even if not a 'Golden Age' it was certainly an interesting and colourful 'Indian Summer' for the bus industry here in the UK. It was full of nice surprises like the former Merseyside PTA buying quantities of former London Titan B15 double-deckers. Liverpool has seen various less than beautiful liveries but that worn on 2354 was perhaps the best.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Lisbon: More bumpy roads

Elderly AEC Regal No.105 wears it's second body and crosses the sort of terrain that shook it's first one to bits. Even the cars don't escape the torments of the cobble-stones and only the tramway provides a kind of smooth ride.

Friday 26 March 2010

Manchester: A quick bite

One of the things about photographs is that they do lie for when they freeze a busy scene it can make it look rather tranquil and relaxed. I tend to try to tell it how it is and I like to get as much reality as possible into my shots and in this view you can almost hear the braking sounds, the hooting of impatient taxis and the roar of the passing traffic in central Manchester. This one is even more interesting as Bullocks who have been operating coaches since the 1920's a little while ago sold just about all of it's bus services and vehicles to Stagecoach including this 'cut-and-fold- look' Dennis trident bodied by East Lancs.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Ah those wonderful light evenings!

Yes the clocks will soon be going forwards an hour and we can look forwards to light nights when sometimes it's 22.30 before it goes dark. One evening I was sent to Blackburn with some trays of components that needed to be returned in a hurry so I had to wait for them. On this occasion it was a pleasure as the soft sun was still stong enough to take some great photos of buses in the town's bus station. The livery on Powercraft's Plaxton bodied Leopard made me think it had come for Rennie of Dunfermaline but that was not the case.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Making the best of a bad job

It's not easy taking pictures in deep shade and against bright sunlight but I stopped in Liverpool especially to get one of this former Southport Leyland PD2 trainer still in it's old red and cream colours in the Merseyside PTA fleet.

Queen Mary with H & M Coaches

Southdown's Queen Mary Leyland PD3's were popular second-hand additions and one found it's way to H & M Coaches of Chasetown near Burntwood.

Monday 22 March 2010


The journey from Copenhagen to Malmo used to involve a short sea crossing with the buses but today as it is bridged it is so much quicker and no doubt there are more Swedes than ever visiting Denmark at weekends on cheap booze trips. In the Eighties one of the regulars on the route was this Van-Hool bodied Scania.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Large Barker Street ate up these Minibuses

Even though one had to resort to snapping minibuses Barker Street Bus Station in Shrewsbury had so much photographic charm one could easily forget they were not proper buses like those old Midland Red BMMO's that once ruled here. As with buses of course progress meant that the perfect had to be replaced by the truly mundane

Former Gliderways Leopard

With it's mild climate Cornwall meaning less corrosion mean't that this part of the world not only could boast many interesting coaches like this former Gliderways of Smethwick Harrington Cavalier bodied Leyland Leopard of 1962 they didn't just rust away. 4426 HA was seen on the coach park at Plymouth Milehouse.

Porto: Could it be a Hino?

Thursday 18 March 2010

A mixture of former Corporation Buses at Wigan

Until some Bristol LH's arrived Wigan had been a 100% Leyland fleet. GMT PTA brought in rear-engined buses to replaced the many Titan half-cabs but once again these Atlanteans from Salford or ordered by Bolton they were Leylands

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Alder Valley's London Link

One of the best innovations of the National Bus Company was the introduction of it's so-called venetian blind liveries on dual-purpose coaches which allowed it's various operators to show some of their original colours or to experiment. Perhaps the boldest of these was that worn by Alder-Valley whose London links vehicles looked very striking in their red and black stripes. This was helped by the rather pleasing lines of the ECW bodies worn on the long wheelbase Leyland Olympian coaches by the NBC on busy commuter express services into London.  No.1510 was seen in Victoria during the Nineties seems to sum up this increasingly colourful period prior to the big break-ups in the industry.

Monday 15 March 2010

Goodbye to Manchester

I was sorry to see the last of the half-cabs go and especially as they had plenty of life left in them like these former Greater Manchester Leyland PD2 Titans heading off to that place which buses most dread, Barnsley or maybe even Rotherham. The first bus with an East-Lancashire body came from the Stockport Corporation fleet which the other former trainer still looking quite smart came from Wigan and carried a body by Massey Brothers built in the town.

Birmingham: New wine in old bottles

It's always interesting to see how modern vehicles fare in the traditional liveries we remember from better times. However despite Alexander R-Type 3225 looking rather brighter than it's fellow Birmingham buses the Corporation livery doesn't look too happy on this angular modern design.

Sunday 14 March 2010

We went to Stratford but all we saw was Bloody Cones!

I expect if William Wordsworth was alive today he would be writing poems about traffic cones rather than daffodils. They certainly seem to flower in the tourist season and no doubt these happy trippers are hoping to take one or two home with them as a souveneir of their lovely day out. But at least it wasn't raining in Stratford on Avon as this Duple bodied Volvo B10M arrives with it's true identity hidden behind that of a former Wallasey Atlantean.

RN AEC 4523

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Leicester 96 becomes City of Lincoln 96

In the early 80's City of Lincoln had themselves a pretty good buy when they purchased some mid-life ECW bodied Leyland Atlanteans off Leicester City Transport not too far away. Not only were they in excellent condition their new owner didn't even need to do a full repaint retaining the primrose base and only needing to replace Leicester's crimson with naturally a  'Lincoln Green' hue.

Monday 8 March 2010

Cologne: Modern Transport

Cologne was badly bombed in the War and you can see in this view the ugly mass of Fifties and Sixties concrete that replaced the old city. However the city planners made plenty of provision for public transport with coordinated fast light-rail services to the suburbs like this one heading for Thielenbruch on the E15.

Sunday 7 March 2010

Green Line RF125

I can't remember where I saw this old modernised London AEC Regal RF but it still looked in decent condition here in the early Eighties.

Imperial of Torquay

Despite still wearing the colours of Imperial of Windsor where it just might have been going to nearby Marlow this Duple Viceroy bodied Bedford VAM was at a new home in Torquay and working out to Marldon.

A Burnley Leyland Tiger PS2/14 & National Mk1 in 1979

Burnley Colne and Nelson was a late buyer of the Leyland PS2 and consequently at least one example,  a 1954 East Lancs bus lasted till the end of the Seventies and makes an interesting contrast to the modern National at Queensgate Depot. Unlike today how nice it was that many of the old livieries suited their surroundings.

Friday 5 March 2010

In Lisbon they never scrap buses

Unlike the rugged half-cab AEC 's of yesterday, or rather the day before as this must be a later yesterday, later buses didn't get through many bodies as unlike the Regal's and Regent's their mechanical parts were no longer of much use either. No doubt though I expect Carras got good value from Eighties Volvo's like No.1434 trying to wear out the cobbled sets as it hurries out to Alcantara. 

Thursday 4 March 2010

Stevenson's: All in a row

It only seems like yesterday but by the time Stevenson's of Uttoxeter sold out it's fleet of yellow buses to Arriva in the Nineties it was by far the largest Independent in Staffordshire and even the country. As can be seen in this view at Spath Leylands made up a large part of the fleet, but of course there were plenty of former London Transport Fleetlines and Metrobuses too.

To Lakenham in the English Summer

When still quite recent VR 282 one of many Eastern Counties VR's makes it's way through the wet streets of Norwich on a very damp day on  Route 556 to Lakeham. Wet weather is a bad time for buses as people get even more lazy and go shopping in their cars as can be witnessed here by the busy streets and full car-parks.