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

Friday 30 April 2010

London Victoria: Wessex coach 143 in from Bristol

Once there were mostly Leyland, Bristol and older AEC coaches coaches working for National Express. But after the National Bus Company operators were sold off Volvo's became the norm the some years but there were plenty of exceptions like this Plaxton bodied Scania of Wessex seen basking in the sunshine at Victoria Coach Station in London.

RN 9554

A then recent Utic bodied Leyland of RN loads at Monte Gordo for Faro in 1984.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Trent at Matlock

When the National Bus Company added the former BET Group fleets to the already State owned BTC fleets some well known names disappeared. Probably the best known of these was North Western which was wound up as most of it's best routes were within the Manchester PTA SELNEC conurbation. The bus fleet was shared between SELNEC, Crosville, and all single-decker Garages here at Matlock and Buxton went to Trent. The twenty allocation changed here quickly as Alexander bodied Tiger Cubs from the main Trent fleet moved in, but as the SJA Stockport Registration on Marshall bodied Bristol RELL 346 suggests it was ordered by North Western.

Monday 26 April 2010

Duple Three-Axle Bedford VAL

I'm sure many young bus enthusiasts cut their teeth on the Dinky model of the rather impressive Duple Super Vega bodied Bedford VAL. Having several of the type EMP 799B was once No.80 in the Charles W Banfield  but by the Eighties had become a roadside cafe.

Sunday 25 April 2010

St Helens 50 carries a so-called St. Helens Fibre-glass front.

This St Helens East-Lancs bodied Leyland PD2 No.50 shows off it's fibre-glass grill that bears it's name at Warrington. Taken in 1968 the Corporation was celebrating 100 years of the town's Charter. In those days this service was operated jointly with Lancashire United but alas today that company too coming with Greater Manchester North is part of the aquamarine Arriva empire.

Thursday 22 April 2010

The new Arriva Livery?

Well it couldn't be much worse than that aquamarine and sandstone, also of course the new owners might want to buy German buses instead of the more usual Dennis and VDL offerings. This once common Mercedes 0304 bus was seen between journey in Giesen during the Nineties.

Winter Sun in Geneva

R&J bodied Volvo 176 awaits departure time outside the railway station in 1990.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Birch Brothers in Manchester

Now sanitised Central Manchester has lost much of it's former industrial splendour which in some ways is rather sad as there was something rather awesome and historically romantic about it's no-nonsense grim heritage. An interloper from the much greener South was this Birch Brothers Harrington Grenadier bodied AEC Reliance. k25 was the first of a batch of five delivered in 1964. Hardly surprisingly the coach carries 1960's anti-Nationalisation posters because as part of it's interesting history dating back to 1810 the Birch family ran buses between North and South London on the 536 between Highgate and Brockley Rise in competition with General until it was taken over with the formation of what was to become the London Transport of today in 1934.

Sunday 18 April 2010

DB own Pan Bus of Denmark

The German Railways who also run a large fleet of about four-thousand buses is keen to expand. So far it only owns Pan Bus in Denmark and not surprisingly with Arriva's large bus and rain presence in European countries like Denmark, Portugal, and Spain as well as the UK,  DB like the big French rail companies it is keen to snap up this successful but not exactly sexy British operator. For myself I would like to see Arriva go as I really dislike it's insipid colours. I suppose once it's gone though like those much derided Stagecoach stripes we will start to feel some sort of loss. Still all will not be lost as I have a nice little nest-egg of Arriva shares waiting to rise.

it's getting near the end!

I'm sorry but a quick run through has shown that I've already posting this one. The truth is I'm getting towards the end of my Portugal series all taken on just one two week holiday. So I'm going to have to slow down because once they've finished none of you will bother to view my blog. In future rather like the buses in Britain, if they come they come, if they don't they're probably....

On The Buses

Originally uploaded by AEC590
A look back to the Sixties with Leicester buses and the stylish conductoress Miss Wilde.

Saturday 17 April 2010

An interesting array of buses at Marlborough Street

There was never a problem spotting the buses at Bristol's Marlborough Street Garage as it shared the bus and coach station. In Badgerline days post NBC influence can be seen in the more recent purchase of Volvo products and as well as double-deckers also bodied by Alexander were these rather angular P-Series single-deckers plus some decidely more attractive Van-Hool bodied coaches. In the background a Bristol VR seems to have had an argument with a large tree branch.

Lost in London

These two girls didn't even realise  ws photographing them. This was the early Eighties when Routemasters like RM 1398 were everywhere including on the 52.

Monday 12 April 2010

Reminders of Ribble

I hate returning to the places I haven't visited for recently as it spoils my memories of the past. Southport as well as having it's own corporation buses was served by Ribble. Fortunately as with my local former Midland Red certain services retain their old route numbers even if the buses are very different. There were about twenty-five buses at the Ribble gagage here and a similar number further inland at Ormskirk where this bus was heading. I imagine this Stagecoach Plaxton pointer is a Dennis Dart.

St Helens AEC Swift

In the same way the Sixties rear-engined Panther and Panther Cub did nothing to help Leyland's reputation the same could be said for the AEC Swift. However it did have a few fans including St. Helens who aquired about seventy-five new examples with these Marshall bodies and some secondhand buses from nearby Lancashire United. One of these which later passed to Berresford of Cheddleton has been preserved and was seen last year at the POTS bus rally at the Wedgewood Centre at Barlaston.

Friday 9 April 2010

Loading it high bound for Gumaraes

A big favourite of mine from the Portugal holiday was this fine and colourful AEC complete with white-wall-tyres, something that never really caught on in Britain except perhaps on the Vauxhall Cresta. I'm not sure where it was taken either but my guess it's Lisbon.

Thursday 8 April 2010

HT 1753: A new bus and the old at Lyngby

Seen at Lyngby Station north of Copenhagen was this still sparkling new Aabenraa bodied Volvo belonging to HT. It must have been about 1988 and therefor examples of the early Seventies Leyland/DAB parked up to the right would have been by now a rare sight.

9 To Prilly Eglise

Typical of the trolleybuses delivered to the TL Lausanne fleet in the Eighties was No.744 a Hess/SAAS bodied FBW  of 1984.

Yes I'm Number-One

The only thing that made this Mercedes minibus special was that it was No.1 in the Cumberland fleet. However the sight of a  large Taylor Martley Scania 113 squeezing through the once busy town reminds me of the pre-M6 days when the much missed Ribble ruled in these parts.

Wednesday 7 April 2010

What a lovely sight!

For me the trusty Routemaster was never quite the same after the later longer RML series buses were re-engined and refurbished. I liked the subtle Fifties interior of the old buses which of course made proper AEC or Leyland sounds. As the old guard were getting scarce I even made a special point of taking a ride on this bus for old time sake.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Five Faces of Arriva

Arriva built up a large number of Dennis Darts in Britain, but as well as the favoured Plaxton Pointer the fleet carried a wide variety of bodywork. These five examples at Burton on Trent garage might just all be Darts yet carry totally different makes of body. Nearest the camera is a Northern Counties 'Countybus' which came from Kentish and probably ran in South London from Catford. Next to it is a typical Arriva 'Plaxton Pointer SLF'. 2337 may not be a Dart but there are similar vehicles that are with this distinctive East-Lancs 'Flyte'. The company operates a good number of these slightly different not so common Marshall buses too like re-registered 2038 which once bore the old Midland Red '100 years' colours hence it's unusual M100 PHA marque. The Alexander ALX200 at the far end is most likely to be a Scania and came from the Leicester operation, and although Arriva has some of these bodies they are more typical of Stagecoach and First Group.

Monday 5 April 2010

Not a very nice day Mister Macadam

A grey winter day in Hanley, but then again it might be summer with all that English cloud and sticky hot tar-smoke in the air. No doubt all this leaning on shovels was causing congestion at the exit of the bus station as Stonier's former Lothian Seddon Pennine CFS 109L leaves followed by a by contrast smart PMT Bristol VR. Of course these workmen would be wearing bright but as usual filthy reflective jackets today, but somehow they all seemed to survive without being rolled flat like the black macadam.

Majestic but hardly Regal

Well hardly regal or majestic but ahead of it's time in the sense that if this Majestic of Walsall's  Algarve DAF in new condition turned up today one would hardly guess it's age, Certainly one of Caetano's more attractive coaches.

Saturday 3 April 2010

Arriva's homage to Southport Corporation

On my day out, to get out of the cold wind and rain in Liverpool I thought I would test out my 'bus-pass' and visit Southport again. Thankfully 28 years on not only were the lamp-posts still the Corportation 'red and cream' of my youth but Arriva was running a token pair of 'Southport' painted Enviro's on the park and ride which with a little brightness was a  nice sight..

A nice try!

I was hoping to do something a bit more artistic with this shot from Coimbra but it didn't quite work out. However one can still enjoy a glimpse of the coaches awaiting their returning tourists including RN 0630 or is it 0830..

Friday 2 April 2010

Liverpool DockS; Staff Transport

After withdrawl this former Leicester City Transport East Lancs bodied AEC Ronown found work aa a staff bus at Liverpool Docks.

Thursday 1 April 2010

My lovely day-out!

I had a rail ticket to Liverpool and I was determined to enjoy it whatever the English 'Spring' weather threw at me. But my expectactions were not high as the forecast for Liverpool was snow flurries and 25mph winds. So it was not a nice day for standing around on street corners but I had to do some photography. Trying to keep the squally rain off the camera lense I shot this year old Wright bodied VDL, the current favourite with Arriva here in the North West.