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 June 2010

A Stevenson's Leyland PD3 far from home!

It was strange seeing this Leyland PD3 running around Plymouth in Stevensons yellow when CityBus bought it for driver training.

Smiths of Reading

A keen AEC operator I fondly remember Smiths of Readings distinctive red and blue livery as seen on this Plaxton Panorame bodied Reliance seen outside the Station.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Have I No Pride!

No I don't care if it is PINK when I'm taking buses and girls. The pastel shades chosen by the First Group for some of it's special liveries might not be very subtle but they make a pleasant change from all that grey. These Mercedes minibuses are getting quite rare now but they are still popular in South West England where rugged small buses are useful. Seen at Plymouth S529RWP started life on First's Worcester City Services which it inherited with Midland Red West.

Monday 28 June 2010

Duple 425 Coach

Sadly not very many Duple 425 coaches were built but they got high profile treatment with Alder Valley who operated them on it's Londonlink services.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Most of the older Swiss Post Garages were like this consisting of a row of garage units with a workshop-wash and accomodation above. Even those green frosted glass in the door panels were normal, but at some garages if one couldn't see anything through a cracked pane or two they sometimes like at Scoul kindly painted the bus it belonged to on the wall. As you would expect there are no oil leaks on the ground or rubbish here just white snow. They had run Mercedes-Benz buses here since the mid-Seventies but immaculate but time-expired Saurer RH P25829 had found it's way here from Bullach as the garage spare.

Buses & Girls: A Dangerous Sport

When I look back at the things I got away with taking street photography I'm surprised I only had one nasty incident when I got my camera stamped on. Also it happens when one least expects it. I wasn't being too cheeky here as the girl was wearing shorts.

Friday 25 June 2010

Tiverton & District

It would be interesting to see how a Leyland National looks in the pre-NBC colours of some BET Gtoup members like PMT or Yorkshire Traction. Well you couldn't do much better than take a look at this former London Transport Leyland National in service with the Tiverton and District operation of Red Bus in Devon. Red Bus in turn was a subsidiary of the privitised Southern National hence the former SN Bristol VR in the background and cast metal fleet numbers were carried too, a practice that had gone on since before the Second World War with Southern and Western National. Even if one wasn't aware that Tiverton and District was part of a larger group the high fleet-number of 2811 was a bit of a give-away as there were no more than 12-15 buses parked in a yard here.

Blue Bus of Horwich

Like many small Independents set up by former big company manager's Blue Bus of Horwich grew quite big, and was even confident enough to buy new double-deckers and it's vehicles could be seen as far apart as Manchester and Preston where it threatened to take out through crippling competition the wonderful Fishwicks on the Chorley services. Fortunately matters quietened down in the North West when Blue Bus sold out to Arriva. Bolton was one of it's hot-spots and a former West Yorkshire Duple Dominant bodied Tiger was seen in the town during the Nineties.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Wigan's Bus Garage had seen better days

Once towns like Wigan were proud of both their maroon bus fleet and garage. But by the mid-Nineties the world and it's values had changed and Melverley Street Garage looked like it's owner couldn't wait for the day Tesco came along wanting to redevelop the site so the buses could be parked in a fenced yard on harcore which is all they desrerved.

Monday 21 June 2010

Passenger alight BVG 3032

These MAN buses were new in 1994-5 and the few that remain in service are now the oldest double-deckers in berlin as all the others are recent three-axle MAN Lion's. 3032 was seen on the Kurfirstemdam on one of their regular jaunts the long 129 Service.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Luckily unlike British coaches where we might never decide which was our favourite whether it be a Duple Vista Bedford OB, Burlingham Seagull, Harrington Cavalier or Plaxton Panorama Elite, the Setra 215 stands out as Germany's finest. Unlike those horrible foriegn 'white' stripey paint jobs that replaced Livery this one looks superb in Hallmarks bright yet subtle livery.

A Van-Hool Royal Tiger Doyen

I'm not sure which motorway services this is as I was always stopping to check out the coaches. Looks like I picked a good day with a view of a less common Van-Hool bodied Royal Tiger Doyen of Clyde Coast Tours probaby Frazer of Fairlie.

A one-off for Ribble

Midland Red North were to take ten of these Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Tiger buses but one went to Ribble. In it's later years it was to be seen in the Lancaster area. Maybe it was fortunate that Stagecoach didn't have too many as it didn't look too harry in those stripes.

Friday 18 June 2010

The Danish town of Odense

Odense on the Island of Fyn is the fourth largest town in Denmark and birhplace to the most famous Dane Hans Christian Anderson. In the Eighties the Municipal bus fleet seemed to consist of Aabenraa bodied Volvo buses and No.72 was of an older type.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Meet Rachel

This Duple 320 bodied Dennis Javalin was new to Hythe & Waterside ofHardley and was seen during a rare English heatwave passing through Trafalgar Square in the middle of London during the Nineties.

713 Nearing the end of the road

It would seem that many of my Portuguese bus fans are not so interested in the city buses of Porto and Lisbon. That is a pity as I took quite a few shots of endangered types like the last Lisbon half-cabs including No.713.

Busman's Holiday

A Scania belonging to the Israeli operator TAN sit's in the hot sunshine on the beach at the Kibutz at Neviot on the edge of the Sinai Desert.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Rossendale Transport in Bolton

Of the many local Municipal bus companies in Britain sadly few remain. Almost every large town in Lancashire had one including Bolton. But by the time this view was taken in the late-Nineties it too was just a memory. However like the seaside town of Blackpool another survives in the shape of Rossendale formed from the old Rawtenstall Corporation. Since Deregulation it had bought many second-hand vehicles but this Alexander Royalist bodied Volvo Olympian had been new.

World Cup 1966: Where were you?

I was here at boarding school not far from Northwich in Cheshire where for such a small town North Western had a huge garage with Seventy buses. Here it served a number of similar chemical industry towns based on the local salt industry. The newer fleet was AEC particularly the Park-Royal bodied Renown of which there were eleven or twelve. Typical of the older fleet that was mostly Leyland was this attractive Weyman bodied PD2/12 of 1953. Sorry for the poor quality but this was only a junior  single action Ilford Sporty camera.

Saturday 12 June 2010


This former Lancaster and Morecambe Park Royal bodied AEC Regent 111 seen at a dealer and breaker's yard at Worsborough near Barnsley in the early Eighties was appropriately named 'Happy' as despite it's years the converted to open-top 1949 bus was to embark on a new busy career working in London for Ebdon's of Sidcup.

Motorway Stop: Bostocks of Congleton

Although there are still a few about, lightweight Fords and Bedfords were commonplace. Largely favoured by the smaller coach operator medium-sized concerns like Bostocks liked to divide it's new vehicle orders with mostly these and a few heavyweights for the top-end work. On a busy August Bank Holiday with so many bookings for Blackpool everything would be pressed in to service including this Duple Dominant bodied  Bedford YRQ which might do the job but probably coughing out black smoke would be left lagging far behind Bostock's lively Leopards on the steep inclines of the M6 Motorway.

Stafford: A new Yelloways Tiger heads for Paignton

No doubt everyone who knew them loved Yelloways of Rochdale, I certainly do. This view of a splendidly gleaming brand-new Plaxton Paramount 3500 Leyland Tiger might have reassured us that they would be here for ever. But like most of the things we loved about the bus industry progress and consolidation swept them away.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

A Grijo Volvo in Porto

I don't think I've posted this one before.

This bus leaves at 15.35 precisely

The Swiss take time and punctuality very seriously indeed to the more laid-back visitors it would seem that urban life runs like clockwork. This Mercedes-Benz 0405 was seen at Bellevue.

Monday 7 June 2010

Franklins smart AEC Swift

Seen in Borehamwood in it's smart blue livery Franklin's Coaches ran this former Grampian (Aberdeen) Alexander W-type AEC Swift.

Trolleybues in Arnheim

Arnheim has the distinctio of being the only town in the Netherlands to operate trolleybuses. No.147 was pictured in the early Nineties when still fairly new.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Buses & Girls: The subtle approach

I like to get people in my photos and if you haven't noticed women. Someimes though my views wouldn't work without it as it becomes part of the composition and indeed focus in this instance as I caught the otherwise humdrum comings and goings in Plymouth

Saturday 5 June 2010

Sunny Eastbourne

I rather liked these Northern Counties bodied B10D's of Southdown in their revival apple-green and cream. Indeed I took another shot without the cosmopolitan young ladies from across the Channel.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Where to draw the line?

One of the delights of transport photography for me is how the light changes depending on the time of day and season. With the low angle of the sun this looks like a winter shot and my main concern if I remember was finding the best spot to negate glare and the position across the front of the Atlantean for the shadow from the post to fall. Both buses carry East Lancashire bodywork but the Dennis Dominator across the street came from Leicester.

London Transport: South Croydon Garage in 1965

Here is one of my earliest schoolboy photos taken with a cheap Ilford Sporty camera. However one can still marvel at the thought of a whole allocation of  nothing but magnificent RT's at Croydon (TC).