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 28 December 2011

Eagle of Bristol 931DHT

Eagle of Bristol operated this nicely turned out Van-Hool bodied Volvo B10M which was seen in Oxford in the early Nineties

Thursday 22 December 2011

Southdown in the cold

We seem to have forgotten that we used to have proper winters in the past. This was 1969-70 when I was living in a basement flat in St.Georges Drive not far from Victoria Coach Station. Even covered in snow Weymann bodied Tiger Cub 1131 still looked very smart if not totally inviting.

Girls at Wansee

In these dull months it's nice to have a reminder of Spring and Summer like this lunchtime secene at Berlin Wannsee

Monday 19 December 2011

Winter sunlight in La Chaux de Fonds

There are a number of Swiss towns I particularly like and one is La Chaux-de-Fonds in the west quite high up in the Jura Region near the French border where few tourists venture. It is this area where they made the expensive Swiss watches, but I liked it because the town was still running FBW buses plus trolleybuses and there was also a post bus garage nearby. The old Swiss buses had almost gone in 2000 but this Swiss bodied Volvo B10R in an attractive blue, yellow and white livery at least looked Swiss.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Stagecoach Fife: A Welcome Break o the M6

No doubt a welcome break for a cup of tea and what my mother termed "Just going to powder my nose" for these elderly travellers stopping at Sandbach Services on the M6. Before going to Fife No.504 ILL 3504 a Van-Hool bodied Volvo B10M was new to Shearings as E636 UNE.

Saturday 17 December 2011

London, best views are not always from the top deck

Although you see a lot of standing traffic bus photography doesn't always capture the true spirit of London. Turn the camera sideways and a different hustle and bustle of people some on holiday or just going about their daily routine appears. With an upmarket traditional look I always thought The Big Bus Company was the smartest of the open-top tours especially as an enthusiast. KJD109P was one of London Transports Daimler Fleetline DMS class which they hurriedly sold off much too the delight of less fussy operators and at one time most of the capital;s open-top tours were entrusted to these buses.

A no smoking bus maybe....

.....but the passengers don't have to follow it, but the rebuilt  Gardner powered Greenway would have been a big improvement on the notoriously smokey National1. Blackburn 423  though had been one of the first National2's as Midland Red 807 at Stafford Garage which came with a less problematic but loud Leyland 680 engine. As well as this a former Stafford Mark1 National 637 was also rebuilt as a Greenway but stayed with Midland Red.

Friday 16 December 2011

Thirty year old Bedford Val Van-Hool Coach

Stafford town centre doesn't seem to attract many coach visitors these days but just before Christmas there is a daily invasion of coaches from all over the county bringing schoolchildren in to enjoy a Panto held at the Borough Hall. Sadly there is not much sunlight and too many deep shadows and in about 1999 I had to time my click perfectly to get a view of Val's RAR690J a remarkable then almost thirty year old Bedford Val which I guess was by then in semi-preservation.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Old cats and Kittens at Ellen Smith

During the 1980's when Elites and Dominants ruled the roost older more interesting Leylands slowly rotted away beside Ellen Smith's garage near Rochale including a Duple Eliabethen and a Harrington UDK551 Tiger Cub.

Monday 12 December 2011

Samualson's New Transport KLR457D

Sadly some of the smaller BET/BTC operations are almost forgotten like one of my favourites Samualson's whose coaches looked magnificent in blue silver and white. Indeed my favourite of all  London coaches were Harrington Grenadier bodied Leopards DYM452-455C. Samualson's moved to it's home here at Victoria Coach Station when they were bought by it's owner's London Coastal Coaches in 1936. AEC's had been normal but after the Grenadiers Leopards continued to be bought but future deliveries like KLR457D had Duple Northern bodywork.

Friday 9 December 2011

RLH 24 in Basel

One of the nice things about double-deck sightseeing tours is that they use otherwise defunct types keeping them in use for a bit longer. But some are very special like former London Transport RLH 24 doing a tour in Basel in 1990. Normally London developed it's own buses like the RT and Routemaster but at times smaller numbers were needed like these lowheight buses Provincial buses. Of course a batch of seventy-five of these Weymann bodied AEC Regents would be a huge order for most operators but London at one time  had over eight-thousand red and green buses.

Thursday 8 December 2011

December 1986 & a horrible day in Glasgow

When taking bus photos whilst working my visits to Glasgow have been scarce hence this terrible December day for my first attempt in about 1986. With such dull conditions it was hard to get any contrast to lift the scene or mood. But as the people at the bus stop for Ruchill might have told you, the camera doesn't lie. Glasgow City Transport and it's successor Strathclyde PTE took large numbers of Alexander bodied Leyland Atlanteans including UGG387R No. LA 1168.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Arriva F301AWW in the snow

It might not have snowed yet this year in Stafford but at the moment it certainly feels cold. One thing we all seem to agree on though when it does come it's always worth the cold hands and feet to get some less  unusual views of familiar buses. The bonus comes when like this former West Riding Lynx they have been a memory.

Monday 5 December 2011

JNA404 Manchester's old buses

The over zealous use of the red paint spray gun might have really spolit the appearance of the later MCW bodied buses in Manchester but the earlier stock like this solidly elegant streamlined Leyland PD2/3 at Rochdale Road Garage seemed totally unabashed by it. But the no-nonsense feel of  MCTD added much to the grimy northern warmth of the city in the Sixties. Today whenever I see a sparkling former Manchester bus something tells me I'm being cheated because newness did not last long.

Friday 2 December 2011

Happier Days for Hospital Nurses in Stafford

It's sad that Stafford Hospital has received so much bad publicity, but as you can see it was not all bad for us. But actually this was the time when the hospital was in Greyfriars nearby and attractive young nurses were a more familiar sight in the town centre. Happy Days Ford BCX426K was new to Hanson of Huddersfield.