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

Monday 30 July 2012

Birkenhead was one of Massey Bros best customers and when after bodying some Atlanteans the Wigan bodybuilder started giving it's buses a less sleek angular look it hardly mattered here as they still looked superb in this blue and cream based livery. I remember this day well as it was hot and from every open window seemed to boom 'Saergent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Although nine MCW bodied Daimler Fleetlines had been tried in 1964 solid ultra-reliable Leyland PD2.40's like No.150 GCM 150E continued to be the choice here for now.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Bere Regis & District: Yeates bodied Bedford

When it came to bodwork Bere Regis and District seemed to have everything so it's hardly surprising that the flamboyant Loughborough built bodies of Yeates make a bit of an appearance. 775 MTF a Lancashire registered Bedford was seen at Dorchester in 1969.

Thursday 26 July 2012

DB Geissen: Lohra Profstelle MAN

Taken in the Nineties as well as a smart MAN coach we are offered a nice view of the rather imposing railway station at Giessen.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Plymouth:I've got the Blues I rather miss Wallace Arnold

I thought it didn't seem right that when under common ownership an industry stalwart like Wallace Arnold should be absorbed into what was by comparison a bit of an 'upstart'. No doubt the former Leeds family firm was perceived to be rather old-fashioned, still I think the elderly people who go on extended breaks rather prefer something  traditional that they've always known to the rather brash 'internet age' slightly overbearing purple blue of Shearings. Volvo-Plaxton 9091 WY was one of a number of coaches registered in the Nineties.

Monday 23 July 2012

It's a while since I tasted Newberry Fruits!

It's frightening how the years go by and having attended the first Bus Preservation rally at Newbury Racecourse yesterday I thought I would big out some wonderful gem. Well Thames Valley NRD137M wasn't anything special then in the mid Eighties and it isn't now but you don't see too many today going down the main street in the rain which makes it a little more interesting.

Friday 20 July 2012

Midland Red North had a number of Duple Laser bodied Tigers and Tamworth based 'Mercian' 1607 B607 OEH was caught heading away from the Bull Ring Bus Station towards Drayton Manor Park and Nuneaton.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Cardiff's only Dominator

A solitary bus in the City of Cardiff fleet was this East Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator purchased for evaluation, but instead not only were more Bristol VR's ordered but Volvos and Leyland Olympians too. Looking a bit out of place WTX 51W was pictured at the bus station in 1980.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Porto 62 & 468

Despite it's very British look this Porto trolleybus bound loading for Gondomar was an Italian Lancia with bodywork by Dalfra. No. 468 was one of several late-Sixties built Leyland Worldmasters that was rebodied in the early Eighties by Utic. It was nice that they were fond enough of them to put the old Leyland badges on to the new bodies.

Monday 16 July 2012

Ellen Smith PDK 829M

Some of the best known Independents were staunch AEC operators whilst others favoured Leyland. This 1974 Ellen Smith Duple Dominant bodied Leopard PDK829M was drying off at the firms premises at Wardleworth as the sun came out between the showers in 1980.

Friday 13 July 2012

Friday 13th: Unlucky for some!

Something apt needed today so how about this Lincolnshire Leyland Leopard VYM 504M that had broken down in Peterborough Bus Station with frustrated passengers chilling-out sitting on the step. But at least there were church spires to view through the mild summer mid-morning murkiness. Must have been about 1981 as there were still a couple of reliable FLF's parked in there too. It could have been any day but maybe one of the passengers was a bit fed up thinking "And we deliberately put off travelling on Friday the Thirteenth"

Thursday 12 July 2012

URN 12V. Vale of Manchester

Deregulation attracted many operators to have a go on the streets of Manchester. Amongst the smarter buses were those run by Vale like this former Lancaster Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopard URN 12V It is passing the old Salford Bus Station down below whilst in the background we can see Strangeways Prison in this early Nineties Lowryesque panorama cityscape.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

VOD 90K: Vodka for the narrow Devon lanes

Exeter still tries to be interesting today buswise, but for me as is the case elsewhere it's a bit of a losing battle. I hated the shoddy looking 1970-80s NBC/PTE Era which is why I was happy to snap away in a nostalgic monochrome sometimes taking more creative images perhaps. This quick call one Saturday on the way home in 1980 was a good one with plenty of interesting older half-cab Exeter Leylands and Devon General AEC's to photograph, but these little quirky Marshall bodied Bristol LH's reinforced the idea that I was visiting somewhere a bit different in character. Nick-named by crews 'Vodkas' these little buses were ideal for Devon's narrow roads.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

2853 in Golden Toast Berlin

Today it's like any other city but here is an atmospheric 1982 view of Berlin bathed in golden sunlight after a hot baked day. Much has changed in former quiet backwaters lurking in the shadows of the nearby Berlin  Wall as a whistling MAN of 1976 2853 threads it's way to Moabit. My Brother in Berlin turns his nose up at me for drinking the 'working class' Schultheiss Beer but why sup Becks when I get it by the case at sainsburys? Rather like the Ikarus buses found in East Berlin these vehicles had a pleasant modern front profile which distracted from it's overall functional box-like appearance. Indeed they were somewhat looked down us as being dull for they had none of the character of the wonderful shapely almost eccentric Bussings they replaced or the crisp confident lines and powerful feel of the next generation starting at 3500. Still I miss them too as they also sounded evocatively pleasant especially the earlier ones like this bus.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Jones Coachways in Ramsgate

Once a familiar sight around the country Jones Coachways are no more and quietly forgotten like the cheaper Ford and Bedford coaches that served these smaller Independents so well over the years. WNT377Y was seen in Ramsgate in the late Eighties.

Friday 6 July 2012

Leons P200LCT at Plymouth Bretonside

 I suppose most of us even if we ignore local coaches when we are at home notice them a lot more further afield, perhaps they then seem more interesting too I'm glad I took this one though at Bretonside as the registration number of Leons of Stafford Van-Hool bodied Volvo P200LCT ended up on a Ford Transit minibus which was later sold to Top Travel just down the road where I worked and which I drove many times including on a long hot trip to Cornwall encountering plenty of traffic over Bodmin Moor.

Thursday 5 July 2012

M1440: Chelsea Flower Show Shuttle Bus

One of the high points of the London Social Calendar is the Chelsea Flower show whose visitors were treated to a ride on this Metrobus looking smart in a revived historic London General livery seen here near the coach station. M1440 C440BUV was one of the last MCW Metrobuses delivered to London Buses, one of three delivered for type trials alongside the Dennis Dominator and Volvo Citibus, plus Leyland Olympians which succeeded.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

I used to love arriving at somewhere like Stockport where all the buses of  Manchester and Stockport Corporation plus of course North Western like on some 'model layout'  used to appear from and gather at every corner of the central Mersey Square. The town's ordered proper bus station built in the Eighties nearby and thankfully not lost under some horrible multi-storey car park is not unpleasant but it cannot boast the delights of this rare 1960 Longwell Green Leyland PD2 PJA921 that could almost be missed amongst the other gems and typography. Although based at Bristol, Longwell Green was normally associated with South Wales as the various Corporations chose it for new bus especially Newport.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Foxhound in Blackpool

Once on busy Summer Weekends one could find a colourful collection of NBC and SBG coaches at the the old Ribble Colleseum Coach Station. This image illustrates what I liked about Blackpool in those days where everything was shoe-horned in like some glorious muddle including cars and vans. Today though everything seems much more tidy and clinical and a bit empty of visual excitement, more a satisfying day out for traffic wardens than the seaside kid inside us all. Foxhound was the coach branding of Midland Fox from Leicester but this Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopard No.475 SFV207P had come home as it's original owner National Travel West had been largely based on the former Standerwick's operations here in Blackpool. If one tries to be logical some of these names are a bit silly as why would a bus company that calls it's buses 'Fox and Fox Cub' want 'Foxhounds' and huntsmen blowing buggles on horseback as they are obviously the enemy. However probably it never occured to the planners who most likely thought of rural Leicestershire with it's well known Hunts.