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

Sunday 30 September 2012

Cheesed-off in Chester

I have fond memories of Chester with it's very traditional chocolate coloured Corporation Guys and lined out solid Tilling Green and cream Crosville buses. So a quick call on Sunday in the mid-90's at the by them First Group owned old  Liverpool Road depot was a slightly depressing prospect but being the best of a dull lot I reluctantly took this photo for the record. Still as is always the case those long departed former PMT Mercedes minis are of more interest now in their transitional guises as the bus scene evolved..

Friday 28 September 2012

Departure time at Victoria Coach Station and a London Country SE Berkhof bodied Leyland Tiger B119 KPF heads off on it's regular Flight Line shuttle to Gatwick.

Thursday 27 September 2012

In difficult times it always provokes bad feeling when a large operator sells off good buses only to have them snapped up cheaply by the competition, and former Merseyside PTE Leyland Olympian ECW 0031 ACM705X hadn't travelled very far at all being bought by Fareway. Following it in Liverpool was another former PTE vehicle a West Midlands Park Royal bodied Daimler Fleetline whilst a Merseybus Atlantean in the attractive Deregulated maroon and cream livery seemed to be picking up a lot more passengers on it's way to New Brighton via the Mersey Tunnel.. 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

TTT173X The Plymouth Olympians

I was fortunate enough to go around the large Milehouse garage in Plymouth on a couple of occasions. As you can see my last visit witnessed a still newish Olympian. Even though Plymouth had legions of Atlanteans these three East Lancs bodied Leylands weren't popular here and were non-standard enough to warrant an early sale. After a spell with Stevenson's of Uttoxeter they moved on to Wilts & Dorset. Indeed the mini-bus era was about to start followed by the single-decker and so apart from a few second hand units for schools work the double-deck fleet gradually disappeared including the open-top fleet. Thankfully in recent times used modern double-deckers have been reintroduced on a couple of busy routes.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

An interesting bus when I photographed it at Exeter with Devon General was 995 one of a small batch of Plaxton Bustler bodied Leylands acquired with Brixham Travel. Not only was it by this time the last big bus in former mini-bus driver Harry Blundreds eccentric now almost totally minibus fleet, but after a spell at Oxford where it joined it's sisters this much travelled Tiger was bought by Midland Red North and being at Cannock Garage it became a regular visitor in Stafford. By coincidence at the time the MRN General Manager who also lived in Stafford was Tiger fan Chris Hilditch who christened them 'our battle bus' and who shortly moved here to Devon to be boss here for new owners Stagecoach where they quickly thinned out those little not too popular so-called Bread Vans. F278 HOD moved on again to P & O Lloyd in North Wales for more service.

Sunday 23 September 2012

D Coaches of Morriston

It's often a bit breezy on the East Coast but at least it wasn't raining when this Duple bodied Bedford D.Coaches of Morriston cruised along the Promenade at Scarborough. By the early 90's Bedford  and Ford PSV's were starting to become quite scarce.

Saturday 22 September 2012

BVG 3403

A grey day at Richard Wagner Platz in the 90's as MAN double-decker 3403 takes on more passengers on a Service-Extra on the longish Spandau to Zoo service. To reduce mileage routes like this have been cut out of the system when there is an alternative U-Bahn link. Very close to this spot is a very good rail model shop which is worth a visit.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Stafford the day the Vikings came!

Well peaceful Danes perhaps...Taken over twenty years ago with the added traffic and roads Stafford Market Square seemed very different. I realise the noise and fumes weren't very healthy but did people really mind the traffic or like me did they think it added a bit of life and interest. But even if you disagree the downside is that today when one walks into a town they have to negotiate a windswept featureless no-mans-land of tarmac and railings in the shape of the ring-road. Even worse this zone just beyond the centre often featured the bits that made that place special whether it be small shops, historic architecture, or just walks and wildlife habitats. Today I'm afraid towns are about cars, the spirit of a journey no longer counts, it's all about arriving in a controlled way and the spend. As for the buses, town services used to go down the main street and generations of buses like Midland Red North National 558 NOE 558R used to pick-up in the Market Square. Today of course they have to go a longer way which means a longer trek with the shopping and it slows the service down but it seems to work if one can remember where the correct bus stops are.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Britannia & Proctors of Bedale

I left it a bit late to adopt colour photography for my UK buses, but the 90's still had it's rewards as there were still some smart all-British coaches to enjoy like this smart Duple bodied Leyland Tiger USU345 of Proctor of Bedale which was parked at Blackpool alongside another smart coach a Plaxton bodied DAF belonging to Britannia of Telford.

Friday 14 September 2012

I rather liked the old rather ramshackle Coventry Pool Meadow with it's rustic looking 1920's architecture, much nicer than the modern tidy glassed CCTV controlled facility today. By 1979 Midland Red's Willowbrook bodied Leyland Leopards were becoming a blast from the past too like this tidy Nuneaton based bus 6443 CHA 443K.

Thursday 13 September 2012

The Danes know a thing or two about smart liveries as can be witnessed by the clever blend of subtle but bright colours which would not normally work well together. Of course the imposing Van Hool body on this Volvo B10M seen in Copenhagen in 1982 makes it look even better.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

It's a pity the fear of petty crime plus of course the  'health and safety' culture of today makes normal bus depot visits a thing of the past as one often found all the most interesting buses parked around the back out of sight. The Midland Red South garage at Nuneaton had a large yard at the back and on here one could find members of the driving school fleet. Midland Red liked yellow for it's ancillary vehicles as was worn by this former Harper Brothers Duple Commander bodied Leyland Leopard ORF 458F which had at some time found a Plaxton front following an accident. Other concerns including Bristol Omnibus where former Bristol FLF No.7107 552 OHU originated preferred a mid-blue for training buses and what makes this once common bus rather more interesting is the fact that Bristols of any description were more or less unheard of with Midland Red.

Sunday 9 September 2012

Until these ECW bodied Atlanteans LDX 73-76G  arrived in 1968 Ipswich was very much an AEC Regent based fleet, but at nearing thirty years like many open-top buses former No.75 would enjoy an extended career and looked ready to do a few more seasons at a sunny Eastbourne in the Nineties.

Thursday 6 September 2012

3893: A clean sweep through Kreuzburg

All-over advertising buses once featured widely in Berlin and perhaps the best remembered were the Cosy-Wasch car wash buses. Not only does the vibrant livery not only still not ruin the classic Eighties lines of 3893 one Berlin's nicest MAN double-deck type it seems to cleanse the grey winter avenues of inner-city Kreuzberg.

Monday 3 September 2012

In Municipal days towns enjoyed the kind of bus service passengers can only dream of today and trolleybus routes were particularly frequent. When Maidstone replaced them with high capacity Masey bodied Leyland Atlanteans they increased the timings but when I was there in 1967-8 shortly after abandonment one still only had to stand three or four minutes on the Tonbridge Road for a bus to town during the day.