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 29 March 2013

East End Faces in Brighton

Even though it wasn't a very good arrangement operators like Brighton ran half-cabs as opo buses from new. Conversion to open top gave these about another ten years of extended life outliving the similar Southdown Queen Mary's on all-day work in the town. MCW bodied Leyland PD3 LUF132F No.32 was seen on the seafront at about Easter 1980.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Ugly front spoils Lincoln VR UFW38W

Because it required a less than beautiful radiator grill at the front it seemed with the exception of Alexander's  the only really attractive looking Bristol Vr's was the classic ECW partnership. However crisp newness and the attractive version of the Lincoln livery did much to improve the looks of this also very square East Lancs body

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Stuart James C913 LPB

One reason why I haven't put this photo on before is I've had trouble remembering this firms name but I think it's Stuart James who coaches could often be seen at work in London. I liked them but until I finally got this shot near the Tower of London they always evaded my lense.

Saturday 23 March 2013

I doubt if this Ikarus could fly

As most things seemed a lot older in East Germany one might have expected to see plenty of interesting old buses but sadly that was not the case as even if nothing looked exactly new it was very standardised. So seeing this Sixties Ikarus 55 coach shortly before the wall came down was something of a pleasant surprise. It is interesting to note the slight frontal resemblance to later models of this Hungarian manufacturer.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Mercedes-Benz 1559 stripped ready for scrap

Close to the large BVG Indra Gandhi Str depot in the old East Berlin used to be a bus compound where redundant buses were stripped or stored prior to sale. One the first occasion I came the bearded guy in the mobile hut was friendly relaxed and let me wander around taking photos, but the next time it wasn't interesting enough to go inside so I just took one photo from outside the gates and the same caretaker came running out almost foaming at the mouth like a rabid dogs shouting and waving his fists at me. The next time it was closed and empty.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

WMPTE liked the Volvo Ailsa

Sadly none of the liveries found on PTE buses could compare to the often more elaborate and in many cases better kept municipal hues they replaced. But even if it was a slightly watered-down version of the old dark blue Birmingham City Transport, West Midlands PTE was better than most and it looked rather attractive on these my favourite vehicles in the Seventies fleet  Alexander bodied Volvo Alisa's bought and operated on old Midland Red routes from garages like Sutton and Oldbury. After buying three trail buses another fifty followed including 4742 JOV 742P. The later Volvo Citybus was considered too but the idea was dropped as it would have hurt the MCW who was building the Metrobus in the city.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Williamson's on the X96

Once the long distance services like the X96 which crossed much of the BMMO empire were a source of pride for Midland Red. But during the NBC era they were cut back and by the time Williamson's were operating it, it only ran from Birmingham to Shrewsbury.  Nevertheless this former Colchester Leopard looked rather good as it headed out into the sunshine leaving the gloomy depths of the Bull Ring Bus Station behind.

Monday 18 March 2013

1989: New Buses in Brighton

There seemed to be plenty of colourful new buses around to enjoy at the end of the Eighties before the major groups gobbled them up. Brighton was busy buying the Lynx and Brighton and Hove, East Lancs bodied Scanias whilst the Privatised  Southdown had little to show for itself till Stagecoach took over apart from these NC bodied Volvos about ten in number.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Aritillerivej Garage Copenhagen in 1982

It might look quite big but the HT depot close to Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport housed only sixty-two buses in 1982 when I took this view at Artillerivej, 1977 Aabenraa bodied Volvo B59 No.868 was one of many as were the DAB's of course.

Manchester: How liveries have changed

These once familiar liveries are but a memory now and surprisingly even though I detested it at the time I've come to almost like those Stagecoach stripes on certain types of bodywork especially the more squared designs that typified the operator like Alexander R'Series, The Dash and of course these Mercs. First's unexciting tomato soup garb didn't look any more appetising or bright with blue looking like purple.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Buddens in Brugges

One of the highlights of a weekend coach trip to Amsterdam with some Michelin lads from Stoke was a stop on the return trip in Brugge. As usual unfortunately it coincided with a huge thundery rain storm so I didn't get many photos just my feet wet. However here is a local being questioned by the police as he was trying to steel some medieval 'balls and chain' hardware used to add to the historic ambiance and to keep cars off the grass. They wouldn't have lasted longer than a short Smethwick shower if that old transit with a blowing exhaust full of tinkers came along blowing it's recorded trumpet. "Officer, we thought like someone had left them out sort of thing".

Saturday 9 March 2013

It's Bacon Lettuce and Tomato 189

......Anyway it's a lot easier to call it by that than scribble down the name of this firm BBS.
I don't think the German bus fans show the same levels of loony enthusiasm as can sometimes be found in Britain on Portugal, but I think this one with a B-LT registration might get the Berlin fraternity excited. The main BVG bus fleet was highly standardised but a little more variety could occasionally be found in it's sightseeing buses where in 1982 this 'white lady' really stood out from the more usual rather brash and slightly monstrous double-decker Neoplans and no doubt will stir quite a few memories. 

DSB 718:Sunshine in Kolding

At that time in the late Eighties these Aabenera bodied Volvos were the most typical buses in the railway owned DSB fleet which was enlarged when it took over the town services in Kolding.

Thursday 7 March 2013

It's simply chocker-block at Bretonside

Plymouth has always been a mecca for visiting coaches in the season for visiting the historic city and of course included was a boat trip around the naval dockyard at Devonport. At one time in the Nineties the tarmac still used to heave as we see here with familiar coaching names like Battersby Silver Grey of Morecambe, Copeland from Stoke and on a typical day trip too Bere Regis of Dorchester. Interestingly all of these coaches were imported with just 7017 UN having a British  bodybuilder as not only had Leyland lightweights went out of fashion and the few still left in service didn't normally venture far beyond their local school runs.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Bury training it's drivers in Manchester

On a murky morning in 1967 before the Manchester sun had managed to break through a Bury East-Lancs bodied Fleetline on driver training duties edges it's way through the city centre.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

A former Bristol City Line Bristol VR with PMT

One of the more interesting things about the big bus groups was the way they surprised us with some of their vehicle transfers between companies. Even though PMT acquired a large fleet of new Leyland powered Bristol VR's in the NBC era, this dual-entrance Gardner engined bus from Bristol seen in Stafford was a bit out of the ordinary.

Monday 4 March 2013

Stevensons Olympian on the old Midland Red 112

Still looking very new No.97 was one of a pair of Stevensons Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians which being the most recent buses at Burton was the usual choice for the long 112 to Birmingham.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Stylish Camper in Denmark

It looks like some Germans from Aachen had turned this Dutch Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster into an attractive travelling home and was caught on the quayside in Copenhagen. Still in it's original livery complete with fleet number many here will know what it is.

Trathens Neoplan Skyliner K701TTA

This view taken at Plymouth Bretonside must have been taken in about 1993 as two recent vehicles prepare to depart, in the background one of the very first Volvo Olympians of Western National on the X80 to Torquay whilst a Trathens Neoplan has a decent load on a 504 London departure.

Saturday 2 March 2013

P23011 in Bellizona

Bellinzona south of the Alps seems to live up to it's name and when it rains or snows in Zurich it's still sunny and warm here. In the summer though it changes around as it can be wet down here. About thirty post buses used to be housed here including this little MAN on a town service.

Berlin's answer to the traffic cone

It's certainly not pretty but at least there is nothing to get kicked and scattered everywhere. As long as I can remember BVG has always had a few luxury coaches like Mercedes-Benz 1360 seen here in the Eighties and even built up a decent sightseeing bus fleet but there are hardly any now.