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 31 July 2013

A First-PMT Lance Verde in Crewe

Some of the local area liveries chosen by the First Group were not very nice at all, but even though apart from being a bit drab and depressing I never hated what we knew as 'Barbi', but 'Barbi2' as worn on older buses was a bit of a washed-out looking mess. Fortunately a bus which would qualify First-PMT 861 at Plaxton Verrde bodied Dennis Lance was still looking pretty good in it's old PMT colours when captured at Crewe, and I'm sure a few more people might want to ride on the buses in the Potteries were they to look a bit more friendly like their own buses again.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Padane: Sightseeing in Trieste

A bit plain and less eye catching than some of their products but in the same way I'm pretty sure it's built on a Fiat chassis I believe this coach was built by Italy's best known 'carrozzeria' Padane. Shot in the early Eighties one can easily see how these continental designs were also influencing the British market.

Saturday 27 July 2013

LFH 720V Castleway of Winchcombe

LFH 720V a Plaxton Supreme bodied Leyland Leopard in the Nineties belonging to Castleways of  Winchcombe who had an unusual mostly black livery picks up a healthy load at Stratford on Avon on it's service to cheltenham.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

For Liverpool as in Manchester Deregulation brought out the competition on former PTE services and lots of new liveries. One of the most colourful was Fareway who was operating this smartly turned out former London Park Royal bodied Fleetline B20 DMS 2425.

Saturday 20 July 2013

The Cosmopolitan Ku-damm: Once the heart of bustling Berlin

I think if I have a message on photography it's bus pictures don't have to be boring even if it means the bus just becomes the excuse. No doubt because the heart of Berlin has moved across to the former Berlin Wall to the East the once bustling Ku-damm has lost much of it's vitality, anyway at least further down. I once asked a BVG driver if the MAN airport buses were better than the  Merc 0309's like 1495 which
helped out and he replied

Friday 19 July 2013

SCK 696P: Three Leyland Types in Wigan

Like Stockport the town of Wigan was a late retuge for theGreater Manchester half-cab Titan and I made a point of calling. But now  over thirty years later even the humdrum National Mk1's have their notch on the measure of transport nostalgia and especially with a proper name like Ribble. Wigan usually ordered Leylands but the body orders were split fairly between the two local bodybuilders with a PD2 of Massey and an Atlantean of Northern Counties showing it's rear bustle.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Sadly London Country didn't keep it's later Reliance Green Line coaches for long but at least it enabled Independent AEC fans to acquire late examples for their fleets. From St Albans garage RB 90 was caught at Heathrow Airport.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Choice Going Solo and Keeping it simple

Even though I still haven't forgiven him for forcing the seemingly everlasting Arriva aquamarine on us I have nothing against Ray Stenning. But I have to say I'm not a big fan of his 'Best Impressions' in general which employ too many swirls, graphics and a palette full if ever so slightly horrid colours. Instead I prefer the simple approach, good clear uncluttered lettering and pleasing complimentary primary colours. Choice of Willenhall is just a memory now but they always stood out as being bright and clean looking, and better still even bright and clean looking when strictly speaking they weren't. Not everyone likes the Opare Solo but as low floor midi with easy access they are ideal for semi urban country routes like the Staffordshire County Council sponsored 880 which skirted Wolverhampton to Codsall to the west from Stafford. It now has been extended into Wolverhampton itself as Arriva does it now as the 88.

M&D: The unfamiliar becomes commonplace

Surprisingly for a BET company with such a large coach fleet Maidstone & District was devoid of the ubiquitous Plaxton body as beefy Duple Commander bodied Leopards followed the elegant AEC Harringtons. But under the NBC closer links with nearby East Kent helped bring the pleasing Panorama Elite into the fleet too such as WJG151J pictured looking tidy at Gillingham . As if to return the favour East Kent buses didn't carry any fleet-numbers till NBC days relying on their registration number so it was fortunate that they didn't have to buy much second-hand.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

City of Nottingham Leyland coaches stand waiting to go home after an event at the Birmingham NEC in the Eighties. Both the Duple bodied Leopard and Tiger had inherited registration numbers off the cities early Fleetlines.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

My LT Collection: A mini bus rally in the garden

When I started collecting I was a bit slow catching on to London buses as I try not to be like everyone else. The trouble is there is such a good selection of Londom Transport based models from my era arounf the Sixties and some are nice castings too. My favourites are the Corgi RM and RTW, and I also like them to come from a good range of garages so to test your knowledge starting at the far end is: NB.D.BN.FY.CT.FW.SW.DG.GR.HG.EG.

Sunday 7 July 2013

Birmingham, Hot ride on a Jumbo

Almost as rare as winning the men's singles championship at Wimbledon so we might as well celebrate the sunshine with an ice-cream. A West Midlands Jumbo Fleetline 3972 SOE 972H and so what more could you want except of course winning those Vernon's Millions or failing that just a browse in Hudson's Bookshop.

Here's the deal: Any colour you want as long as it's a horrid Trabant!

One good thing I suppose is car theft and joy riding would have been unheard of in East Germany before Reunification and that must have been reassuring as families saved up for years to get their environment damaging two-stroke dream car. No doubt many were a lot more content under Communism and will miss being younger in 'the bad old days'. Lucky tourists wanting to see how the other half lived came before the Wall came down like this party from France on their Bova Futura 'Super Coach' of Levet. The last two numbers tells you where it was from but I've forgotten them all apart from Paris being 75.

Saturday 6 July 2013

ATK 160W East-Lancs: Shouldn't it be a Roe down to the Hoe?

In later years East Lancs bodies gained a reputation for poor quality indifferent and even ugly designs. However I very much liked the bodies found on Plymouth's later Atlanteans which followed the even more attractive Park Royal-Roe NBC standards. From about 1980 pristine ATK160W No.160 looked very smart indeed on the Guide Friday 'Plymouth Tour' operated in partnership. Even more pleasing it was at the time at the end of the Nineties when so typical of Plymouth conventional Atlantean roar no longer competed in decibels with those greedy herring-gulls. Sadly with the demise of Guide Friday Plymouth stopped running open-top buses in summer which I feel is a mistake as there are wonderful views to be enjoyed down by the Hoe and all the way down narrow roads to seemingly far off Jennycliff beyond the greyness of the city.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Crusader ex-Trent Leopard

This still attractive former Trent Alexander Y-Type Leopard seen in Derby hadn't travelled far from home. I pruseme it was owned by 'Crusader' from Staunton Harold nine miles away on the Leicestershire boder not far from Ashby de la Zouch. Companies have a lot of meaningless names for many but maybe the connection here is 'The War of the Roses' as many famous battles were fought in the area, but for some they might think a crusader someone who does 'coach cruises'.

A long bus ride on the 245 to Tegal?

Much of central Berlin is hardly beautiful especially the areas like this near Zoo Bahnhof which were covered in uncompromisingly square concrete and glass after the war. Somehow the shape of these MAN buses fitted in nicely but unlike a lot of the architecture we now miss them as they had a turn of speed powerful roar and so much more character than the very quiet and more sophisticated new generation of more lumbering six-wheel Lion buses. The 245 on a bus like 3912 was a long and interesting ride all the way to Tegal as it criss-crossed a meandering path either side of what was once East and West Berlin. Sadly with more focus on the U-Bahn system many once long routes like this have been cut back as for some reason people prefer to get there at greater speed by rail but we can't all be on holiday.