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

Thursday 30 January 2014

H856GRE: PMT Leyland Lynx

A PMT Leyland Lynx seen in Stoke on Trent when still quite new. These buses were tried alongside a number of Optare Deltas, but neither saw further orders as Dennis Darts became the usual choice here

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Nottingham 508 makes a Dash for it!

Avid buyers of Alexander products Stagecoach seemed to make the little Dash body very much it's own, but there were other takers as well including this Volvo in attractive Nottingham City Transport colours.

Monday 27 January 2014

BNH246C: Northampton's Finest

In the early Eighties the fast dying breed of half-cabs like the Northampton Roe bodied Daimler CVG6 buses already looked something of an anachronism. But these were so solid elegant and reliable one almost couldn't understand why an operator should need to get rid of them as unlike the newer types they didn't seem to age looking very much as if they would happily go forever. Four years their senior 1965 BNH246G lasted till the end running alongside the final G-Reg buses and cornering briskly it was obviously still a good lively performer.

Sunday 26 January 2014

50p and all the fresh air you can breath

One of the delights of Scarborough has been it's open-top seafront service which has seen a rich variety of buses over the years. Once United was the key player in the town but in the Eighties East Yorkshire took over as can be witnessed by this former Sunderland Atlantean No.607 NCN 107L which ran alongside misleadingly similar looking converted ECW bodied ex-United Bristol VR's too.

Friday 24 January 2014

AUB164J: Swift work in Leeds

Even though the Municipals that make up West Yorkshire PTE had to stop buying the AEC Regents in the Sixties newer Southall products could be found in the shape of a few Swifts such as No. 1064 AUB164J seen hard at work in Leeds.

Thursday 23 January 2014

PMT A Blue Bus to Bradwell

In a special dark blue version of PMT livery to advertise it's half-hourly journeys on the 17 was ECW bodied Leyland Olympian No.736 in Hanley.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

EWW226T. Never mind the Loch Ness Monster Stafford is really worth seeing!

I thought it was rather apt that as a German school party admire what used to be Stafford's equivalent of the Berlin Wall parked alongside their rather desirable Magirus Deutz was EWW226T. I checked as after Wallace Arnold finished with them Happy Days acquired no less that four examples which would have spent many an hour on the coach and lorry park next to Props Wine Bar. But as it turns out they had EWW223-5/7 but not 226. Also of course this ugly wall is long gone as this is now the corner of Sainsburys Car Park which maybe why we hardly see any tourist coaches any more in the town.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Reunifacation: Former West German buses cascaded into the former East

After the Reunification of Germany, in the former East despite new examples still entering service the Hungarian Ikarus bus became obsolete. Their demise was quite rapid as their numbers were quickly thinned as cascading mid-life but more sophisticated and attractive buses from undertakings in the West like this MAN bendibus seen in Potsdam took their place.

Monday 20 January 2014

JKK 197E: Maidstone & District Panther

When I was in the town despite Maidstone and District having sixty-five of these Willowbrook bodied Leyland Panthers only one was allocated here S97.Carry 'M' the depot code it still looked new beneath the grime as it prepared to leave for Canterbury on the joint service with East Kent.

Sunday 19 January 2014

F364WSC: Could it be anywhere except Edinburgh?

As one would expect an always immaculately turned out Lothian Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian negotiates  busy Princess Street in Edinburgh in the Nineties.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Not so dinky VAL

As kids Meccano Magazine and Dinky Toys made 'must have'  instant celebrities of the latest PSV's including the three axle Duple Vega Major bodied  Bedford VAL. But in reality of little surprise was far more were sold bearing sleek Plaxton Panorama bodies as coaches like 1944 AP dating from1963 at Exeter in 1979 looked not ugly but a bit cumbersome and heavy.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Stafford 2014: Smile it's one of the newest!

Most of my posts date from before the year 2000 but now I have treated myself to a really good camera again I've started taking a bit more interest. Buses aren't what they once were for me so I'm more minded to catch them in more interesting settings like the area when I used to live down the Marston Road. At one time Arriva had about sixty buses at Stafford but since it was downgraded it now runs about twenty. Apart from the Uttoxeter and Heywoods services and the 88 an indirect route to Wolverhampton most of the work is around the town over the speed-bumps. Of course Cannock runs a much newer fleet into the town on the trunk routes but believe it or not the entire Stafford fleet enjoys nothing newer than V-Y Reg buses. This is how the company deals with declining revenues but I'm sure had it been Stagecoach they would have invested funds and know how into the system instead of hoping the council might pay to run it for them. Despite this buses seem well used but there are few spares and these old bangers which run with faults till they fail are not the answer regularly turning up late or not at all on  infrequent rural services. Something needs to be done as a good bus service should be a priority as the prospect of total gridlock in many of our towns is drawing ever nearer and a good civilised bus service is at least one sensible answer.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Bern and the musings of Robert Jowitt

In Bern they used to keep the older buses for peak hour running only but on this occasion at the end of February it was still light enough before evening set in to get a photo of a pair of venerable old FBWs. Indeed this was the early 90's and well-laden No.118 dated from 1959. Even though there is nothing blatant this image has a strong Robert Jowitt feel and in one of his writings even though it might have been said in a witty self-effacing way he commented that he had stayed at the imposing Hotel Schweizerhof

Tuesday 14 January 2014

G112 XOW Southampton Lynx in Portsmouth

Deregulation took Southampton City Bus further out of town which resulted in an increase in what had been quite small single deck numbers. The nippy Leyland Lynx was a good choice for longer runs like this frequent service to Portsmouth.

Monday 13 January 2014

Eighties Market Day in Banbury

Some local Independent coaches gather at Banbury Bus Station including with a pair of Duple's the Northamptonshire operator Jeffs of Helmdon including a recent Bedford NBD306V and a Leopard. Also with a similar Leyland was mid-life Heyfordian Plaxton bodied example which had been lucky enough to acquire a proper leopard badge.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Sightseeing can be an Ugly Experience

These sightseeing trips around cities like Berlin might be a good culture fix but rather like taking too many extra vitamins most of it goes straight through with no lasting effect except perhaps on the wallet. Much better to ride on a service bus any day and especially in a city like Berlin which has double-deckers and where riding alongside the locals gives us a truer feeling of life there. Maybe as time goes on and modern buses seem less interesting we even come to see the old ones that have gone as old friends whether we liked them or not, but I'm afraid time has not done there ugly Neoplans any favours as they were dreadful. Maybe the East Germans liked them coming across The Wall as it detered the locals from wanting to escape to The West.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Crosville Cymru UDM 445V

It's always a bit depressing to see buses about to go to the breakers and I've tried not to photograph too many. I know it's tempting to catch them just before they finally depart but I prefer to dwell on how they looked in their prime maybe when I too was a dent-free youngster. However this dead Crosville-Wales Bristol VR  DVL 445 merging into the rather rusty run down corrugated iron at the rear of Bangor Garage appealed to me a lot.

Friday 10 January 2014

An NBC Southdown Coach clings on to it's glorious past.

Well into the hard-line strictly adhered to NBC livery days Southdown managed to retain the odd coach in glorious traditional colours like Plaxton bodied Leopard 1831 at Victoria Coach Station.

Thursday 9 January 2014

OEL 121M: Sunny Days in Bournemouth

In the greyest days of winter it's easy to think summer is never going to return but of course it surely will, the only problem being once it arrives it's quickly gone again. Sadly Bournemouth Yellow Bus and their once sizable fleet of Atlantean and Daimler Fleetlines will never return. Alexander bodied Fleetline 121 was seen at the The Square in 1992.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

TCK 846 Ribble: Getting Them Before They've Gone

Getting them before they've gone. As the Seventies became to Eighties I felt compelled to get as many views as possible of the half-cab types, and the 58 to Litherland was one of their last regular haunts in Liverpool working out of Ribble's Aintree Garage.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

JNU 989D. Driver Under Instruction

The learner bus driver at the helm of this large former Midland General Bristol FLF has to contend with the subtleties of the winter sunshine as well as the traffic and post office workers as it plies it's way through Newcastle city centre.

Monday 6 January 2014

RC 932 AKG 282A Caerphilly Buslink

Formerly a National Express coach with National Welsh, this demoted Leyland Tiger Laser had been devolved back into the resurrected Red and White carrying Caerphilly Buslink branding but must have felt quite at home nearing Victoria Coach Station on a trip away from Wales.

Sunday 5 January 2014

Elderly VMCV No.4 Standing outside outside Montreaux Palace

When I came to Switzerland in 1963 to school this fleet of twenty VMCV Saurer trolleybuses that worked the long route beside Lake Geneva all the way from Vevey to Villeneuve was quite new and so it was nice to see them not looking a day older when I returned as the Eighties crept into the Nineties. Switzerland had a reputation for expensive quality engineering but sadly today they can't afford to do it and have to buy their buses from the people who can build in bulk to help pay for all that wonderful here today gone tomorrow technology which might make things quieter and life easier and I'm sure many might say better. The M in VMCV of course stands for Montreux where No.4 stands outside the once very grand Montreux Palace where the English rich once came to enjoy the magnifcent scenery and wonderful air.

Saturday 4 January 2014

GRF703V: PMT VR and National in Hanley

By the time this Potteries Bristol VR had been been delivered in about 1980 the NBC stock had become rather dull especially as the results of 'MAP' had cleared out most of the interesting not so old buses too. So at that time I tried to take more memorable pictures but I always tried to get enough of the bus in as to not spoil it's identity.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

MKO 117F: New to Maidstone & District

Seen at Maidstone prior to entering service was this Northern Counties Daimler Fleetline. By the time these had all been delivered the 74 buses didn't outnumber the many earlier M&D MCW bodied Atlanteans but here at least they were king as just one example 6490 (DH 490) remained, but of course there were still plenty of fine PD2's to enjoy at the garage whose allocation was in the Sixties, and of course visiting Atlanteans in the town were still commonplace from places like Gillingham.