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

Saturday 31 May 2014

Staffordian Leopard PBO675R

When the Austin family acquired Greatrex they replaced a number of Fords with equally elderly but far more beefy Leopards and all four appeared on the Haywoods bus service including regular PBO675R which came from Hills of Tredegar seen in 1990..

Thursday 29 May 2014

A couple of Leopards await new owners at Middlewich

Not surprisingly being on the doorstep there were always plenty of used Crosville buses for sale at Martin's of Middlewich. As well as a number of AEC Renowns, one of which can be seen in the background, was this Alexander bodied Leyland Leopard AJA145B which the operator took over when North Western Road Car was broken up. Alongside it was another Leopard with a Marshall body CCN906D, but former Northern General 2306 was much further from home.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Mercedes 405 with Leicester Citybus

First Group had a liking for the Plaxton Verde bodied Dennis but it's merger with Grampian Holdings added some rather upmarket looking Mercedes 0405 buses to the mix as can be seen in Leicester as M507 GRY plies it's way through the traffic along Charles Street. To keep the cost down I think these buses were bodied by Optare in Leeds.

Monday 26 May 2014

Paula Works Liverpool Staff Bus

One of the worst mistakes Marks & Spencer ever did was to abandon all those knitwear and hosiery manufacturers that relied on it for survival. Instead they put profit first and quality second and I'm sure many would have been happy to pay a bit more to buy British. Here I was delivering to Paula Works in Kirby, I think part of the Northgate Group and I didn't have to walk very far to get a shot of it's staff buses including this former Blackpool Leyland PD2 PFR 335 with an unusual 'Midland Red style full-cab'

Friday 23 May 2014

The end of a Tory dream: Manchester Buses United

Also in this scene of one of Stagecoach's more highly regarded Alexander bodied Volvos are a number of Independent buses, but now it seems in Central Manchester the big boys have at last got it all to themselves as eventually the last one JPT of Middleton sold out. So it has come full-circle and Deregulation defeated itself as rather than encouraging fair competition the large groups have squeezed the life-blood out of any serious competition just allowing them an existence on the margins where it's hard to operate without subsidy. London has a strict tendering and quality regime but even though operators like Stagecoach seem to usually provide a good service outside the major conurbations amongst the big groups there is often a remoteness between the public and the operator resulting in a couldn't care less 'take it or leave it' attitude amongst employees.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Western National 3313 at Tavistock

A feature of Western National in NBC days was it's need for narrow buses and there were a number of attractive Plaxton bodied LH service coaches like AFJ 733T standing in the old bus station at Tavistock.

Exeter City Transport Massety vodied Leyland PD2

A full looking Massey bodied Leyland PD2/30 of  Exeter City Transport awaits the crew before heading away to Exmouth. There were twenty-five of these in the fleet including 1963 87 GFJ.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Tributes to Diana and Tributes to Jim Berresford

Beautiful warm sunny spring weather greeted the POPS rally this year being held at The Britannia Stadium. Taken in Stone this looks like a planned shot but I was in fact sitting on another bus giving rides knowing that the preserved Alexander Y-Type Leopard wasn't far behind us and shooting a moment sooner or later and I would have lost it. Of course it is tempting to say that this scene brings back memories of the past but the truth is that some local preservationists are nuts about the long defunct Berresford and Stoniers and have built up a tribute fleet in their honour and to be truthful these gleaming buses are far smarter than the real things ever were.

Thursday 15 May 2014

At Porto: Portugal Railway Guy No.7

The Railway buses in Portugal had unusually painted fronts maybe to mimic the locomotives and it reminds me of a British livery in the Sixties for a UK operation called Zebra. But despite the familiar Utic body this was not an AEC,  or even Leyland, it was the far less common Guy.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Armchair views of London

n Armchair Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M K321 BTM pulls up at a LT bus stop at Marble Arch where two ladies who have been lucky enough to shop at Selfridges might have a friendly old Routemaster to go home on.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Patiently waiting outside Glossop Station

It looks like Stockport based Greater Manchester Northern Counties bodied Atlantean  LJA 640P was here at Glossop with the town brooding like a set from 'The League of Gentlemen' as a backdrop in 1980 on rail replacement duties. Maybe there was more excitement to be found in Stockport but I think it might have been better to stay in with a cup of tea and listen to The Archers or watch the Snooker if it was on.

Monday 12 May 2014

Down the road, up the Wolves

I'm glad I got rid of my old Nikon Cool Pix camera as I never managed to do much with them but many of the shots are worth showing including this one when Happy Days provided transport for the Wolverhampton Wanderers team. I'm afraid I prefer to not post my later photos not because the quality is not always as good as my earlier work it's just that I could look up what coaches like this actually were but unlike the women who also manage to get in my views I just don't find them interesting enough.

Sunday 11 May 2014

CRU 187C: Open-Top in Sunny Bournemouth

"Come on let's get going before it starts to pour down again." Like many too useful open-toppers this former Bournemouth MCW bodied Daimler Fleetline had a long charmed life and this 1965 bus was still enjoying the same sea breezes and the patronage of girls in July 1992 but now with a local 'heritage' sightseeing company.

Friday 9 May 2014

Rush-Hour Buses; Catching them before Light's Out

Maybe it was because my brother talked about them but as a youngster I always believed there was such a thing as 'the rush hour bus' time-expired veterans. There was a little truth in it too in places like Manchester but in places like Switzerland it became a reality and visiting there in the dark winter months I was just about lucky to get this late afternoon view of one such beast, an articulated Saurer starting a peak hour only service in Zurich in about 1990 when the local marques like this, Berna and FBW were fast disappearing. By the time it reached the terminus poor light was setting in.

Thursday 8 May 2014

AHW204V: Not such a grey day after all in Bristol

When working even on the most horrid of wet days I tried to get out and take a few photos to capture the visit and the colourful livery on this Muller Road based Bristol VR ECW 5153 of Bristol City Line did much to cheer up the scene as people reluctantly traipsed down to the local Social Security office.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Trieste 570

Italian Fiat buses tended to be rather square and unimspired or well rounded and full of character like this Trieste example with a Dutch inspired lantern windscreen.

Sunday 4 May 2014

VDV 135S: Nice seafront and harbour views in Torquay

Harry Blundred did his best to rid the world of proper big buses but at least some Devon General 'open top' Bristol VR's survived into Stagecoach days. Still it might have been interesting to see some 'open top' minibuses.

Friday 2 May 2014

WAE 188T. A Bristol Omnibus Bristol LH

t's amazing really how now that they have become full of nostalgic memories we start to love once mundane buses from the past. I rode on an old ECW Bristol LH like this and I was delighted at it's no nonesense simplicity and the gutsy performance of it's little  Leyland engine, although a few were powered by Perkins too. Bristol Omnibus 436 was allocated here to Marlborough Street Garage and these also watered-down some of the NBC monotony of Leyland Nationals and Bristol VR's, types which of coyrse we also now miss.

Thursday 1 May 2014

JEK432N: A Pot of Tea and a Pot Plant or two

The Spring gardening season is well under way and garden centres with their tea rooms like Bridgmere have become even more popular than when I caught this Dunlin Duple Dominant bodied Leopard there in the early Nineties.