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

Tuesday 30 September 2014

West Mon Leylands await the Scrapman

Despite it being about ten years younger than the two Willowbrook bodied Leyland PD2/40's of 1957 and 1958 this F-Reg Leyland Leopard looked as if it too would shortly also find it's way to the scrapyard here in this view at West Mon's depot at Blackwood in 1980. As you can see on these buses even before it was renamed Islwyn Borough Transport all Leyland fleet was being painted in a what some might call a more cheerful light blue and white but my myself I much preferred proper colours like the traditional maroon and cream which the Leopard had arrived in too.

Monday 29 September 2014

Odense Volvo Aabeneraa No.104

In 1982 the Danish city of Odense might be famed as birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson but but by Danish standards it was not so interesting buswise as the town buses seemed to be just these Aabeneraa bodied Volvos and the other main operator DSB ran mostly similar buses.

Friday 26 September 2014

Even First Bus is greener in Somerset

I read that the First Group is trying to distance itself from the bad old days not so long ago and here in Somerest introduced a much more friendly local livery. What surprises me about this bus seen in Weston-super-Mare is the fact that it seems to carry no company logo at all in it's livery something that rarely happens but the long fleet number and well-trodden cherished registration gives the show away to the knowing enthusiast. The only problem is someone will spot this clean and attractive bus and think "Ah a nice Stagecoach Bus.".

London & Country Mercedes C311 CPL.

Like most I wasn't much of a minibus fan but I quite liked the Mercedes van derived conversions like this one seen in I think Guildford as I used to drive the vans. This time in the Nineties changes within the industry were rapid and they look a lot more interesting now as change was so rapid as operators came and went with cosmetic or just as often real change of ownership. Ray Stenning's Drawline group liveries were quite attractive by today's standards.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

"Mavis this must be the new Doctor Who Tardis I think."

The so-called Borismaster is so strikingly different, if it actually matters one has trouble trying to decide whether it's ugly or not as most people just seem to like it's quirkiness. Stagecoach have painted this one silver and amongst all the polished vehicles and aircraft at Duxford for Showbus it looked far less like a bus than anything else there and in this view at least slightly surreal as it looks modern yet it's shape harks back to the over-streamlined Thirties.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Nico's Lederfashion MAN

I didn't always like the schemes but I must admit I took photos of quite a number of Berlin's advertising buses simply because they were different. Today I wonder if any of these photos of the less well known ones are rare. Here Nico's Lederfashion vies for our attention with a colourful newsvender as BVG MAN 1833 heads down the Kurfurstemdamm in 1982..

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ribble Alexander Bodied Atlantean CRN873D

Ribble was so disenchanted with it's early MCW bodied Atlanteans it bought few others till the NBC era, indeed even prefering the Lowlander. But both of these later batches were the less satisfactory low-height variety but the Alexander bodied buses didn't look at all bad as these looked better than other operators full height models. Initially the Northern Counties buses looked nice and modern too with their curved glass fronts but once the novelty wore off it was easy to see how it was just grafted on to the old design and was slightly 'wrong' and probably not very strong. CRN 873D 1873 was seen in Blackburn when the bus was in it's second year in 1968.

Friday 19 September 2014

WMT 5405: Green Enviro Bus in Wolverhampton

In a special enviromental green livery to advertise their Dennis Enviro electric hybrid buses is West Midlands Travel 5405 off it's more usual Route One to Dudley but heading out another way from Wolverhampton to the large Ashmore Park Estate which I remember having difficulty finding my way out of in the middle of the night when I first started doing the Airporter.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

H809 GRE: Optare Delta carries the Staffordshire Knot.

PMT had a batch of rather superior Optare Deltas to try alongside the Leyland Lynx. In the end nothing came of it as big buses went out of favour for a while as smaller Plaxton Pointer Dennis Darts were bought instead. SAD 809 was lettered up for the quicker X60 but was working the slower 260 as it passed some rather battered Transits belonging to a contractor digging up Tipping Street.

Monday 15 September 2014

Die Poste Mercedes 0405 at La Chaux de Fonds

This Swiss post bus seen in La Chaux de Fonds inherited the registration number off a Saurer DUK which had been withdrawn and sold a number of years earlier. There was not much of numbering system once the Die Poste was split off what became Swiss Telecom but it didn't matter too much as a few years later vehicles were to lose their famous P-Reg for Cantonal marques. The problem with that was each time a bus moved to a different area it received a new number and most likely something else when it returned. With that in mind one might have thought the large fleet would have by then carried fleet numbers but they don't and so the onlooker can guess very little about it.

Sunday 14 September 2014

RM 1414: A Mancunian Routemaster

Okay I might not be a huge fan of seeing red Routemasters outside London but it would be churlish of me not to enjoy seeing former RM 1414 in Manchester as it was on loan here when new. If orders had been obtained I'm not sure if I would have preferred them to proper Manchester half-cabs but by the time they would have arrived Atlanteans and Fleetlines were the order of the day and so I concede they might have been nicer for us enthusiasts, but no doubt as well as cost that was one of the reasons why they did not gain widespread support. But fate was to play tricks for as a gimmick following Deregulation s a small number did take to the Manchester streets as fast loading and a cheerful clippy made them a 'trump card' on the cut-throat bus congested streets. I might be wrong but one might even expect to see 414 CLT out and about on Event Days such as this at Heaton Park for if I'm not mistaken this bus is now part of the transport museum collection.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Preserved Leyland PD2 Ribble White Lady DCK219

POPS Running Day normally held at the Gladstone Pottery Museum provides us with a great opportunity to once more ride on what were our local area buses but there can be special treats too like the chance to ride to Cheadle on this lovingly restored Ribble White Lady Leyland PD2/3 former 1219 DCK 219 with a Burlingham styled East Lancs body from 1949-5. It is always great to refamiliarise myself with old friends but far  more interesting is to sample buses which I have only seen on film in illustrations or were just too young to remember.

Friday 5 September 2014

Arriva 3703 at Walsall on Service One to Huntington

Favourites of mine at Arriva Cannock are these 52-plated Wright VDL's used on the direct Service One from Huntington to Walsall as they nip along, seem a bit more comfy and less inclined to rattle than even the newest buses. Some might think the tree spoils the photo but as long as one can identify the vehicle it doesn't matter from a hobby point of view but for me the best shots always feature moments of everyday drama in people's busy lives. At one time they might have been standing reading the paper but today they're most likely to be on their mobile phones. No doubt when they get home they don't have much to say apart from complaining how much the bill is each month.

Getting Hot at Stockport B138ACK

As well as from it's main depot in Blackpool, Standerwick part of Ribble also had vehicles based at Burnley for services to East Lancashire. This continued into the NBC era and seen heading homewards at Stockport was still smart looking National Express Rapide coach Duple Caribbean bodied Leyland Tiger B138ACK which looked as though it was experiencing engine overheating during a bout of our English summer sun.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Travel West Midlands Optare Spectre

Seen just as the new Bull Ring Shopping Centre was going up was 4002 one of Travel West Midlands Optare Spectres on the 50 to The Maypole which seemed to host non-standard buses having formerly been the haunt of the Alexander bodied Scanias. These now work from Wolverhampton and despite seeing the odd one on the 79 and the 529 I've been told that they don't tend to do very long runs as they are unreliable and prone to breakdowns. I'll have to take a ride one before they are withdrawn as the only ride I ever had on this type was in London on the 12 when theirs were still new!