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

Sunday 30 November 2014

Lancashire United Bristol bound for Harpers Green

Once on my way home from making deliveries in the area I stopped of at Whitefield which was quite enjoyable as the bus station was quite busy with kids going home from school. By now part of Gmpte many former Lancashire United vehicles like this rather plain looking Plaxton bodied Bristol RESL6G received an all-over orange livery. In the background is a similar former North Western vehicle in the main fleet but with more rounded Marshall bodywork.

Saturday 29 November 2014

SOA674S: Every journey starts with the first step

Some wise person said every journey stars with a step but if you are driving some distance to Showbus it might be just as wise to fill your bus up with diesel. In the old days even the cleanest buses weren't adverse from dirt down the side caused by spillage but the employees didn't have to pay for it either. Some are a bit negative about chrome but I like a bit of brightwork to give a bus a proper front as on former Midland Red Leopard 674.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Southampton City Transport PBP221S

Like much of Southern England Southampton was hit by that infamous hurricane the Met Office didn't spot. Not far from where these East Lancs bodied Atlanteans stood were huge trees mown down by the strong winds. At one time almost the whole fleet comprised of these Leylands buses, indeed all the South Coast municpals ran them but by the end of the Eighties they were on the decline.

Monday 24 November 2014

FRM 1 London's Rear-Engined Routemaster

Sadly London's rear engined Routemaster never went into production but in later years it could be seen at work on the Round London Sightseeing Tour which departed from Victoria. Whether it was worth paying the price of the trip to ride on FRM 1 depends on how much you want it, but I doubt if many of the punters from Japan and the USA ever realised how special this unusual bus really was.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Central Scottish PGA 826V: We are in a Hurry!

With the exit on a slope the speed of vehicles leaving St. Andrews Edinburgh Bus Station seemed exaggerated by the adverse camber as the heeled over dramatically creating exciting photos for the waiting photographer. No doubt a few skirt panels got grounded over the years and a few cups of coffee spilt too I shouldn't wonder. However on this occasion the Central  Leyland Tiger Alexander-T looked out of service and it's driver determined to press on so it probably was probably a spirited run back to it's depot

Saturday 22 November 2014

All lined up at Weston-super-Mare

People tend to think one is something of an odd-ball if they like buses but there are plenty of people who do. I wonder how many remember these local West Country coaches from the Sixties and how many have grown an interest through seeing these fascinating old machines at rallies. No I suspect for most there is a connexion even if it's "My dad drove one of those."

Friday 21 November 2014

Arrowebrook Rail Replacment Coaches

They didn't always get paid but usually normally rail replacement work has been useful and lucrative bread and butter work for coach operators especially as this happens at weekends when there are no school contracts to keep older coaches busy. One Saturday an Arrowebrook DAF and Volvo both with Plaxton bodywork wait patiently to do another shuttle trip outside the attractive Chester Station in the Nineties.

Nottingham 666

An addition to Nottingham's interesting fleet were a number of one-offs including this Atlantean with radical styling by Northern Counties. I'm glad nothing came of it as it was rather ugly.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Western National K802 ORL Volvo Olympian

This small batch of about four buses for Western National should have been Leylands but I believe when they arrived they could boast to being the very first Volvo Olympians. With attractive Northern Counties Countrybus bodywork they were to be found on the lengthy prestige joint X80 service with Stagecoach to Torquay. I think this might have been the day I rode on this bus too and it didn't quite get us there as a transmission fault meant the driver kept losing his gears.

Monday 17 November 2014

Flights A8 FTG National Express at Elmdon Airport

Another photo rescued from my dodgy Nikon Cool-Pix Camera days. I'm glad some of them were quite good and have survived as doing the Airporter airport transfers gave me plenty of time to take snaps as I hung around places like Birmingham Airport. Bearing a Flights personal number this standard National Express Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M was loading for Heathrow and Gatwick one sunny evening.

Sunday 16 November 2014

BVG 1792: The best way to see Berlin

In the more rundown districts of Berlin it might seem as if sometimes anything goes with bad behaviour but once one gets out into the greener cleaner suburbs most of the citizens are well behaved not dropping litter, scrawling graffiti and indeed they even wait for the 'green man' to show on crossings and that is something I don't always do. In the still divided city of the Eighties BVG MAN  SD81 1792 negotiates a busy traffic junction in the Lichterfeld-Steglitz area on the 60 which went from Bahnhof Zoo to Roeneck.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Bristol L and Friends at POPS Britannia Stadium Rally

Another bus rally season has come to the end. It is easy to take them for granted but when I was a youngster I never dreamed later in life I would not just be able to put replicas on my mantlepiece but also more significantly be able to still be able to ride on the same old buses I so loved and some which also by-passed me earlier like the sprightly and solid North Western Bristol CDB 206 which vibrated a bit but still put many later buses to shame.

Friday 14 November 2014

CBM: A French Box on Wheels

When we think of France it conjures up images of style and beauty, but they do ugly very well too. Parked up at Looe in the Eighties one doesn't have to see much of the Wallace Arnold Plaxton bodied Leopard standing alongside it to realise the three-axle CBM isn't going to win this beauty contest.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

MTL London Suburban

Northern Counties L201 SKD was seen from a bus going the other way heading through the City of London on it's way to Archway. back in the Nineties.

Friday 7 November 2014

PMT Short Marshall bodied Leopard TVT 113G

The small PMT garage at Stafford never operated any of these short G-Reg Marshall bodied Leopards noted for their fifth low crawler gear for routes around Cheadle but they became quite a familiar visitors in the late Seventies like this one seen in 1979 rounding Gaol Square. Delivered new as SN 1110-1129, TVT 127-8G have thankfully been preserved.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Maidstone Corporation Leyland PD2/20 Massey WKP 73 No.3

By the time I arrived at Maidstone in September 1967 the Corporation fleet had mostly been painted out of the rather attractive ginger and cream colours which was substituted for light blue. Having said that they did a good job and with sign written advertisements and black lining out the whole fleet looked smart including No.3 WKP 73 heading down the Tonbridge Road. Apart from three elderly Daimlers including two still which retained the old livery, the fleet comprised entirely of Massey bodied Titans and the Atlantean.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

First West Yorkshire 'Calderdale' L313 PWR

I'm sure most of us wish the major bus groups had not decided to follow the lead of Stagecoach and adopt a corporate livery as the colours they replaced were usually a lot more pleasant. One of my favourites from within First Bus was that of it's Halifax 'Calderdale' operation and it looked particularly smart of this Northern Counties Volvo Olympian bound for Todmorden and Rochale.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Early Bova of Pool Reizen

We are so used to seeing the sleek frontage of the long running Bova Futura the earlier generation now look even more boxy. However it is amazing how good they looked in the right livery like this Dutch example with bold red stripes of Pool Reizen seen in Croatia.

Monday 3 November 2014

RFE 482 Bristol SC4LK: Grubby Day in Lincoln

The weather wasn't going to be brilliant so I was in two minds about taking my camera to the November Lincoln Museum running day, but I'm so glad I did for even though cameras were everywhere not many want to share them on Flickr these days. I like to get away from the pretence of more formal views as these old girls today will always look like fish out of water, and perhaps we could have done with a bit of that to wash the spots off the glass of the lovely Roe bodied Doncaster Tiger Cub, my favourite ride of the day. But also it was nice to have also just ridden ride on for me a totally new types as I had never sampled a noisy Bristol SC4LK before and probably not such a good idea when one has a headache and hangover from a party the previous evening.