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 31 March 2015

Almost An April Fool?

When is a door not a door? The answer being when it's on a Scottish Bus. Well this sounds a lot like an April Fool Joke but in Glasgow they wanted to tell the passengers it wasn't. I can see why they did it but the whole tone of the wording is a bit rude like the irate driver and very unwelcoming, Had they put "Please do not use." it might have been a lot more polite a reasonable, after all it wasn't the public's fault Network Something-or-other had lumbered them with unsuitable elderly secondhand dual-doorway Atlanteans from the former SYPTE. It suggests this was a ploy by 'First Group' who were working hard to gain that hard to beat poor reputation for service which they are now trying very hard to shake off.

Sunday 29 March 2015

RMF 1254 with Northern General

When out taking photographs I was often asked why I liked buses, and probably I didn't give a very convincing answer as I thought that person was thinking I was a bit of a wally. But one answer is some buses are a lot more interesting than others like former London Transport RMF 1254 which having done trials with BEA pulling a luggage-trailer was not deemed suitable for other work and was sold off to the only operator of Routemaster's Northern General whose fleet had forward entrances too.

Saturday 28 March 2015

Plastic Surgery?

I must admit I don't like false boobs especially as the sort of women who choose it want far too much and even if it doesn't always look wrong they certainly don't look real.  The same can be said for this Scania midi-coach seen in Copenhagen as one doesn't have to be familiar with the bodybuider to see that it's a bodged job designwise. As for the blond lady she looks Swedish as well but this photo didn't do her justice at all as she was quite a looker.

Friday 27 March 2015

BVP 807V: Stafford's Leyland National 2's

Stafford was the first Midland Red garage to get the later Leyland National 2 with the very different sounding 0.680 engine. We had Nos 807-811 which without that roof-pod were ideal for journeys to Lichfield which enountered a low railway bridge at Colwich.  Later they were joined by all the rest at MRN 812-814 from Shrewsbury and 823-825 from Tamworth and later Lichfield. But this was at the about the time they were bought out by Drawline and very soon most would be whisked away to places like Manchester and Merseyside.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

CKE 167Y: Maidstone & District

After the break up of the NBC many operators strove for a fresh image whilst others like Maidstone and District  evolved more slowly creating something of  a hybrid effect. Indeed for a number of years City of Oxford didn't do much at all to rid it's deckers of that poppy-red effect. But even though the green was much lighter than in BET days  M&D seemed to have returned allbeit long passed it's heyday. Once the preserve of Victoria Coach Station It's commuter coaches were now probably even more familiar in Central London like this ECW B51 bodied Leyland Leopard.

Saturday 21 March 2015

OOC Model of a Bradford City East Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6

It's time to thin out my diecast models again and amongst the candidates was this Bradford Daimler in the Corgi East-Lancs forward-entrance series. The trouble is I have most of them and this one always looks a bit wrong which might be because the blue is too dark. Anyway I'm sure you will be pleased to hear it's had a reprieve. lol

Friday 20 March 2015

Crosville Wales Leyland Lynx F70 FKW

A frequent service for Crosville Wales was between Bangor and Caenarfon and which employed big buses including single-deckers like this former Chesterfield Lynx. When this green and white livery was introduced I didn't care for it much but as time went on rather like that of PMT it seemed to suit the fleet and it's area so there might be a bit of favoritism there on my part

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Ribble: The New Fangled Come & Go but this old Half-Cab wants to Soldier On

Overrun with Leyland Nationals things had changed a great deal and no doubt many of the Ribble garage staff would have said not for the better since the last front-engined single deckers arrived in 1949. Indeed at least one of them had survived as a tow bus at Preston here in 1979 and was still able to show off the front section of it's attractive Burlingham bodywork.

Monday 16 March 2015

Niddries of Middlewich

Gone now bought out by Bakers, Niddries of Middlewich is a firm I remember from my schooldays as I spent two terms at Great Budworth near Northwich at place called Belmont Hall and they were hired to take us to the New Cathedral in Liverpool for an evening schools concert. We had a Leyland 0400 powered Plaxton bodied Bedford VAL and I got myself banned from the front seat because talking I caused the driver to get lost in Warrington. As you might expect it was a good enough reason to find a new school!

PBC 101G: Leicester's 'Almost' ECW bodied Leyland Titan PD3's

Leicester City Transport was not keen on the Atlantean for after trying three in 1962 it only reluctantly ordering more in 1968 when the straightforward and trusty front engine Titan PD3 was about to be struck off by Leyland. Leicester liked to split it's body orders and the half with ECW bodies were also to have been PD3 Titans which would have been interesting as they would have been unique buses.

Sunday 15 March 2015

HT DAB 1482

Enjoying the summer sunshine was this 1981 DAB seen in Copenhagen. It was operating from the garage at Gladsaxe which means scissor crossing in Danish.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Warstine Bedford OB Duple Vista GCA 747

Some might disapprove of my attempt to photograph Warstone's well known Duple Vista bodied Bedford OB through the fence. Originally bought for spares for lorries the need to find work for this still roadworthy machine started it all off with bus work and I like the idea of one being enticed through the gates to view what in the middle of the Leyland National era can only be called pure gems all turned out in that lovingly applied dark green and cream livery.

Friday 13 March 2015

BMMO S21 5866 in Stafford Greengate Street.

5866 was new to Stafford in 1967 and the semi-luxury BMMO S21's stood out markedly from the lower status but similar S22 and numerous S23's because of their bold slatted grill which looked surprisingly attractive fitting  the squared up version of the S16 body shell crisply. Taken one Saturday in late 1979 5866 had gone by the next year so it is nice to have a view of it and the way Greengate Street used to be with  traffic, however another later interloped 5858 lasted a little longer. These looked their best when new with their black tops but from just before this bus they started to be turned out with the dumbed down dark red roof which in comparison was really neither one thing or the other.

Thursday 12 March 2015

London Pride Pound a Pint or a Dennis Dominator

Well a pint of London Pride beer was about one-pound then if you knew where to go but I'm sure it's a lot more today. Many areas of bus operation have declined but an area of impressive growth since the early Seventies has been the open-top double-deck sightseeing tour. Sadly maybe because of the decline of the seaside resort we are less often able to relive childhood memories of cheap rides and ice-cream. However the often pricey city tour bus is only really for tourists but for the enthusiast it adds a bit of much welcomed variety bringing unlikely buses like this former Cleveland NC bodied Dominator to Trafalgar Square in the Nineties.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Nottingham City Alexander Dash Volvo M513 TRA.

The Dennis Dart was conceived as a small bus to tempt customers away from mini-buses especially as even they were getting bigger and more sophisticated. But some operators including Nottingham City preferred the Volvo instead like this example with Alexander Dash bodywork.

Sunday 8 March 2015

4466: Old Huddersfield Daimler Still in Red and Cream 1980

I got as far as into Yorkshire as Sheffield with my bus spotting trips of the Sixties but it was only at the end of the decade that I got to places like Leeds, Halifax, Wakefield and Barnsley. As for Huddersfield I  have to confess I had long since given up being a spotter in 1980 but I made an effort to visit as I was trying to catch the good old half-cabs on film before they went, fine old buses like this East Lancs bodied Daimler still in Corporation red and cream. I chose this one today as I've just added the Corgi OOC model of it to my collection as it was just six-quid and never out of it's box. I'm not sure if Corgi quite got the red right as it looks a bit too orange.

Volvo Coach in Portugal

Seen in Portugal in 1984 this Volvo coach reminds me of those attractive bodies which came out of Holland and Belgium in the late Sixties. Indeed at first glance it could almost be mistaken for a Van-Hool but I expect it just a local product.

Friday 6 March 2015

C981 HOX: Midland Red Coaches Metroliner at Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton is still very much on the National Express map with numerous departures. But the vehicles have very much changed since the late Eighties when this Midland Red Coaches MCW Metroliner 1501 called in on Rapide Service 555.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Frontline XUB671Y bound for Rugeley

Looking rather smart in a fresh coat of red paint complete with gold lettering was this Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopard of Frontline seen in Birmingham and bound for Rugeley.  I thought it was KUB 671V but it is in fact XUB 671Y, it's a good thing my bus spotting days are long gone. lol

Monday 2 March 2015

E823 HBF: Even the bad times a good?

We all seem to have a tendency to give the past a rosy glow, but even when in the Nineties we could still enjoy once familiar bus types the down side of Deregulation was very much part of the scene, horrendous Dodge minibuses like this PMT example in Hanley, depot closures, and asset-striped fleets topped up with unwanted buses from elsewhere. One or two made a fortune from the 'refreshing world of change' but it was not a happy time for busmen who put up with a lot as they didn't know who they would be working for or whether they would have a job tomorrow.