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

Monday 30 November 2015

Right Colour but hardly as graceful as a Blue Bird

The Blue Bird school bus hardly looks as though it can fly in either sense of the word but it metal cage looks look even more out of place wearing Stagecoach livery and out on the historic streets of Chester but it is this sort of thing that adds a bit of interest to the day.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Trying to Dodge the Dodges in Plymouth

It was very difficult to Dodge the Dodges for minibuses seemed to have taken-over every town but today it seems hard to imagine how chaotic it was during the minibus boom or just in some cases almost madness. Perhaps it was a cheap quick fix with rubbish wages and low paid young drivers but there were successes too as the small bread vans grew bigger till midi-buses were replaced by full-sized vehicles again but at the same time the rapid frequency of buses was cut back and the old status quo returned to previous frequencies.

JVV 267G Bus Enthusiasts are a fickle lot

In Lincoln a beautiful pristine Northampton Corporation Roe bodied Daimler CVG6 not only gives rides but sits waiting for custom  so I wonder what wonderful historic gem the people in the queue await, a Leyland Gnu perhaps, maybe an AEC Q, a Birmingham RT or even a BMMO FEDD but I'm not going to join them for it might well just be a disappointingly dull re-engined RML or even a Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer lol. But no life would be boring if we all liked the same things. This was the last traditional half-cab Daimler bus built.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Chur Town Bus GR 40028

This Volvo in the Swiss town of Chur carries typical bodywork of the late Seventies early Eighties period.

Friday 27 November 2015

Digbeth: Where once Leopards used to Tread

Excepting Victoria Coach Station in London of course,  situated right at the heart of England the city of Birmingham and it's former Midland Red Digbeth Coach Station is the obvious place for National Express coaches to meet rand passengers to head off in different directions. What could once be called a  Royal Blue coach, Western National Leyland Leopard Plaxton 2427 was leaving on the long trip to Perranporth in Cornwall many hours away.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Coach Aid to the Rescue

Arriva seems to have a policy of running some of it's older buses regardless of faults just waiting for them to break down in the road like BF52 OAE a Wright bodied VDL seen in Stafford off the 76 Wolverhampton service. Another one has also been running out of Wednesfield Garage with perhaps a loose engine mounting which causes the rear seating to shake violently each time to bus engages gear before pulling away, worse still for other road users there must be a small diesel leak too.

H856 GRE A PMT Leyland Lynx going to Butt Lane

A PMT Leyland Lynx enters Stoke on their regular haunt the long 24 when it was still quite new these buses were bought for comparison alongside the Optare Delta. Not that either got any more orders but on nearly all counts the Optare was the most attractive machine for the Lynx suffered from a number of problems including build quality and another problem for by this time it was a Leyland when it was a spent force just muddling along.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Maidstone &District Willowbrook Bodied Leopard VKN 836X

n the late Eighties I had to take a large computer down to Tunbridge Wells and bring back the old one which meant I had a few hours to kll but despite it being cold and dull I came back with some decent images.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Stagecoach Dennis Dart 34809 PX06 DVR

Someone asked me if Chester was busy and I said no which is a bit strange as it was clearly was. It was certainly busy trying to get out at 16.00 for like most of our towns it seems to be approaching gridlock.

Monday 23 November 2015

Vestbanen Leyland DAB

Denmark used to be rich in small operators who kept smart fleets which then ran in attractive colours. As it was highly regulated they had to operate a fairly up-to-date fleet as can be witnessed by this 1980 DAB-Leyland on the route between Esjberg and Varde in Jutland in 1982.

Sunday 22 November 2015

OHE = OH Heck! Yorkshiremen should be more canny than this

So they say but the Doyen was a beautiful looking vehicle whose modern but tasteful looks still knock spots off most of the current designs from abroad it's just such a pity the bigwigs at Leyland thought calling it a Leyland would do with no cash. I just hope their golf prowess was better than their commercial sence as they would still be trying to chip their way out of the Volvo Bunker between the MercedesTrees and over the Scania Lake. Now registered with an old Barnsley number OHE 50 it had been A71 WDT when pictured in Edinburgh.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Bournemouth Daimler Roadliner KRU 55F at POPS Running Day

I'm not a great one for static bus events so I always look forward to the POPS Running Day staged at the Gladstone Pottery Museum where alongside mainly more familiar NBC types largely from PMT and negihbours like Crosville are exotic beasts like this former Bournemouth Daimler Roadliner whose brash booming engine hardly seems in keeping with the gentle elderly folks who retired  in what many would agree is Britain's top South Coast resort.

NKK 243F Stevensons in Stafford

After taking two batches of Massey Bodied Atlanteans for trolleybus replacement Maidstone took a single example later in 1967 and it was about one of four or five that went to Stevensons in the ireplacement lightweight Bedford era, no doubt the rather dotty actions of a new general manager. It was seen at Picture Bank on the then two hourly service from Uttoxeter.

Friday 20 November 2015

Where Manchester Daimler CVG6's and Leyland PD2's would gather

Central Manchester like the buses which serve it is very different from my childhood when the streets around Piccadilly were lined with soot rather than trees, still I would much prefer to see the Crossley or a Burlingham bodied Daimler CVG6 to the Stagecoach standard fare from Dennis Alexander.

Pennine of Gargrave JWU 797N

It's so sad the way so many much loved Independents have tumbled due to their difficult operating environment and like Fishwick's Pennine of Gargrave as we used to think of it before they moved to town in Skipton was high on many a list. Always associated with Leylands till the bus grant era dual-purpose bodywork was favoured like the two Willowbrooks in the background  but as fashions changed with the motorway age Plaxton coach shells added a look of luxury at least to the humble bus making them a more useful tool.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Badgerline D112 GHY in Taunton

Despite the rather angular lines of the Alexander P Body this Volvo B10M didn't look too out of place amongst the rather restrained  and even elegant  Georgian architecture in Taunton. What helps greatly is not just the pleasing Badgerline colours but the livery highlights it's shape and the angles seem to reflect the pitched roofs of buildings.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

RML 2463: Up the Garden Path

I must admit I tend to prefer looking at bus photos taken away from the more usual locations like the bus station and I don't suppose anyone else would probably be quite cheeky enough to step inside someone's garden to take the shot but I'm sure worse things happened in the Cricklewood area even them.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Battersby Silver Grey at Boness

As Photographs coach parks are not the most inspiring of locations but was an enthusiast I enjoy seeing what else is in the shot and it's amazing how even with black and white views we can spot a coach just by the style of say it's fleet number but the advent of colour made it much more easy. Is it just me but with the more outlandish styles today I find these Plaxton Paramount's rather refreshingly tasteful especially in an attractive like that of Battersby Silver Grey seen here at Boness beside Lake Windermere.

Former Doncaster Roe Tiger Cub 433 MDT

This Autumn the pleasant dry weather extended into November which meant the Lincolnshire Museum running day day was a extra enjoyable and as always packed with gems like this preserved Doncaster Roe bodied Leyland Tiger Cub.

Friday 13 November 2015

The Wonders of Bilston W573 JVV

Traffic chaos, no it's just Bilston! A Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer of Diamond tries to enter the bus station.

Thursday 12 November 2015

RYG 385R: Yorkshire Winter Draws Closer

Winter draws ever closer and I remember it was always worse once one crossed the Pennines into Yorkshire for rain turned to fogs and a smattering of snow into snow and ice. Still it was a good excuse to get out and take photographs such as here but I'm uncertain as it is in that Halifax-Leeds-Bradford triangle places like Cleckheaton or Batley spring to mind. West Yorkshire and other NBC buses working in the PTE area of the same name carried the logo but retained their own livery.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Oxford Park and Ride 229

Even though the coach trip didn't go to Oxford that day in 1992 it was still possible to get a photo or two of the local buses as they also used the same service area on the ring road for the Park and Ride which used these smart Alexander bodied Leyland Olympians like E229 CFC.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

A Pair of Minsterley Motors

No doubt because they need support more rural independents these days run similar buses and just as modern as the large groups but the variety in livery is just one of the things that is welcoming about them and two Minsterley Motors are seen here at Shrewsbury

Monday 9 November 2015

West Midlands Volvo Ailsa 4740

I like to think I don't like buses much beyond the Sixties but that's not really true looking back for there were a number of types like the Travel West Midland Alexander bodied Volvo Ailsas with their distinctive angular shape and delicious sounds.

Sunday 8 November 2015

5677 EL: Hants and Dorset in Hants at Alton

A former Hants and Dorset ECW bodied Bristol Lodekka of 1961, and even though the Tilling fleets had more to make them similar than their BET counterparts each company had it's quirks and on 1450 we can see the canopy sun-visor over the windscreen. Orange on black was Woolston on the edges of Southampton.

Friday 6 November 2015

JFR 393M: Preston The Lancashire Rain Reigns Supreme

I tend to try to get my posts to match the day in question and this image of a secondhand Ribble Atlantean with East Lancs bodywork leaving Preston Bus Station just about gets it right as that was another mild but foul wet Saturday. The Route 111 to Leyland one normally associates with Fishwick's so I expect even then the bigger competition was trying to run them off the road.

Thursday 5 November 2015

United Bristol LH in York

Horrible bus drivers is nothing new but it was not something I regularly came across in 1992 so I was taken slightly aback in York when this United Bristol LH kept pulling tightly up behind the vehicles in front so I could not get a photograph. But I won out in the end with an even better shot as it sped away from me lol.

Arriva 3731: An old Friend in Shrewsbury

I must admit I was always more fond for some reason of these earlier Wright Prisma bodied VDL's first used on the Stafford to Cannock Hospitals 74-75 Service than he later buses. Maybe they sound slightly different or is it they are slightly more attractive but it was nice to see a couple of them in Shrewsbury coming in from Oswestry.

Monday 2 November 2015

Lothian Atlantean Alexander GFS 422N

Very much an icon of Edinburgh was it's smartly turned out fleet of locally bodied Alexander Leyland Atlanteans which were not just a great asset to this fine city but a reminder of the days when Municipal Transport gave a proper service to the ratepayers. Just think if we still had it and Beeching had not pulled up all the railway branch-lines many of which could have become viable again with cheaper light rail Britain might not now be quickly heading for road lock-jam in urban areas.

JVV 267G: Just like the back end of a bus

No not exactly a compliment but going back to the Thirties and War Years the angular profile was hardly inspiring on double-deckers. However for those with a trained eye many later more rounded designs may not be beautiful but they have a pleasing subtle functional elegance like the rugged Roe body on this former Northampton Daimler CVG6 whose significance is that it was the last example built JVV 267G No.267 in 1968 and seen here at Lincoln.

Sunday 1 November 2015

JVL 619L: Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

The wonderful thing about digital photography is one doen't have to worry about the cost of film and of course some might just snap away at nothing, if one looks around photographs occur at the most unlikely moments and even if they could be better it is can be a nice reminder such as this on preserved Lincolnshire flat-front ECW bodied VR JVL 619H.

OHK 432: Lincoln Bus Running DAy

Those who go regularly will I agree that the end of season 1st November Lincoln running event is always enjoyable whatever the weather for it is well organised with friendly helpers and a mouth-watering selection of old buses of all vintages. A popular visitor this year was this fine 1949 Daimler CVD6 with rare Roberts bodywork Colchester No.4 in it's original colours OHK 432.