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

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Leicester Types: Dennis Dominator & Leyland PD3

n the old days if people didn't have a bike they probably had to catch the bus and if they were in a reasonable sized town or city it might have been a Corporation Bus. Each one was as individualist as it's general manager and as seen here at Leicester many were well run with a smart fleet of buses. For many years Leicester favoured ultra reliable and simple buses like the Leyland PD3 but like a number of Municipals took to the Dennis Dominator as a replacement.

Hooper's Setra Arrives in Chester

A distinguished looking Setra enters Chester perhaps they are all going to The Swan if there is one in the city.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Miserable Xmas but A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Not a very nice day at all and despite it being Xmas Eve not much cheer, but I expect spirits would rise for the new year celebrations. Not an ideal day for photographs either but as well as getting moody photographs of Midland Alexander R-Series Metrobuses in Glasgow I had a look around what I think was the Burrell Art Collection nearby with the upside down crucifixion by Dali etc so it was an interesting day. I didn't mind it being on top of Xmas either for the GEC driver didn't fancy going up in the lorry because there might be snow and ice and Christmas Shopping to do so I took the more urgent bits and with the extra miles got a nice little stocking filler for my efforts. That was the beauty of having my own van, once the jobs were finished it was up to me what you did which is partly why I have such a good variety of black and whites from this period. No I don't regret not having a proper career either as life is for having fun.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Lancashire United Daimler Fleetline PTD 647S

Bathed in winter sunlight St George's Hall in Liverpool makes a spectacular backdrop for Lancashire United 503 a Daimler Fleetline with a GM Standard Northern Counties body. How amazing I've just realised this was taken on the day I'm posting it 23rd December so how appropriate and I think it was 1981 just before the Ribble PD3's and Crosville Lodekkas finished in the city.

TWM Metrobus B881 DOM in Carrs Lane

I'm sure I am not the only one who misses the Travel West Midlands MCW Metrobuses. No.2881 was seen in Carrs Lane, Birmingham in about 2000 when the currunt registration system started for that's when I stopped doing film.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Bus Wars in Glasgow

The bus war that followed Deregulation was intense in Glasgow with rival operators almost trying to beat their own buses to the bus stop lol. A contrast in styles here to the west of the city as a colourful Kelvin Routemaster presents are somewhat cheap and cheerful image with the novelty of London Routemasters whilst Strathclyde offering cheap fares too still tries to show it is here to stay with it's familiar orange Atlanteans.

Monday 19 December 2016

Sheffield JOC ECW Leopard 1881 WA

I told them but a trick EFE missed for a nice model was the Sheffield JOC Leopard with ECW MW style body. The only combination of the two it was these quirks that made being a bus enthusiast interesting in the Sixties. Coach seated the three buses did the longer services as seen here in Manchester. It was because the JOC was partly owned by British Rail that the Corporation had access to the nationalised sector products.

Those Magnificent Green Line Berkhoff's on Flightline

It's a shame the Berkhoff bodied Leyland Tigers of London County had such short lives in that guise before most were rebodied as buses for new lives elsewhere as they were rather impressive coaches. But Deregulation and the sell off of the NBC turned the bus industry upside down; no not literally but who would have guessed all the things that might happen in the coming years. It might have changed quite a bit over the years but thankfully Victoria Coach Station is still there and they didn't just pull it down an move the coach terminus to some draughty and  cramped glass affair in Brent Cross or Golders Green or somewhere stupid like that.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Bern Volvo B10R bound for Bremgarten

I'm a bit of a stick in the mud but I much prefer the traditional 'military green' livery worn for decades on Bern's buses and trams before the advent of a shocking pink! This bus outside the bahnhof  was bound for Bremgarten and carried bodywork by Ramseier & Jenzer of Biel or as it was better know simply as R & J and dated the start of the Nineties.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Rossendale Bolvo Duple F339 VSD in Blackburn

Prior to Deregulation the former Rossendale fleet consisted very much of East Lancs bodied Leylands but expansion well beyond it's Rawtenstall roots like No.69 seen at Blackburn brought in a variety of used stock including this Volvo with fairly rare Duple bodywork of this type.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

BX56 XCL West Midlands 1767 in Walsall

I tend to much prefer the old Victorian streets with their more pleasing red brick buildings to the more modern town centres with all that souless concrete and glass, besides buses look better here too where they can mingle with the trees and local traffic. I can't remember what this road is called but it goes out to Pleck.

B707 EOF Flights Coach Travel at Birmingham Elmdon

It must have been fate for a conventional Flights of Birmingham certainly had the right name for inter-airport link services when the opportunity arose. In the twenty-five coach fleet there was a big batch of thirteen of these Volvo B10M-53 with well appointed Jonckheere bodywork as can be seen here at Birmingham Airport.

Sunday 11 December 2016

A Berresford Hidden Gem

Berresford of Cheddleton operated nearly all second-hand buses and these usually ended up unceremoniously in the famous bus graveyard behind the garage. Quite a number were just bought for spares which was a pity as it would have been nice to see rare Strachan bodied AEC Regent V WCS 196 in service in the Potteries or better still preserved. It came from A.1. Service member Kerr & Linney of Ardrossan which must have been about the smallest contributor of the sixteen with just three buses.

Stevenson's Tiger UVT 14X at POPS

Last Autumn I had an enjoyable ride around the Potteries on this former Bassett's Leyland Tiger which was XBF 423X. It's a shame they didn't re-apply the rising sun motif instead of a fake destination box. A nice reminder of much missed Stevenson's all the same.

Friday 9 December 2016

Derby Corporation Daimler Fleetline CRC 243J

Whereas the old olive-green and cream colours were rather pleasant I was never a big fan of Derby's drab blue and grey scheme. Still it didn't stop me photographing them which was also a reason why I stuck to black and white for so long as there was a lot I didn't care for. I know, I'm a fussy Virgo I like everything to be right lol. But the Park Royal-Roe bodies on these Daimler Fleetlines were attractive enough and certainly a lot more beautiful than the earlier generation here..

Thursday 8 December 2016

Bere Regis Volvo B10M Duple Caribbean A599 LJT

Bere Regis might have run mostly old and even more elderly coaches but it always bought new as well including heavyweights like this Duple Caribbean bodied Volvo B10M, one of a pair along with A600 LJT both equipped with toilets.Caught where I took a lot of my photos at a spare moment on a busy day at the motorway services. I wanted this one hence the poor lighting.

Monday 5 December 2016

Potters Bar's ex West Yorkshire PTE Metrobus Maark 2

I remember when I started spotting all one saw of LT at Potters Bar Garage was the ubiquitous RT type, but by the end of the Eighties it had become choice-wise  a kind of lucky dip with a good selection of secondhand types from various PTE's. This Mark Two Metrobus had come from West Yorkshire PTE but as to where it was taken that is another matter as I did a number of calls with my van in the Enfield, New Southgate, Cheshunt area. Of course this was one of the least exciting additions as London Buses had plenty of not too different Mark1 Metrobuses already.

Sunday 4 December 2016

I must admit I tend to use bus scenes to create my pictures these days but as bus pictures they still do not lose out I feel. Note the lengths I will go to get one of my buses and girls studies. She walks by almost in a world of her own as the throng jostles for position as the board the Enviro on the long established 192 to Stockport.

Thursday 1 December 2016

New Olympians mark the end of tradition at Chester

I certainly miss the chocolate brown Chester  buses which suited the city so well along with the Tilling Green of Crosville. The Coropration favoured Daimler Fleetlines for many years and then bought Dennis Dominators before as usual with Northern Counties bodies a few Leyland Olympians. Following Deregulation survival became harder and purchases were often geared to the quick-fit of the second-hand market so instead of continuity variety became the order of the day, interesting but a bit depressing at te same time..

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Solent Blue Bristol VR TRN 464V in Southampton

In the competitive days after Deregulation operators tried all sorts of tricks to gain fares including in some places the return of the conductor. With the public in mind the still ever popular London Routemaster was very much in demand for this but more modern 'OPO' type buses appeared too like this former Ribble ECW bodied Bristol VR of Solent Blue in Southampton where CityBus were using them along with it's 'heritage' very last AEC Regent.

Monday 28 November 2016

"ENG-ER-LAND, Come on You Eng-er-land"

Vicky and I went on a shopping spree in Chester; or rather she did. I hoped to get some decent trademark bus photos in the winter sunshine lit steets but just my luck the town was closed to traffic because of extensive roadworks and a visit by Mrs. Wales, Kate Middleton no less. But buses have their celebrities too if one wants to include the FA England Team Coach, a Scania which looks like it belongs to Guideline. As you can see this sort of slate grey is the 'cool' colour to use at the moment as it appears on a number of new buses.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Swiss PTT Saurer RH 24360 heading off to Tschiertien

By the time this photo was taken at the Swiss PTT garage at Chur at the end of the Nineties the faithful Saurer RH population was getting thin on the ground, but this 1983 example with Ramseier and Jenzer bodywork from Biel was still the best bus to head up the traditional Post Bus mountain road journey to the village of Tschiertien. Despite being about fifteen years old with not too long to go it still looked as good as new.

Monday 21 November 2016

Minsterley Motors DX12 OVZ in an early Festive Shrewsbury

This one of a Minsterley Motors Wright bodied Volvo was taken in early November last year even though the Christmas decorations might give the wrong impression as it went through Shrewsbury..

Alder Valley A215 SPB: Slow Progress through Knighsbridge

An Alder Valley Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger heads west out of London near Earls Court on it's way to Reading whilst a Dennis fire appliance seems to find an faster way to get through the afternoon Knightsbridge traffic.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Nice First Bus in Salford City Colours

A lot of recent buses don't always look too comfortable painted in a version of traditional bus liveries especially the Enviro 400's, but like an old half-cab these Wright bodies have a similar slope at the front and sharp corners giving those ornate schemes a crisp angular look. They only one that springs to mind that I don't like in First's commendable recreation of the past is the one painted red and white  like a Mancunian, maybe boring old red and cream might have worked better.

Friday 18 November 2016

Gleaming London Trasport National2 LS468 at Victoria

That's the beauty of black and white one can do a lot with a bit of contrast but I think LS 468 at Victoria Station in London was still quite new when I took this photo but not to be outdone RM 445 had just had a coat of new red paint to match. Not these older short ones but both London Transport's RML and Leyland National2's would have their lives extended and character changed, personally I liked them more as they were.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Shamrock & Rambler Tiger BPR 106Y

Following Deregulation anthing was possible and I never would have imagined that this Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger of Shamrock and Rambler seen in Southampton would end up with MRN at Stafford as one of the first arrivals from outside the company.

Arriva Dennis Dart W233 SNR in Stafford

In the early days I rather liked these Alexander bodies but having to ride on examples like this Arriva Dennis Dart I found them rather uncomfortable. Still it was always worth a photo or two as they are just a memory now. Obviously this lady heading for Burton Manor  has no objections to it's colour.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

HT Buses on the move in Copenhagen

These two buses were very typical of the Copenhagen HT fleet in the Eighties. The Leyland DAB's were to be found closer to the centre and this style of Aabeneraa bodied Volvo B10M had been the choice for the outer district, but later deliveries joined the throng too. 1432 was new in October 1981 and 1062 December 1979 and both are heading for the island of Amager over the bridge.

Monday 14 November 2016

A162 HLV Merseybus Volvo Citybus

A pair of Volvo Citybuses and a couple of Atlanteans all with Alexander bodywork suffer some unpleasant English weather at Woodside in Birkenhead.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Marchant of Cheltenham YDD 108S

Not all my pictures come up to standard and this one taken in Cheltenham was badly spoilt by the railings. Once upon a time grey and silver based liveries were quite common but as well as Marchant's, Abbott of Blackpool used a similar scheme which appeared on their Plaxton Supreme bodied AEC Reliance coaches too.

Friday 11 November 2016

Warstone LCB 88G at Cannock

If one had to pick a typical Green Bus single-decker it had to be one of these East Lancs bodies which appeared on Leyland Leopards and as here on a former Blackburn Tiger Cub. To myself it seemed a bit strange really as by now they had an antique quality but when devised in the Sixties this was perhaps the Municipals ultra-modern equivalent to the BET same at both ends bus and added to their air of freshness many Corporations opted for a brighter livery combination pioneered on the Bolton buses where it started when GM Ralph Bennett was there. In two shades or green and cream and sometimes with red wheel trims and of course rather old fashioned sign-writing Warstone's livery was refreshingly well out of step by the Eighties

Tuesday 8 November 2016

An Icey Day: VBD Davos Scania 113 No.2

Strange isn't it that as one can see from the snow on the trees it was below freezing point when I took this photo of a Scania113 of local operator VBD in Davos but it still feels warmer than a winter day in the UK. But maybe one just forgets or hurries to beat the cold.

Monday 7 November 2016

Lincolnshire FW 5696: A Ride Into The Past

One of the things I like the most about the Lincoln Running Day is there are always some authentic pre-war buses giving rides so the next time I watch a bit of old footage or look at photographs I can relate it to my experience. This year the cold wet weather was probably closer to the reality but thankfully one thing that was missing was the fog of cigarette smoke in the packed bus as it sped along at top speed of 30mph, but even that had it's compensations in an age when people took just one bath a week 'whether they needed it or not.'. My guess without looking it up is this Lincolnshire bus was a Leyland TS7 of about 1937.

Friday 4 November 2016

850 Years of the Birmingham Bull Ring

 but as the notice tells us we are not allowed to hand out fliers risking up to £2.500 in fines. I'm sure they could find better things to fine people for, but as long as they don't imprison me for taking photos in the street I don't mind, indeed it might even be an all-male establishment. Anyway at least National Express WM has healthy numbers of double-deckers like this Enviro.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

A Wall's Daimer Fleetline 168 WAL

Walls ran a smart fleet of buses in Manchester on the Didsbury Corridor including former GMT Fleetlines and they looked extremely smart in what was a kind of green version of the original livery worn by the red and white Mancunian buses in the Sixties. In the background is a similar NC bodied bus but that one was an Atlantean seen just prior to the breakup of GM Buses.

Monday 31 October 2016

PMT Bristol RELL PVT 225L and Foden at Newcastle

In Newcastle Bus Station was a PMT Bristol RELL and more interestingly behind it the Foden bought for elaluation for the NBC.

Sunday 30 October 2016

YX62 DWG First Group Enviro in Bath

Even though the colour of this First Bus Enviro reminds me a bit of those 'Yogtop' cherry flavoured yogurts  of my youth the modern livery doesn't look too out of place in the lovely city of Bath.

Crosviil;e AFM 103G Makes a run for it!

As the 2016 Showbus Gathering draws to a close at Donnington Park an army of enthusiasts gathers near the exits to make sure no vehicle leaves without being recorded for posterity.  Running the gauntlet was rather fine Bristol RELH ECW bodied in Crosville's old cream and black coach livery.

Saturday 22 October 2016

The Arriva Rocket to Rocket Pool

I told the pleasant driver I was going to photograph his bus and gave him the option of being in or out of shot, instead he posed for me in front of his Wright bodied VDL. What a difference it makes being a pretty young lady like Jojo lol, for as we know drivers can be quite rude and snotty with enthusiasts these days, however having said that I don't get much trouble. For a while Arriva competed with the Optare Solos of Banga Bus on the 530 route from Wolverhampton to Rocket Pool but even shorter doudle-deckers were a bit too big to weave the  maze of narrow estate roads. Also Banga were more popular with the public as Arriva don't stop for people unless they are at the stop and this caused a degree of consternation as just giving a wave from the other side of the road no longer worked as people ventured towards the hurrying bus, and yes they were always in a hurry too I don't think they wanted people to get on if they could help it.

Friday 21 October 2016

West Midlands Travel Metrobus2 2875 in Wednesbury

A West Midlands Travel Metrobus leaves Wednesbury bus station bound for Dudley and in the background is a once familiar sight in the Black Country a well laden wagon carrying steel. I can't remember the owner any more of the local Seddon Atkinson I wonder if it's 'Shorthouse' or something like that.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

SWG Setra Bus in Giessen

Just think there are so many places most of us have never heard of abroad unless they have maybe a successful football team. Also of course we tend to go to these places not just out of choice and I quite like the idea of feeling a bit indifferent about the place standing on a street corner as in time it gains it's true position as a big or tiny piece in the jigsaw of my life. Actually I have good memories as I have an old girlfriend who lives here called Marion and who resides on this bus route to the 'student village'. I met her when she was an exchange student, I think she found Stafford and it's students a bit of an education.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Paying Homage to Leicester's Titans at Showbus

I imagine had one been asleep in a comma since the Sixties and miraculously woke up they might well be amazed at how much of our once mundane past has been preserved. It seems the 'best' operators often seem to have the most buses in preservation and not surprisingly then that the smart impressive fleet from Leicester City Trsnsport is well represented. Looking at first glance a bit like carrying an MCW body the middle bus was a Leyland PD3/1 carrying a Willowbrook body.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Cumberland Expressliner on Rapide 572

National Express wanted all of it's contractors to not only paint coaches in their livery for a better job rate but also purchase these Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M coaches of their specification which if I remember rightly they christened 'The Expressliner'. A lot of the former NBC companies did just that including Cumberland whose coach on the Rapide 572 Service to London was seen passing through Gaol Square in Stafford one winter day.

Monday 10 October 2016

A DAB-Leyland Bendibus in Sheffield

It will take a few more people than this to fill this DAB-Leyland articulated bus in Sheffield.

Sunday 9 October 2016

"Wythall and I"

It's hardly surprising the Autumn open and running day at the bus museum at Wythall is so popular when not only does it always seem to attract lovely weather this year there were forty buses to take rides on with some journeys taking about a hour both into the city and places like Henley in Arden. One I would have liked to have ridden on was this 1937 Birmingham Daimler COG5 with MCW bodywork.

Saturday 8 October 2016

SN15 LHV: West Midlands Enviro at the Bull Ring Shopping Cente

An unusual view of a West Midlands Enviro in the latest maroon livery beside the Bull Ring Shopping Centre.

Friday 7 October 2016

West Coat Motors M300 WCM

In the attractive colours of small Scottish operator West Coast Motors was this Van-Hool bodied DAF seen in Glasgow.

Thursday 6 October 2016

MFK 768V at Victoria Coach Station

For a few moments my heart jumped I couldn't believe the registration of the RRH Volvo for I thought it was on one of my vans, in fact of course I didn't have MFK 768V, I had MFK 818P and then EDH 768T. Carrying the operator's initials RRH there were always plenty of hired coaches helping out on National Express work at busy times. Also in this peak hour view were no doubt more frequent visitors, a Bristol RE of Eastern National and a Alder Valley Leopard.

Monday 3 October 2016

Mercedes-Benz P392 FEA Midland Red North in Stafford

To think at one time there were about twenty Mercedes-Benz minibuses with Midland Red North at Stafford including 392 and 393 with Alexander Sprint bodies delivered new. That's right even in the small bus era half or the buses had come from elsewhere and unlike these some were worse than others.