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 29 February 2016

It's Orange: First Get's Tangoed

First Bus has retrenched in recent times ridding itself to pay of debt of not just it's more rural networks but some large working class towns too which should be profitable if run properly. It's still in the Potteries another good example but even here in it's diminished empire it has dogged professional competition from D&G which at times seems less like the small Independent. Two of their buses are seen in Newcastle.

Saturday 27 February 2016

BVG 3134 at S Bahn Frohnau

If people didn't mind living in close proximity to the notorious Berlin Wall for West Berliners it created quiet little backwaters with little extra traffic and a nice example was a very comfortable and green Frohnau where the 18.9km route from Wittenauer Strasse terminated . This MAN dated from 1978.

P23417: Choose your bus for a ride into The Alps

In Britain when we take bus photos at depots the backdrop is usually pretty uninspiring but as one might imagine not always in Switzerland as can be seen here at Meiringen. Two 70's Post Buses were ready to head off up those mountain passes the first a 1973 Saurer DUK with a Tuscher body was bound for Engslenalp whilst the attractive FBW carried the prototype bodies for the later large Saurer RH Class. Hess bodied and of 1978 it was heading for Swarzwaldalp but unlike powerful FBW's of old this batch of twenty-three mountain buses were fitted with under-powered Mercedes OM 401 engines.

Friday 26 February 2016

Social Travel S301 SHB in Stafford

Awash with Independents Stafford was starting to resemble the stalwarts like Greatrex, Happy Days, Bassetts, and Butters. But I've been told Social Travel will just do one more week before ending their competition with Arriva on the 74 from Cannock. A number of the buses seemed to have come from Cardiff.

Thursday 25 February 2016

First Barbi Omnicity Scania 65042 in Newcastle

I'm sure a show of hands would vote against the so-called First Barbi livery and I too was one who hoped they might come up with something different. But I have to say the problem for me was not the design which was not a problem just all that depressing grey. Sadly the improved version is nowhere nearly as striking and the colours are even more muted making it greyer than ever and I wonder how it will look once it shows sign of wear, a bit like horror of horrors Barbi2.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Cardiff City Optare Metrorider E120 RDW.

Some bus designs seem to get better with age but the harsh lines the the Optare Metrorider look rather dated today like this Cardiff example branded as a clipper seen in 1992.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Crosville DVG 526 and views of Liverpool across The Mersey

I guess some might wonder why I took a photo knowing there was a lamp post in front of Crosville DVG 526 a still quite new Bristol VR bound boarding for Chester at Birkenhead. But I'm afraid you can't have everything and what does it matter when I can get this more interesting view of not just other buses at Woodside but the Liverpool looking magnificent across the Mersey.

Monday 22 February 2016

Wiima Bodied Volvo B10M Gothenborg

To British eyes these Wiima bodies look most unusual but the chassis was the familiar Volvo B10M. The youngsters in Newcastle might run around in tee-shirts and short dresses in Newcastle but the women in Gothenborg wrapped up well in the cold.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Yorkshire Woollen District Leyland Tiger PS1 HD 7905 at Lincoln

In a Fifties world where most people in Yorkshire didn't have a car I can much more understand a young boy's fascination for magnificent beasts like this 1948 Leyland Tiger PS1, obviously one which was not rebodied as an MCW Orion in 1954. Of course the often dour image of BET firms like Woollen was dependability rather than luxury and even though the colours do look much better than many liveries today it would not sparkle like this for long out on the wet streets.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Swift Perched on an Elme

I know some of you will find these quite rare midi-buses seen at Blackpool of interest. I don't always get it right these days but I imagine the Leyland Swift has a PMT body with the very unmemorable name of an Elme.

Friday 19 February 2016

PMT A305 JFA National2 in Stafford

For a short time in about 1987 Stafford was home to all ten of MRN's Leyland National2's including 813 which came from Shrewsbury. As well as these PMT used outwardly similar buses on the Hanley X60 service but these were quite different to ride on as they had Gardner engines and dual-purpose cloth seating.

S44 ABC: Stagecoach in Chester

I've been out and about with my friend again and we do like Chester, lots of nice clothes to look at but too expensive to buy even in the charity shops. She doesn't really like being photographed so we play games and she tries to dart out of shot when a bus comes. This time she had nowhere to hide and it is a nice photo and I presume to Plaxton Pointer is a ubiquitous Dennis Dart as most of them are.

Thursday 18 February 2016

869 SVX Maidstone & District Invictaway

I always found the Thames Embankment in London to be a good place to be as the evening rush hour approached with a constant stream of mostly commuter services plus other interesting distractions. I rather liked the M&D Invictaway livery and it looked good on the Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tigers.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

South Shields Busways RCU 576S

A cold day in South Shields where women with their hard lives written on their faces have the sense to wrap up warm unlike the youngsters up there. Behind is a rather ungainly Willowbrook bodied Leyland Atlantean of South Shields Busway, in looks a far cry from the fine Corporation Roe bodied Daimler half-cabs in pre-PTE days.

6 MPT A Stevenson's Favourite of Mine

Stevenson's of Spath saw lots of changes in its latter years as it expanded and that included it's image. This included a number of livery styles but this was my favourite, a nice tidy look with neat businesslike lettering none of that modern scribble that looks like it was lifted off a potato crisp package. Yes this looked very businesslike just like the functional but elegantly turned out Plaxton Derwent bodied Leyland Leopard. Oh and it was seen at a location with memories which will warm the heart of many a Stevo driver and you truckers as well the Salt Box Cafe at Hatton..

Monday 15 February 2016

SVV 587W United Counties National2 in Northampton

The trouble with trying to take buses in action is not only can they easily blur shadows appear in the wrong places but I still prefer them to those taken in a more familiar location such as in the bus station. Also of course if one has a good imagination they can still hear them roar by like the distinctive roar of the National2 in Northampton.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Merseybus E208 WBG

n Liverpool a Merseybus Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian prepares to head back down the Mersey Tunnel to Heswall. I always found these colours based on a historic Liverpool livery rather attractive.

Manchester. No Buses and Girls pics lately...

Soon fix that, not my best shot I must admit but taken in Manchester I like her shiny leather-look trousers and it's worth taking a few moments to guess what they might be made of as that is Jojo's domain lol.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Former Blue Ensign Bedford YRQ at Blackpool

I don't believe big is always better and to enlarge a photo doesn't always make it more interesting but there are exceptions like this one I took of a South Yorkshire PTE Plaxton bodied Bedford YLQ, one of three which came with Blue Ensign in 1978. If you haven't guessed already it was taken one wet weekend in Blackpool.

Friday 12 February 2016

Postsdam Bahnhof Forecourt as it was

Potsdam is quite a large town but only boasted a fairly small very traditional and pleasant joint S-Bahn and main line railway station which hadn't been altered much since it was built. Once outside the visitor was afforded lovely views beyond lines of trees towards Potsdam itself. But following German  Reunification the station was completely rebuilt to incorporate a shopping centre and all the old DDR cobbled street charm was gone as was this scene thanks to good old western Capitalism with it's up and down escalators and characterless fast food outlets..

Thursday 11 February 2016

D&G Our Friendly Bus Service

That's the nice thing about smaller companies with regular drivers on a route they get to know their customers. D&G turn up and pretty well run to time and if anyone is late it's usually me but they let me on. For as long as I can remember the service from Stafford to Uttoxeter has been hourly but now it's usually hourly and not only that many journeys are well loaded. Normally it's an Enviro like this but Solo's are also used on this and the 842.

Skills Toyota C22 LRR at Sheffield Pool Meadow

These little Toyota midi-buses were more common than one would expect as rhey were an ideal tool for small parties and feeder work. They appeared in the odd well know fleet as well if this one with Skills of Nottingham is anything to go by and it was seen in Sheffield.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Bryn Melvyn Volvo B7 in Bridgnorth

A cup of coffee and a few minutes to watch the world go by in Bridgenorth Low Town. Being on a town service we saw this Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7 numerous times and it was usually stuck in traffic like these roadworks by the bridge over the Severn.

Monday 8 February 2016

PTT Setra 214 at Nessnau

The Swiss PTT had almost one-hundred of these Setra 214's like this one at Nessnau on the run to Buchs. Mercedes 405's were more coommon in the urban areas but these impressive coach-like vehicles were favoured for touristic areas, however they were very prone to salt erosion.

Sunday 7 February 2016

United Auto Bova B725 MBC in Blackpool

Even in the Nineties during the season Blackpool could be a mecca for interesting coaches like this Bova Futura in United's red and white livery and bearing a Leicester number making it slightly more worthy of attention. But re-registrations were in abundance too adding to the problem and we can see one, a Leopard probably as AEC's were getting scarce which at first glance looks like has an Isle of Man number B423 MAN. I'm glad I stopped spotting when I was a youngster when change moved very gradually and the orderly bus world was well documented.

Thursday 4 February 2016

Midland Red North Iveco Daily in Stafford

In the Nineties it seemed the minibus in various sizes was about to push out the normal sized big bus and that was certainly the case in Stafford on local routes at least. There was a good variety of them with Midland Red North at least and one of the more pleasant looking was this of the less numerous Iveco Daily 49 10 buses with Robin Hood City Nippy bodywork and which came from Crosville Cymru.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

BVG 1889

On what was formerly Route 28 before Reunification was this BVG MAN turning into Monument Strasse on it's way to Templehof.

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Cambridge Blue VR of Cambus JAH 402L

n Cambridge was an ECW bodied Bristol VR of Cambus going to one of the city's best known destination Kings Hedges Road. Before dark blue areas were added to the pale blue and cream livery this fleet formed from the local Eastern Counties operation looked very bland indeed.