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

Thursday 31 March 2016

MAN Tour Coach from Portugal

At first I thought this was a leftover from my holiday in Portugal then I noticed all the unexciting mucky yellow Trebants and the odd Wartborg so I realised this must be the old East Berlin before The Berlin Wall finally tumbled.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Arriva Optare 3699 in New Park Road, Shrewsbury.

An Optare Spectra the most common type with Arriva at Shrewsbury along with Solo's heads down New Park Road. I think we probably tend to take too many photos in the more obvious places so I like to have a camera with me when I'm just walking from A-B as it's always good to have varying views although I admit they can't all be exactly interesting. A herd of wild buffalo came charging down here five minutes earlier but sadly I just missed it lol. The number 3699 suggests a Midland Red S12 but that one was at Hartshill, Dudley and Evesham, but 3696-8 were all allocated new here; ah those were the days!

Monday 28 March 2016

Derby Blue Bus NNN 11P

When Derby bought out Independent Blue Bus of Willington they kept it for their expanded coach fleet and coaching activities. Amongst the fleet were some Plaxton Supreme bodied AEC Reliances and NNN 11P had to be pictured against the sun in Derby but it did make all that brightwork seem to gleam..

Sunday 27 March 2016

Prague Nudy Tudy Tram

Let's all follow the young lady onto the Nudy Tudy Tram for some fun. Maybe not as daft as it may at first appear for Prague is a very open minded place and where most of those commercially staged shoots are done of unconcerned naked girls walking down the street or entering bars.

Easter: But are Happy Days here again?

I think Happy Days greatest asset is it's name and that 1930's Art Deco period sunburst made their coaches stand out. Here was a Plaxton bodied Scania from when I took a day trip one beautiful Sunday to Scarborough.

Lancaster Leyland Tiger D154 THG in Blackpool

One good thing about East Lancs during the Eighties, not only were they happy to build single orders of single deckers but because the demand was often sparse many of them had a rather unique look or treatment. Some were ugly ducklings of course but this Lancaster Leyland Tiger seen in Blackpool looked quite attractive.

Friday 25 March 2016

An early Bova National Express Rapide 530 AEF 203Y

A hint of the future, these angular Bova DAF's made a bit of a contrast to the mostly Duple Dominant and Plaxton bodied Leylands on National Express work in the Eighties. A scarce Northern General example on Rapide 530 was caught about to enter Digbeth Coach Station one busy Friday.

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Turners ALD 914B in York

Turner ran this Plaxton Supreme bodied Leyland Leopard which I think came from Lacey of East London and it had at some time acquired the registration from RM 1914 which of course made the Seventies R-T vehicle hark back to 1964. Obviously from the service details stuck to the windscreen this coach did the same job most of it's life running between South Milford to York via Tadcaster.

Monday 21 March 2016

Thamesdown BMR 204V ECW bodied Leyland Fleetline

Four Daimler and Leyland badged Fleelines and a sick Dennis Dominator make up this depot scene at Swindon.

Sunday 20 March 2016

Midland Red National2 BVP 810V in Stafford

Midland Red at Stafford had the first of Midland Red's National2's 807-811 no doubt in demand because they could negotiate the low railway bridge at Colwich. But this is interesting as it's shows 810 as it entered service and it looked so good with it's two white bands and black wheels.

York Pullman JDN 668 Still Pulling the Crowds

It has been in preservation for some years but not surprisingly this elegant exposed radiator Roe  bodied AEC Regent is still a big favourite with enthusiasts and here it was hard at work again at Lincoln last year. I think I first rode on it between Kidderminster and Bewdley on the Severn Valley Event which was some years ago now

Saturday 19 March 2016

My Girl Friend Says I have enough Model Buses

She's probably right of course as this is only about half of them. The trouble is there are still about half a dozen I still want and of course all those that haven't turned up yet on the right day and at the right price. It's so tempted to buy something for as little as £3.50 when one knows tomorrow they can if the worst comes to the worst put it on eBay.

Friday 18 March 2016

BX61 LKU: Cheeky Monkey!

I think my friend likes to protest when I get her in my photos out of principal as she's getting used to me and my ways now, same goes for her. But recently I've seen more of these West Midlands Wright bodied Volvos on the 54 in Stafford than the branded Enviros, but these are much more to my liking.

Thursday 17 March 2016

S.U.T Neoplan TWG 561Y Rapide Coach

Sadly shortly after Yelloways sold out to S.U.T. their fine fleet of Leyland and AEC coaches was replaced by often worn out looking Neoplans heading for retirement after fulfilling their contracts heading to the Alps with skiers etc... . This one was seen venturing out of Marlborough Street Bus Station into the sunshine on the long service it inherited between Lancashire and The South West.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Dial a Public Car at Yverdon

The last time I went to Switzerland in 2000 democracy was at work and the tax-payers had decided that that they were paying too much. Not only were some smaller railway stations closed at weekends some Post Bus journeys were abandoned too and dial-a-ride buses introduced to fill the gaps like this Iveco at Yverdon. I think the girl in the Doc Martins had had enough and decided to walk.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

E229 CFC Oxford Park and Ride 1992

Even if one wasn't brave enough to venture into the city they could still find the Oxford Bus Company buses doing the 'Park & Ride' beside the Ring Road as they used the out of town service areas with their large car parks. As people board the Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian for the city centre I make a point that to get buses and girls in the shot together they can be on the vehicle too. "Come on give us a wave girls."

Sunday 13 March 2016

Low Fell Coaches D913 URG in Newcastle

Low Fell Coaches ran this Plaxton bodied Bedford and it was seen in Newcastle on the Cross Tyne Service in the Eighties.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Always refreshing to see Robinsons

It was always a delight to see the coaches of Robinson of Great Harwood always looking immaculate in that green and black livery lined out in white. For a number of years they chose Leylands and two sister vehicles are seen in Blackpool 192 and 193 Duple bodied Leopards.

Friday 11 March 2016

G453 NSL At Manchester Airport on National Expresss 738 to Glasgow

Very much the standard National Express 'Rapide' coach at the time was this Plaxton Paramount 3500 bodied Volvo B10M, indeed the company tried to impose it on it's contractors when they tendered for services and I think they christened it 'The Expressliner' or something like that. Heading home was this Scottish coach bound for Glasgow on the 738 at Manchester Airport and quite likely belonging to Park of Hamilton but that's just a guess.

VKB 708 at Liverpool Green Lane Garage

When I saw this reg. on a Stagecoach Dennis Dart in Chester I thought it might have come off this former Liverpool Corporation Leyland PD2 L250 which had been converted into a service vehicle. Not as frequent as going to Chester but I used to have to take meters to MANWEB in Liverpool as well and it was handy as the store was in an old power station in Moscow Drive which meant I had to go passed Green Lane nearby where the open-air bus depot was always a good place to grab a photo or two.

Thursday 10 March 2016

VKB 708: A Hobby full of Coincidences

Thankfully even though the buses of today are a bit dull like this unexciting Stagecoach Dennis Dart taken on the Liverpool Road in Chester there are so many other things that can lift a picture like a dramatic late afternoon February sky full of snow or who knows what. But what amazed me about this picture of Stagecoach VKB 708 is I uploaded it yesterday morning and in the evening did some scanning and quite by coincidence I happened to do one of the original VKB 708 which was a totally different beast which I will put on later.

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Danish Style at Viborg

One of the nicest things about a visit to Denmark back in the Eighties was the wealth of tiny private bus operators who perhaps just did one route from village to town but which took delivery of new vehicles finished to a very high standard like this DAB Leyland. DSB on the other hand looked a lot more like a state railway company with it's all-red buses like the Volvo B10M also with DAB bodywork seen at Viborg in Jutland.

Taff-Ely AEC Reliance Willowbrook JNY 367D

Formerly Pontyridd a Taff-Ely AEC Reliance bearing a very dated BET style of bodywork by Willowbrook trundles into Caerphilly in about 1980.

Monday 7 March 2016

First Potteries YN05 HCO in Newcastle

With their red painted fronts these Potteries branded First buses remind me of similar buses with these Wright bodies in the N.Exp West Midlands fleet. There was a time when I could have told you just from the number whether it was a Volvo or a Scania but these days I'm quite happy just to get decent photos. On this occasion I wanted to keep away from the bus station whilst Victoria got her nails done in Newcastle and this town is quite undulating which makes for interesting views. First doesn't share it's new buses very fairly and just about everything has been cascaded down from 'more important' operations including this ten tear old bus with a Yorkshire marque.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Rossendale Leyland PD3 at Asda in Rawtenstall

Rossendale Transport was a bit of a safe haven for traditional half-cab Leyland PD3's with East-Lancs bodies as they retained a few when elsewhere they were normally getting rare. Indeed one could catch them hard at work even during quieter periods for they found suitable employment for at least a pair of them doing the Asda free shuttle.

Grahams on Breezy Blackpool Prom

With it's wealth of interesting Independents Grahams from the Potteries tends to get overlooked but they had a smart fleet which as well as Leylands included this Plaxton bodied Volvo B10m D456 ERF.

Friday 4 March 2016

Preston Bus East-Lancs Atlantean 121

Like Ribble also based in the town Preston Corpoartion was for many years a Leyland stronghold. Built in the next town this Atlantean's East-Lancsbodywork was also a local Lancashire product. It was pictured one wet Saturday in the town, I ended up not paying for my ride as I didn't have the correct money, still it was only a couple of stops from the bus station.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

FBV 504W North Western on Merseyside

The seemingly endless developments that too place following Deregulation were interesting at the time and indeed quite colourful even if the end game with virtual monopoly left many of us with a bitter taste in our mouth. But it was a good time to go out with a camera as there was always plenty to see.

154 Neuchatel FBW

In the late Seventies the planners in Switzerland as elsewhere wanted to put everything in tidy little boxes and decreed that all the town buses should have their individual liveries replaced by this orange and white. Some dragged their feet so that by the time it was abandoned few buses had suffered this curse. Others on the other hand like Lausanne adopted this livery as standard. I don't care for it much and thankfully attractive towns like Neuchatel went back to it's cream livery.