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

Saturday 30 April 2016

Tulips in Amsterdam and Derby

Well Derby isn't quite the same is it somehow but this Sixties photo probably 1967 was taken at about now. The most interesting bus we can only just catch a glimpse of and as it passes and  that is one of the Barton low-height AEC Regents with modern curved glass full-front bodies by Northern Counties. The Brush bodied Corporation buses have a functional look about them but as well as 1947 Daimler 27 ACH 627 there is one of the five Foden buses in the background No. 108 CRC 908.

Bus 3396: The BVG 185 a Route Favourite

At one time most of the buses in Berlin were double-deckers and one could just jump on any one at the Zoo and go a good distance. But today it is not so easy as services have been shortened or cut altogether where they compete with the U-Bahn and customers have to change. This route when I was last there a few years ago still went from Wittenbergplatz and is an interesting ride which goes through Steglitz which is a town in itself and on into the leafy suburbs of Lichterfelde taking 44 mins. At one time except at weekend even this favourite was lost to the single-deck but with the coming of the three-axle Lion there seemed to be enough to cover this one too. I have been to Berlin many many times but now I don't get on with my brother there more visits are unlikely.

Friday 29 April 2016

Not that one again: Stagecoach 21268 in Chester

In the old days back in the Sixties and Seventies one went out with their camera or notebook and never quite knew which buses to expect to see for they spread them out much more at random but today vehicles are much more likely to we wedded to specific jobs like this Stagecoach Wright bodied Volvo on the Park and Ride in Chester. But it doesn't bother me so much as I just like taking good pictures it's just a matter of  Victoria giving me enough time as she calls out "Come on Jojo." but no she's very patient with me lol..  But I've had to ring her on her mobile before now as she had disappeared into some store or other without trace. I must admit I still love Chester whereas other places from the past have lost their sparkle.

Thursday 28 April 2016

JCL 810V:A Leaky Willowbrook?

I wouldn't recommend this hotel in Victoria, London to anyone but the front room they gave me had splendid views of the street outside and I got this super shot of a probably leaky Willowbrook bodied Leyland Leopard of Cambus heading home for Cambridge during the rush hour.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Caradoc 'Saints of Travel' C12 GWC

Possibly a former National Express coach is this Plaxton bodied Volvo I expect of Caradoc claiming to be the 'Saints of Travel' in Shrewsbury.

Monday 25 April 2016

Berlin 1982: A new bus and a new looking girl

Any old excuse to take a picture of a new bus like this BVG Waggon-Union bodied MAN taken in 1982 No.1893 at Zoo Bahnhof.

Sunday 24 April 2016

Hampshire Coach ELJ 209V at Alton Towers

Coaches come from far and wide to come to Alton Towers and I found the coach park a lot more fun than going on the rides, just a pity it didn't take more than a few minutes. But from the south came a Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopard of Hampshire, former Hants and Dorset, and further afield from just inside Cornwall but something like 300 miles was was this Duple Dominant bodied Volvo B10M of Webber. I don't know about you but seems a long way to come just to feel sick!

Saturday 23 April 2016

West Midlands Enviro No. 5413 BX13 JUO

One thing I miss about black and white photography is the way one can create by working against the light source strong contrasting or more tonal moody outdoor scenes. But now like everyone else wedded to digital images I'm still going to try and this is not a bad attempt on a West Midlands Enviro returning to Wolverhampton from Dudley.

Friday 22 April 2016

Berresford's Bus Graveyard at Cheddleton

Scrapyards I tend to find a bit depressing but bus graveyards are a different matter as vehices rust and decay and old paint peels in the hot sun and winter frosts. One of the most famed was behind Berresford's depot at Cheddleton and I was fortunate to be allowed to wander around with my camera on a couple of occasions. Of a number of similar buses were bought with only a couple entering service whilst the others were just dumped and used for spares as was the case with some Leyland bodied PD2's from the Stockport fleet whose red and white livery was very similar and with a short life expectancy hardly worth repainting.

Stratford Blue Called this one Rachel

After re-privatisation of the NBC a number of old much loved names reappeared a few in a close proximity to the old livery but more in updated livery like this smart Leyland Leopard of Stratford Blue on the Oxford service in the Nineties. The NBC was rather a cold flat characterless regime so it was nice to see a bit of character return to the buses with the naming of this by then quite old lady.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Chester City Transport No. 1 B201 EFM

I miss Chester City Transport whose buses reminded me of chocolate digestives so suited the oldie historic street where one might expect to find a cosy tea room or two. Bodywork orders aa at Wigan used to be shared between Massey and Northern Counties till the former was absorbed then it was just NC on the deckers like Leyland  Olympian No.1.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

A Pretty Sight

You might call cyclists a pest especially the ones who think they own the road and who who are willing to thump anyone who gets in their way but they help keep my Halfords shares ticking upwards as do motorists of course. Shrewsbury is a mecca for these Arrive Optare Versa's but as long as it helps me get some pictures I don't mind what they are.

Monday 18 April 2016

When I spotted there were far more buses to see

Yes Jojo is too old to worry about bus numbers but I saw a few in my time I remember trying to do a count in about 1970 and it was at least 35.000 different buses. Today after years of service cut-backs and the onward march of the motorcar there are possibly not even that many running in the UK and I'm sure someone out there knows. One thing that is good though, even though Stagecoach and the other big groups swallowed up not only most of the remaining  ex-municpals we lost a lot of Independent's too, but thankfully there is a new generation who sometimes beat the big boys at their own game like Potteries based D&G with their cheerful orange buses rarely let us down.

Midland Red 5233 7 5917 at Coventry

Not a very good one I'm afraid but by the time I took this in about 1979-80 LS18's were getting a bit scarce but  Willowbrook 5233 soldiored on on the long run to Lichfield which they had worked since new as the 765 whilst a much newer BMMO S23 also a Nuneaton bus would not enjoy the extended life of some of the 1962-63 Leyland Leopards.

Sunday 17 April 2016

A Bowens Taken in Manchester

Taken last December, I think this one is a VDL lol.

Thursday 14 April 2016

Busy Paignton Bus Station

Stagecoach was quick to make it's mark when it took control of Harry Blundred's 'world of minibus madness', and a few still in evidence including a Ford Transit in 'sunny' former Bayline Grey with I think with if I remember rightly very appropriate registration letter NOD for Noddy lol. Of course Devon General had till not so long ago plenty of Bristol VR's and  they had to be reintroduced. JUB 650V starting life with West Yorkshire so I'm not quite sure how it arrived in the Stagecoach arena. Not visible but also in the bus station was the Leyland PD2 open-topper and as I had a day ticket I kicked myself later for not getting off to take some photos here, maybe it was because I felt happy because I had bagged the seat at the front upstairs. But a couple of trips later to Devon and I finally tracked it down in the depot yard at Exeter as it had been withdrawn after Stagecoach stopped doing an open-top tour of the city. Just in case anyone wants to catch me out there were still some VR open-toppers in Torbay but even long trunk routes like that to Plymouth were entrusted to cramped little Mercs.Wasn't Blundred formerly a Bus Conductor? perhaps he had a phobia about big buses as he hated having to keep going upstairs.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Warrington Leyland Titan PD2/40 42 BED 722C

We all have favourite buses and I always liked these special narrow Warrington East-Lancs bodied PD2/40's and as 41 retained it's original livery it was the one which always caught my eye.

Sunday 10 April 2016

SP58 DPE: Well it does say Cameras

As you can see there's a huge sign there that says 'Cameras' so no excuses lol. Looking in smart in a plummy crimson red wtih gold was an Optare Versa of Tanat Valley whose attractive livery will make the many similar buses with Arriva in Shrewsbury look rather pedestrian. Once Mid Wales ran a wealth of interesting elderly buses to places like Welshpool and like this one to Montgomery but the times have changed and these rural operators sometimes run buses that are even more up to date than the big groups with all that buying power, Stagecoach of course being the exception.

First Greater Mancher Volvo Northern Counties C481 CBU

In Wigan in First Greater Manchester orange and purple and looking like one of the very many Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympians delivered to Greater Manchester was this I believe Volvo Citybus.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Mortlake Showbus RM 1563 563 CLT

I think Mortlake was a favourite garage with London Transport enthusiasts. They were certainly friendly to me the day I visited letting me wander inside to photograph stored RM1, RTW 467 and others. Also not only was their Showbus RM 1563 turned out nicely all their buses were usually very tidy. I had a girlfriend with me this day and perhaps more for her benefit the driver got out his comb and did his hair making her laugh. It was only a smallish garage with an allocation of about 37 by the Seventies although in the days of the RTL it had been 57. It only did one other route apart from 9 the very long 73. This garage  was a hit with me too as they ran Leyland powered RM's, after all I do reside well north of Watford Gap where the M1 ends lol.

Friday 8 April 2016

Mr Banga's old Banger Maybe but it does Arrive unlike Arriva

I read today Banga bus got in trouble due to poor maintenance record keeping and frequent MOT failures  and had it's operator's license reduced from thirteen to twelve buses. But there are far worse operators than this and to their credit scored a splendid 97% for reliability, a result I'm sure both locally Arriva and First would envy as buses still don't turn up or cut out bits of the route to make up time. Of course fed up one can telephone and complain but in the old days bus inspectors policed the system with proper authority. Having said that most buses do turn up but the failings should not go unchallenged as without the management knowing about it how can they improve the service but that's the problem when the people who should be watching are in a different part of the country.

A Halton East-Lancs bodied Leopard HEN 868N

A less well known member of Halton Transport  in Cheshire and once Lancashire town of Widnes was this unusual Northern Counties short Leyland Leopard which came from nearby Chester City. With so many Leyland Nationals or grant body coaches entering service there were very few other single-deck buses entering service in the mid-Eighties but when it came to small Municipal orders like these four the work usually went to East Lancs who still built one offs to the customers spec or even Duple who also supplied buses to Chester.

Thursday 7 April 2016

Does this go via Orwell: Route 101?

A PMT Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger ERF24Y STL 24 coach demoted to bus work was giving people a comfortable journey on the 101 which at that time went all the way from Stafford to Leek right across the operating area. Great for passengers if many actually went all the way but no doubt at times a nightmare for time-keeping. One wonders today how the old cross London Green Line services would fare with so much congestion. I think someone out to de-invent the car or as it might be somewhere on this route put them in Room 101.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Metrobus Mark1 BOK 72V at Cannock

I never thought it at the time but I really miss some buses from the Eighties and Nineties and a good example is the delicious sounding MCW Metrobus of which there were many in the West Midlands fleet including 2072 seen here at Cannock Bus Station.

Sunday 3 April 2016

Rebodied Leyland Royal Tiger : OK EJR 791

An interesting vehicle with OK Motor Services was this Plaxton rebodied Leyland Royal Tiger which came from Hunter in 1977.

A bit of East Yorkshire in Manchester

It's a good job it's not a beauty competition as even though these buses looked designed rather than thrown together as was the case say in theEighties and Nineties they are not pretty, perhaps it's the rather ugly grills. We do take things for granted though and it's only when we see vehicles like this together we realise how prevalent this sloping wedge shape is just like my Ford Fiesta too etc. The East Yorkshire coach looks a bit odd in it's more traditional guise but I quite like it. This scene was taken in Manchester.

Saturday 2 April 2016

Danish State Railways DSB Bus 789 in Kolding

Very much the standard bus of the Danish railways in the late Seventies was this style of Aabeneraa bodied Volvo B10M and generally the usual alternative across the land to Leyland based DAB products. In 1979 Kolding still had it's own DAB municipal buses but by my next visit DSB who were already operating in the town had taken them over including this town service..

Friday 1 April 2016

Inkberrow Cruiser GO54 END

A rather attractive Van-Hool bodied Volvo was seen in Wolverhampton last summer.