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

Tuesday 30 August 2016

A Swedish Lesson in Wales: Newport VDW 446K

.Like Leicester the Welsh town of Newport went for the Ango-Swedish Metropolitan double deckers and the rather attractive and very solid looking Metro-Scania single-decker like VDW 446K seen here in the bus station. Like a number of Municipals they wanted to buy something else apart from theLeyland products they wanted them to have and these state of the art sophisticated buses seemed to tick a lot of boxes. Sadly as well as being somewhat thirsty as time went on they rusted and proved costly to keep on the road.

Monday 29 August 2016

Fishwick's Leyland National NFR 559T

Sometimes when going through old photographs looking for things to scan I come across an undiscovered gem which when enlarged comes to life. That is what happened with this image of a Fishwick's Leyland National dancing between the shadows cast by buildings in Preston. I've scanned a large copy of it too my tribute to a much missed operator.

Everything Spotless in Bath

Even I can see what type of coach body this one is, an Irizar at least. Jojo is not someone who doesn't use things I hate to be wasteful so it's good to be able to use that much neglected 'z' on my keyboard and worth ten valuable point in a game of Scrabble lol. White coaches are boring but it still makes a perfect base colour and this one looks superb with light red relief that goes with the lines and neat designer graphics so much nicer than that Gee-Vee coach I uploaded the other day. Worthing Coaches sound like a proper name too but someone will probably come back and say they are a London firm or something like that.

Friday 26 August 2016

Gee Vee

I'm afraid I find it hard to get too enthusiastic about coaches these days and this one whatever it might be is no exception. Impressive it may be but the colours are a bit yucky as is 'Gee Vee' and the rather heavy and dated type-face. My guess is it's Neoplan, it usually is when I don't like something. Still it looks cheerful and clean and memorable which is half the battle I suppose.

Thursday 25 August 2016

Western Scottish Seddon KS2650 at Coventry

One of the less likely vehicles one was likely to see at Pool Valley in Coventry in 1979 was this Alexander bodied Seddon based some distance away at the Western Scottish garage at Kilmarnock.

Farewell to Plymouth: First 33420

No I don't suppose under normal circumstances I will be going to Plymouth again which is a pity as I've been many many times. Still as the years have gone by the experience has been watered down and even though I'm not a huge First Bus fan they were rather less dull than Stagecoach whose much more modern fleet seems to lack variety, indeed it is the same wherever one goes these days. Lets be thankful there are still other things to take photographs of like in this view taken last Summer.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

A DSB DAB in Kolding

With the exception of Copenhagen's PTE HT with 1250 buses in 1986, the Danish Railways or as they were known DSB was the largest bus fleet in Denmark. Unlike many Danish operators which nixed a fairly balanced Volvo Aabeneraa and DAB fleet, the Silkeborg Leyland factory had only supplied them with about twenty of the almost six-hundred strong fleet and one of the second batch was seen in Kolding.

Monday 22 August 2016

A Birkenhead Daimler Fleetline RCM 507

In comparison with the droves of Leyland Atlanteans there were far fewer Fleetlines built with this original style of MCW bodywork perhaps mainly because by the time this Daimler arrived there was a lot more choice of body styles. These nine buses were a sole purchase for Birkenhead as really I'm sure it wanted to stick to it's tried and trusted Massey Leyland PD2 combination. There seems to be plenty of forward ventilation provided for the crew but not so much for the passengers upstairs.

Old Leylands Nrever Die.....

....but they might just get a red nose. Seen in the Eighties this Dutch example seen in Copenhagen was a survivor of an era that had vanished there.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Brighton Open-Top Leyland PD3 LUF 133F

Very much a feature of Brighton was it's open top buses, this MCW bodied PD3 was delivered new as as believe it or not an OPO bus. But after it was converted I imagine with most people getting on and off at the same points these duties were less demanding with regard to driver neck-ache on sea-front duties. Still I'm sure they must have been popular with the public at least and No.33 LUF 133F might have been pictured in 1979 but all four were still with Brighton in 1985.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Birmingham Two Faces of National Express

I finally managed to go to Birmingham and back on my bus pass and it wasn't that far although the 126 seems to take forever. In the old days on the straight through Midland Red 196 via Wolverhampton it used to take two hours but was always quicker if I went through Walsall instead. On this occasion it was still the case for I was back fifteen minutes quicker but I must admit I was very lucky with my connections as the No.1 from Walsall should have already been gone by the time I reached the stop.

Friday 19 August 2016

Brewer's passing through Stafford

In the Eighties during the fine days of summer on a Saturday I regularly took my camera with me into Stafford as not only was it lively there were a good number of coaches which visited the town including of course a few surprises. On this occasion I was just in the right spot to catch two Brewers coaches from South Wales including a Leyland Leopard CEP 117V and also with a Plaxton body this AEC Reliance. Judging by the number twelve displayed this was a big job and one wonders what else was up here, but of course some of them might have stayed on the M6 for so no others.

A Pair of Mulley's in Bury St Edmunds

As well as the main operator Eastern Counties the town of Bury St Edmunds was able to boast Independent interest as well and these included one of the legends of the industry Mulley's of Ixworth. These two Bedfords might not be terribly exciting by their standards but nice all the same especially the less common one with a Van Hool body unlike the ubiquitous Duple.

Thursday 18 August 2016

Shearings the Bus Operator in St Helens F38 ENF

Rather like PMT with Degegulation Shearings who made a commitment to bus work seemed to pop up all over the place and especially in the towns close to it's base at Wigan. A not very patronised Alexander Belfast bodied Leyland Tiger leaves St. Helens for Prescot in about 1989.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Not in my Highway Code! takling a right turn in Lichfield

I feel sorry for youngsters learning to drive today having not only to follow the whims of all that traffic management but one is expected to do things that never appeared in the the Highway Code like this where motorists pass on the wrong side turning right at the lights. One of the obvious hazards is with a large object like a bus one has to wait for it to make it's move off before they can see if the road is clear and at this junction in Lichfield they can be stuck there quite a long time when it's busy. It's not far to Cannock but this Arriva service takes about an hour to reach it just seven miles away as it weaves through the various settlements and between all the parked cars.

Monday 15 August 2016

The Halcyon Days of The DDR

This view of East Berlin brings back so many memories the first being the acrid taste on the pallet of soot from the environmental damaging brown coal they burnt which as you can see also hung in the atmosphere and stained the concrete and probably even dogs. To take the taste away the locals could just as in The West enjoy an ice-cream under Communism and even though nothing could be any more American than Coca Cola they even had their own version called if I remember rightly Club Cola. But like everything else it wasn't as good. As for buses the ubiquitous Ikarus 260 had a certain charm and sounded a bit like a Bedford, but I so miss the old S-Bahn trains with their wooden bodies and loud distinctive electric motors, and as you can see it might all be a bit depressing but one can still see a nice pair of legs even if the young lady is wearing such 'demode' ankle socks.

Odense Doesn't Exactly Slip Off The Tongue

The small Danish city of Odense is famed for being the birthplace of probably the most famous Dane of all Hans Christian Anderson. A beautiful place filled with fitting quaint 'village' architecture painted in pastel colours, almost a kind of Danish take on Stratford on Avon. However the municipal bus fleet wasn't that exciting seemingly being entirely made up of Aabeneraa bodied Volvos like this, a type DSB who also had a strong presence ran  from here which meant there were few Independent's to be found either.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Deckers Return to Cannock

Some single-deckers have been sent to Wales to fill in the gap left by the demise of GHA and in their place have arrived some East-Lancs Lowlanders which are being used on the Pye Green Circular 25 Service. Here in No. 4721 FD02 UKG.

An Ugly Southdown 7655-7664 CD

No the words ugly and Southdown don't normally go together but these ten Marshall bodied Leyland Tiger Cubs delivered in 1961 were particularly unattractive after the indifferent BET style design was customised. The radiator grill wasn't particularly elegant and had the aluminium rub strip been omitted or raised to headlight level it would have mitigated the drooping front. Of course in real life in that apple-green and cream livery as it stood at the Carfax in Horsham one might have forgiven it.

Saturday 13 August 2016

Blackpool Leyland National2 A541 PCW

I keep putting these grotty pictures of Blackpool on in the wind and rail, I'm surprised nobody from the tourist board has come down here to duff me over lol. But somehow the indifferent grainy quality of the image helps to heighten the misery of it. No doubt the disaffected youth roaming the streets with money in their pockets will soon find there way into the nearest pub. At least the light livery of this Leyland National2 helped pick out in the drizzle.

Friday 12 August 2016

Lets Go Travel Express

I don't think it's still actually called Travel Express any more but the firm has regained it's operators licence and has about four buses working it's old route to Northwood Park. Guessing from it's registration I imagine this Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart originated in London. As you can see Weatherspoon's was holding a Cider Festival in Wolverhampton.

Micro Rider in Leeds

I almost feel embarrassed putting pictures of those much despised 'bread van' buses on here, but the mini-bus played it's part in the story of Deregulation. However there is a bit more interest here as there is also a Roe bodied Olympian in a special livery, I imagine a West Riding Leyland National and we can also just about see a Bristol VR and a Roe bodied Atlantean here in Leeds. At least these PTE Micro Rider Freight Rover based minibuses had a different look about them from the norm. If that doesn't keep you happy then there are all those well placed lights, very Sixties.

Thursday 11 August 2016

London Suburban Leyland Titan B15

This former London Buses Leyland Titan B15 No.T129 looked quite nicely turned out but I got on one and because he almost drove away without us having to double-park on the stop gave the old pensioner lady a right mouthful of abuse I couldn't believe it but she was obviously quite used to it. He then raced towards the terminus without stopping, some bus driver in London aren't people they are just rabid animals.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Beauty & The Beast: Leicester MCW PD£ LJF 29F

Leicester split the bodywork order on it's final batch of twenty trusty Leyland PD3 buses between Metro-Cammell and East Lancs. Both looked smart in the Leicester cream and maroon livery but the MCW buses like No.29 were not as attractive and the bodywork had a more functional 'add a bit on feel' whereas the East-Lancs buses looked more harmonious like it had been designed individually. Orion's as they were called rattled a bit, many enthusiasts loathed them but many Metro-Cammell and sister Weymann bodies had long lives, those on the early Atlantean being a good example and Leicester had three of those as well but like many Municipals who flirted with rear-engined deckers stuck with proper tried buses as long as they could.

A Bettter Bus: Leicester Leyland PD3 East-Lancs LJF 20F

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the East-Lancs bodied Leyland PD3 had better proportioned and pleasing bodywork than the similar Metro-Camell buses delivered at the same time to Leicester in 1967.

A Midland Classic YT16 DXT

To some the red on this Optare Versa of Midland Classic reminds them of local Midland Red and the yellow of Stevenson's who also had a bit of history in Lichfield too. Of course just before it all became Arriva Midland Red North employed a similar livery but what I like about it the most spotlessly clean and decked out in cheerful and what I call proper colours this bus lifts the spirits. I wanted to get a bit more of the side in as well but it was too close behind the cars in front to do anything better.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Fabbio! Oh I mean Faggio

I must admit I loved the Italian styling of these Padane 2X bodies, this one had slipped across the Italian border not too far away in Switzerland and the Scania 112 was making it's way through the interesting town of Chur.

Monday 8 August 2016

Derby Daimler Fleetline NC MTV 309W

Bright sunlight and strong shadows make for a rather dramatic effect in contrast to Derby's old bus station which I always found rather restful and spacious. Normally the 24 to Perth Street was the domain of the rare Foden and I was unlucky not to photograph it that day, but maybe it was rare for quite a different reason. But it had very similar Northern Counties bodywork to this Daimler Fleetline one of many similar buses at Derby.

Bee Line Leyland Olympian NC F174 LBL

I definately think my bus photos like this have something missing in them without people. Like many of the other bought out NBC companies Beeline who took Alder Valley hardly invested much in new stock but I probably don't remember the boring ones, but they had some Lynxs and a small batch of these pleasant Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympians.

Sunday 7 August 2016

First YX09 AHA: Have a safe journey

No pesky traffic wardens on a Sunday so dropping people off outside Bath Bus Station is a tad less stressful. Apart from there being fewer buses and no delivery vehicles our towns are just almost as busy on the 'day of rest' but somehow we seem to keep moving without them. Perhaps motorists have been trained to park responsibly or maybe take advantage of free parking spaces elsewhere. A pretty empty small First Enviro squeezes passed on a local service to Old Hill.

Friday 5 August 2016

If the Stig was a Coach A663 EMY

National London was based on the old Timpson's business at Catford in South London and included Samualsons. Quite exotic at the time when Plaxton and Duple bodied Leopards and Tigers were the norm were some Bova Futura whose styling might have been copied by The Stig on BBC Top Gear for his daft helmet lol.

Thursday 4 August 2016

A.P Harson DAB: Roskilde Rejesbureau DAB

If you travel to train to Copenhagen the last major town before you arrive is Roskilde famous for it's Viking connections and museum and is situated just on the border of  their equivalent of the capital's  PTE. But as well as yellow HT buses there were town network 'by-buses' and even red DSB railway buses. But the most notable operator was Hansen who operated routes to villages like Jyllinge beside the fjord and of course it did excursions of which this then quite new DAB Leyland was acting as an advertisement in a bold presentation here in August 1989. I'm surprised nobody has picked up on my Danish bus photos yet for as in places like Britain and Portugal the bus scene has changed beyond recognition since I was there in the Eighties.

Cumberland Duple Laser Tiger B43 MAO

Now that t has been gone for some years it might be a good time to re-asses those much maligned Stagecoach Stripes. A bit like NBC National Travel white it seemed more pleasing on new vehicles tather than those it robbed of something really nice. But I have to say certain more angular designs quite suited Stagecoach as did this Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger of Cumberland at Kendal Garage.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Unfamiliar Livery in Carrs Lane

Perhaps it is a good thing in that I am not always good at throwing things away including poor photographs. Not my worst by a long way but this interesting view of a former South Yorkshire Leyland National B Series in Carrs Lane Birmingham wearing unfamiliar colours and bound for Tamworth caught my eye

Oxford City Divided - South Midland Titan B15 GNF 6V wears a rugby shirt?

From a practical point of view the way they split some of the NBC companies made no sense at all and a good example was City of Oxford which was divided into two. In a way it was a bit like a poached egg where Oxford retained the rich nutritious yoke at the centre and South Midland gained the thin unappetizing egg-white  country area. In the old days cross-subsidy kept the rural route network afloat but all South Midland could do was to invade the city and try to poach some revenue if it wanted to prosper. But at the end of the day all the government wanted to do was sell everything off and these valuable assets often got sold off to former managers and the like for peanuts. Once the odd garage in a prime position had been sold for almost more than had been paid for the whole company to build another Tesco there was money in the coffers to buy the next company and do the trick again. I am not sure if I really like the South Midland jazzy pale yellowy-green and black livery but it was certainly a lot more striking than Oxford which took a long time to rid itself of that Poppy Red. However even though the destination display looked a bit ameteurish on this former Greater Manchester Leyland Titan B15 looked rather clean and smart .

Tuesday 2 August 2016

BVG Britz Bus Garage, Gradestr: 220 Buses

The BVG bus garage at Britz was opened in 1963 and when this was taken held about 220 buses 190 of which were double-deckers. Somewhat brutal in character it seems to bestow on us the same no-nonsense feel as the buses in their 'uniform' creamy colours once found all over both East and West Germany. This view was taken in the Eighties and there was no litter to be seen or bits of old buses and oil drums. They parked withdrawn buses around the back so maybe any rubbish was stacked there but on the whole I think this was a 'tight well run ship'. Interesting name Britz sounds a bit like a cross between a blond Swedish film star and a salty cheese biscuit but when there those German words always tempted me into thinking of words to remember them by or just to make me smile.

Monday 1 August 2016

City of Gloucester: Leyland National 3034 NFB 602R

There was little point taking a black and white picture of this City of Gloucester Leyland National NFB 602Rl in it's new blue and white livery but it did make a welcome change from NBC leaf-green. The giant Bristol Omnibus company was being broken up ready for privatisation.