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 31 January 2017

Swiss Post Setra P25602 at Frick

After the demise of the Swiss bus chassis builders, as well as Mercedes providing the buses for Die Post Neoplan and as seen here at  Frick Setra also had a share. These buses were quite attractive and looked good in the yellow.

Monday 30 January 2017

Ribble Atlantean now called North Western RTF 635M

There were still plenty of double-deckers rushing about in Liverpool during the Nineties including many Atlanteans like this former Ribble Park Royal bodied AN68 which had been transferred to a locally devolved entity for services around Merseyside and SW.Lancashire and even though the name was apt it  had nothing to do with the old North Western Road Car of Stockport.

An Arriva Bumpy old Dart FJ54 OTT 2369

Before it's demise these Dennis Darts from 2004 were the best and newest buses they had at the Stafford outstation. They still work into the town from Cannock Garage and I travelled on 2369 and the suspension was so hard one could feel every bump. As for the driver he's one of those 'who can't speak' and as for his driving it was all accelerator and brake and sharp jerks on the steering wheel and I just wonder what his driving might have been like had it not been a Sunday!

Saturday 28 January 2017

Whippet of Fenstanton Volvo VAV 160X.

Seen in Cambridge was this Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M of Whippet of Fenstanton. I still don't know why the bodybuilder offered these coaches with shallow windows, I can only imagine the similarly treated Scottish overnight coaches with Alexander bodies set a trend based loosely on the American long distance sleepers. Not many were built by Plaxton which is hardly surprising as they didn't look very attractive compared to the usual deep screens.

East Kent Leyland National at Whitstable

I didn't mind the Mark2 buses but I wasn't really much of a Leyland National fan especially as they just appeared from out of nowhere replacing all the interesting stuff some of it not even old and were so deathly dull and lacking in any real character in those unimaginative NBC colours. After Deregulation there was in certain quarters a return of sorts to the way things used to be in the Sixties and it was glorious to see East Kent  buses back in the traditional dark red and cream colours. That even applied to the Leyland National too like this one picking up just outside Whitstable where I used to stop for breakfast at a cafe. The bus was on the main road to Canterbury.

Friday 27 January 2017

An HT VBK bodied Volvo in Copenhagen

In Copenhagen when their 'PTE' HT absorbed some of the remaining smaller operators in the suburbs conscious of cost they didn't bother to paint them into yellow straightaway if at all. It certainly made it more interesting for the enthusiast and even though the Volvo B10M might have been very common but being a small builder VBK bodywork wasn't. Two of these buses with automatic transmission 6006-6007 dating from 1980 came from Hjortekaer Trafic two years later.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Maidstone & District Metrobus in Chatham

With similar demanding operating conditions both Potteries and M&D were chosen by the NBC to do double-decker bus trials. Even in summer the light can be a bit flat but the air quality was not helped as an open-top came roaring passed in this scene of a Metrobus Mark2 in Chatham close to the garage. 

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Warrington Corporation Narrow Leyland PD2/40 BED 724C

t the start of the Eighties with exception of the London Routemaster the days of the half-cab bus were numbered which is one reason why I took up bus photography again. Even at this late hour as well as some of Warrington's interesting narrow East Lancs bodied Leyland PD2/40, Crosville Lodekkas could still be seen in the town plus the odd Lancashire United Guy Arab. 

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Greek Sunshine and Heat on IOS

I'm not sure Rick Stein would want to come to Ios as it was more about back-packers and nude beaches packed with beautiful Swedish girls than good Greek grub but no doubt I'm sure they could have rustled up a kebab and chips or two, indeed I got food poisoning or rather a bad tum. There were three or four full-sized buses on the island which were kept busy taking sun worshippers to the nearby sandy beaches like these two Mercedes.It was certainly good to get back as they used to be packed like sardines in there and the driver might have had a pretty feeble mini fan on his dash but the rest roasted in there smelling the arm-pits. Still it would be nice to go back!

Monday 23 January 2017

Blackpool Swifts: Every Picture Tells a Story

It said something about first generation rear engine single-deckers that even in the towns that quite took to buses like the AEC Swift many did not outlive the older but many times more reliable Leyland Titan PD3 as was seen in this line-up at Talbot Road on Sunday in the Eighties.

Saturday 21 January 2017

An FBW in Solothun

A Swiss FBW dating from the mid-Seventies  was seen at work on local services in Solothun, and interesting town somewhat off the tourist trail.

Friday 20 January 2017

D360 PJA: National Express liveried Shearings DAF at Digbeth

As well as in it's own colours Shearings had some coaches in the white based National Express livery including Plaxton bodied DAF D360 PJA trying to get away from Digbeth Coach Station into the traffic stream.

Thursday 19 January 2017

First Potteries Scania 65042

Still in the old Barbi livery in Fen 2016 was this Scania Omnicity in Newcastle under Lyme.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

A Bit of a Chill in Gothenborg

Still just below freezing it was a lovely sunny January day in Gothenborg but freezing cold nights have left slivers of glass-like ice everywhere as Wiima bodied Volvo 146 plies it's way through the centre. However we were told that this was very mild for the time of year here.

Bee-Line-Buzz ECW Olympian D824 UTF

Seen in High Wycombe and branded in yellow and red for the fast 15 service to Reading this Leyland Olympian also carried route details for the X14. I am not so sure the modified design of there ECW bodied double-deck coaches was any more attractive than the earlier more angular buses which had a certain distinctive look, but very few of these were built and were much less common.

Monday 16 January 2017

Crosville from Merseyside PTE Daimler Fleetline

A shortage of buses obviously led to the Crosville buying this MCW bodied Daimler Fleetline which was quickly pressed into service still in Merseyside colours. If I remember rightly when delivered this batch went across the Mersey to the Wirral and entered service in a blue 'Birkenhead' version of the PTE colours.

Purple Motors of Bethesda UMG 230F AEC Reliance

One of the best known Independent's in North Wales was Purple Motors of Bethesda .As was frequent in Wales the mostly secondhand fleet was on Bedford, Leyland and as here AEC. This Plaxton bodied Reliance was one of two which came from Essex County Coaches in 1976-7.

Sunday 15 January 2017

Arrival VDL 3043 MX10 CZG in Liverpool

There is not a lot to choose between the major bus groups interest wise but they do have different vehicle preferences, and it's a matter of taste but I much prefer Arriva's Wright bodies to the Enviro favoured by Stagecoach. National Express uses them on our Stafford 54 Service and they are always chilly and uncomfortable in comparison. As for these I always like the sounds of a VDL more than the Volvo but as my friend Adrian calls it on the Volvo there is the naughty seat right at the front. It's a shame they all rattle like hell especially at the front and in that respect the modern bus has gone backwards as only an elderly Black Country Daimler Fleetline DD11 could rattle and shake more along with the  lightweight Orion. Even the BMMO S13 wasn't that bad but I do remember our Stafford bus 3886 was always referred to as "the old rattle box."

Friday 13 January 2017

La Chaux du Fonds to Biufond by Post Bus

Everything is so clean and tidy in much of Switzerland even the snow looks as though it was planned and managed. Sparkling in the winter sunlight was a PTT Saurer RH of 1983 and bodied by Tuscher of Zurich. I know it might seem a bit daft to some spending a whole weeks holiday seeking out post buses I hadn't seen including this one but at least I visited some attractive and interesting places most British holidaymakers had never been to or heard of. The was the La Chaux du Fonds in the Jura district close to the French border and is the area famed for that Swiss top quality watchmaking.

C201 PCD: Southdown Mercedes with Western National

I rather liked this blue and cream livery of Western National, not only was it distinctive but seemed to fade with sun like the numerous painted walls in the South West. Sadly like Plymouth Citibus they went a bit mini-bus mad and this example found it's way here to Plymouthfrom the Southdown fleet.

Thursday 12 January 2017

D913 URG; Low Fell Coaches

By the mid-Eighties Bedford and Ford coaches had gone out of favour not being quite rugged or fast enough for the motorway age when compared to a more beefy Leyland Leopard or Volvo B10M. But with the need for simpler more cost effective single-deckers Bedfords seemed to find a nitch with certain independents for bus work but sadly it was not to last. Here in Newcastle on Tyne is a Plaxton Bustler bodied Bedford YMT.

Brighton & Hove Tiger Caribbean at Crawley Station

The high version of the Duple Laser was I feel far less common and not so sleek either. But the Caribbean was still rather imposing and looked good in an attractive livery such as that of Brighton and Hove seen here on a Leyland Tiger at Crawley picking up for the homeward journey.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Berlin: Cool for Cats

Life on the sophisticated Kurfurstendamm is usually pretty safe ahd predictable but  this bus stop is close to where the Christmas Market is held and we all heard what happened here. Many Berlin buses used to carry all-over adverts which at least made them a bit more colourful like MAN 1904.

Monday 9 January 2017

An Ikarus at Gorlitzer Bahnhof

After the Berlin Wall came down not only did the people need reuinification so did the transport system with rail line extensions and new stations near The Wall. But at least the spoilt West Berliners got a taste of what it must have been like to squashed into a noisy lumbering Ikarus from the East. Most did not survive long in the new world but a few lingered on for a while and besides were not very old anyway. Now numbered 5891 with BVG one of these not too unlikable buses does a rail replacement service in Kreuzberg.

A New Dawn for Southdown

The rekindled Southdown livery albeit with shades of the old NBC remaining did not quite have the class and aura of the firm many of us remembered but it was a step in the right direction and nice enough even to tempt me to go for a picture of a National on the Brighton Seafront.

Sunday 8 January 2017

SN14 TTZ First Manchester

The students who travel on this Enviro double-decker might be "quids in" enjoying cheap fares but this type of bus which seems to be everywhere in Manchester looks rather plain compared to some of the brighter Stagecoach schemes.

Saturday 7 January 2017

First Class People of Stoke on Trent: 477 AOP

Unless they are pesky bus enthusiasts lol I mostly welcome the addition of people in my photos, not only does it bring images to life that is what buses are for. That of course is fairly obvious I often wonder what happened to them all and maybe one of these innocents might have been looking after me after my operation for bowel cancer at the demanding Stoke on Trent Hospital. At the time people might have thought I had a bit of a cheek but I'm sure they would love to see these lovely evocative images again like this one taken at Mere in about 1982 when Community meant people did things together through work and church based clubs etc. A lovely old coach too, a real classic being a former Flight's of Handsworth AEC Reliance with Harrington Cavalier Bodywork 477 AOP.

P24452 at PTT Meiringen Garage

Sherlock Holmes met his end at The Reichenbach Falls at Meiringen in Switzerland. I never heard them never mind saw them but I did visit the PTT bus garage there on a number occasions without falling into the evil clutches of Moriarty. Sadly I arrived too late because in earlier times there was a good selection of classic Swiss FBW and Saurer types here including the 'glass' version of the bonneted L4c. Long routes through the alpine passes started from here but the snows of winter meant that services only went a short way along for the locals. Even in 1989 one could still find ancient 28 seater FBW Alpenwagens dating from 1963-5 hard at work but those were replaced by comparatively dull NAW B4-23 buses like P24452 awaiting it's next duty one cold bright Saturday. I only mentioned Sherlock Holmes as I met my Moriarty in hospital but won this round and have just returned home. And yes in there I thought about Switzerland as that is where I used to go after Christmas.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Arriva Volvo Double-Decker in Penkridge on the 75

Just as I was getting used to double-deckers on the Cannock to Stafford Hospital 74 and 75 Services they replaced them with the same combination but single-deck Wright bodied Volvos. It's a bit hard to fathom but it was actually two years ago when I took this shot in Penkridge as I was there to pick up my new car from the garage in the background. But even the Ford agent Hodson's has gone now as it has relocated on the edge of the village, more space perhaps but I'm sure they miss out of some passing trade.