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 31 July 2017

Winter Sunlight in Stockton on Tees

One winter's day in 1969 or 1970 I went with my father on a business trip to Darlington where once I's had a good look around I boarded a bus for unfamiliar territory Sockton on Tees. The winter sunlight was not kind so I didn't get very good photographic results but I still like this one of one of my favourites a Northern General Harrington Genadier bodied Leyland Leopard.

Sunday 30 July 2017

Stagecoach Cumberland Tiger Laser at Kendal B43 MAO

I was surprised hat I had nothing at all from Kendal on here but here to redress the balance slightly is a former Cumberland Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger which seemed to be another type not to alien to those Stagecoach Stripes we all used to hate. When this was a Ribble garage in the Sixties there were about 45 buses allocated here and they looked after the tiny fleet at Grange too.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Fishwick's Atlantean TTE 642D

Even well established Independents like Fishwick have come to grief as in today's economic climate as it is often the less scrupulous 'entrepeneurs'  who can squeeze a bit of cash out of the system,  but we will miss the old school and sadly their now obsolete buses. Being based in the same town it was hardly surprising that Fishwick was one of Leyland Motors best customers. No doubt they picked up a few bargains like former demonstrators but they did seem buy both the good and bad. The early low height Atlanteans have gained a poor reputation due to design faults but nevertheless many lived out long busy lives lasting as many years or more as many a highly regarded Farringdon bodied PD2. So no the this was hardly Leyland's worse bus or coach but Fishwick's did seem to embrace those duds too like the Lynx even if they were inferior designed Lynx produced when Leyland put it's money into it's not so wonderful cars instead.  No doubt it must have realised there were better buses on the road but sadly misplaced loyalty can cost you dear as they say!

Friday 28 July 2017

Arriva to Rocket Pool on the 530

I like place names and usually it is best not to go there a usually they are not really special in any way. This Arriva Dest Dart Plaxton Pointer don;t look like it's going anywhere in a hurry as it waits at Bilston Bus Station. Of course now Wednesfield Garage is gone so has Arriva were most of it's services are covered by diamond. At this time it was wasting valuable resources trying to squeeze the incumbent Banga Bus on it's main service off the road. As it turned out the Arriva buses tended to run empty whilst 'friendly and helpful' Banga seats were as full as ever.

Thursday 27 July 2017

Delemont:A Traditional POST BUS Garage

Delemont Garage was very typical of the older Swiss Post Bus depots and like many others it only had a small allocation of about eight and by the time I took this the building had passed to the local PTT contractor whilst Delemont got a new modern open plan garage with railings and security cameras etc not too far away. Of course few would bother to photograph a structure like this but I'm glad I went there as it was the thought of seeing the Post Buses that made names and dots on the map alluring to me as a PTT bus-mad schoolboy. And so typical was it too I remember at other locations wishing I could see the bus numbers through that frosted glass when a garage was shut up. Thankfully some garages painted the bus number on the wall so the drivers knew which bay was home. Although to PTT standard spec it did not really take to the Magrius 160R81 and most of the main thirteen batch could be found at the nearby at the Cret -du-Locale-Garage also in the Jura near the French border. But Delemont did have one in 1990 P22204 as part of it's mixed fleet. State run the PTT more or less 'reluctantly' ran buses and would rather find a contractor to do the work I felt, but most of it's operations lasted many years but it did not lead much to expansion, indeed quite the opposite. But alas in those days did anything change quickly in Switzerland, something that I loved about the place.

Wednesday 26 July 2017

DAK 222V: Yorkshire Traction 'Fastlink' bound for Huddersfield on the X21

With all the local branding at times it was often hard to guess which NBC company a bus belonged to, and it's only my familiary with numbers which stops me mistaking this Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopard in Leeds as a Yorkshire/West Riding coach. West Yorkshire PTE tended to follow the old Leeds Corporation liking for the Atlantean and of course the Fleetline but later deliveries included MCW Metrobus Mark 2's.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Arriva YJ61 FEG 3757 at Lichfield on the 825

Well not too many more trips to the hospital for me for the timebeing once I get the all clear. But I will still catch the 74 and 825 as I live close to the hospital. I like sounds so I prefer these Arriva VDL's to the numerous Volvos Cannock runs on this service, but I must admit I like to perch on the naughty seat right at the front of the Volvos and sometimes chat with the driver. 3757 a regular in Stafford was at the far end of the 825 which for the time-conscious bus passenger seems far away but in fact is only about fifteen-miles.

Sunday 23 July 2017

E289 HRV: Happy Punters on A Rail Replacement Service?

It looks like the passengers on former Southampton East-Lancs bodied Leyland Olympian had enjoyed their free ride at Alton. However was this real life I'm sure they would not have been so pleased having their long journey elongated and delayed by only too frequent Sunday railway closures. But as they say it's all in the mind.

Friday 14 July 2017

WM Enviro Bus 4552 on Wellington Road, Bilston

Very much a familiar sight of a WM Enviro 400 buses but time passes and I'm sure we will miss them the same way we now miss stalwarts like the Fleetline and Metrobuses. One might wonder why but I suppose each generation of new vehicles usually loses a bit more appeal or we just become more cynical and nostalgic Thankfully I have my camera to play with and as long as a bus has an upper floor I'm quite content.

Volvo Town Bus in Wadenswil on Zurich's Lake

The small town of Wadenswil situated on the side of the Lake on a speedy train route into Zurich makes it ideal commuter country and being pleasant but unremarkable most tourists just whiz through here on a non-stop express towards Chur and more exotic parts beyond like Davos and St Moritz. It used to have a nice little bus fleet of FBW' town buses but like everywhere else in the 90's they were being replaced by more mundane proper European buses like this Volvo. I am a bit of a Swiss Post Bus nut, anyway I was in PTT days especially towards the end when I used to travelmore. As luck would have it there is a typically small small garage here too but it's a good bus ride away for it is high up in the hills but call them mountains if you wish at Hutten, but the fleet of about eight comprised mostly R&J bodied Mercedes 0405's.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

National UHG 749R at Kidderminster

The way Leyland Nationals were sold to other NBC companies and the next thing others came to replace them seems to me a bit like taking 'coals to Newcastle'. Still there must have been logic to it and it gave th local spotters something to talk about. This one once with Ribble looked quite smart with the luxury of a white band and even Kidderminster perhaps Midland Red most dreary looking garage looked a bit more inviting than usual for some reason perhaps it's the glimpse of a Leopard.

Happy Days Mercedes Mini to Gnosall

One doesn't really think of Happy Days of Woodseaves as a minibus operator but they did operate this Scottish registered Mercedes on service work and i'm sure it was useful. Obviously when purchased the red and white livery was deemed close enough to the norm to not need a repaint so it must have been a good buy. Of course like Staffordian Happy Days passed to Arriva till with little heart they tired of trying to do rural operations and Independent's once more do the quieter local country services.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Magrius Deutz Brioini of Pula

Not very exciting but a bit different nonetheless were the buses to be seen in the former Yugoslavian city of Pula which is much more famed for it Roman Historical remains than it's much more mundane German influenced bus scene Still where in Britain can we find a bus station overlooked by a Roman amphitheatre. I rather liked Magrius Deutz buses though they have that  quirky small manufacturer feel about them, a bit rough and ready but thoroughly reliable a bit like our own Foden's used to be.

Sunday 9 July 2017

Edinburgh SMT Leyland Lion C177 VSF

Maybe it was because change seemed to be happening all the time but I often seemed to arrive ar locations where it was all happening. The last time I went to Edinburgh there was a mixture of old and new comng in amongst the former SBG fleets with a variety of liveries. Particularly smart for the more traditionalist was this SMT Alexander R-Type double-decker a rare bus built on a Danish DAB Leyland Lion chassis.

Friday 7 July 2017

National Express Duple at Plymouth Looking Good

Built  mostly on the Leyland Tiger the National Bus Co seemed to spread out it's coach bodywork orders quite fairly during the Eighties. Having said that Willowbrook was called in too so maybe things got a bit desperate as quality and focus had evaporated at Willowbrook with leaky coaches etc. But I have always had a soft spot for Duple as it has turned out lots of interesting designs including this it's final generation of coaches like this 3500 which was quite stunning looking. It was a local Western National coach heading off on a long trip to Burnley from Bretonside in Plymouth.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Thames Valley VR UBL 246G leaves Reading on Chilton Link I think!

As I've said before I am not a big fan of the NBC, but at least they didn't sell everything off and looking back reminders of better days were still visible. But it was a tacky concern, and even though this Alder Valley Bristol VR leaving Reading has it's destination blinds in working order and set correctly the appearance of the vehicle is spoilt by the way someone hasn't even gone to the trouble of trying to stick the 'Chilton Link' on to the side of the bus straight. Besides towards the end the NBC were so fond of these local names but who knew what they meant, and by the time they probably found out the name had changed again. Worse still if I got on this bus I wouldn't know if it was on the Chilton Link as it might just be 'filling in' and it was not the High Wycombe service but something else maybe.

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Diecast Model Collecting:A Question of Balance Newcastle and Sunderland

I've been told before now I'm too much of an  interlectual and maybe I am as it even affects my model bus collecting. From the NE I only had from the Municipals one corporation bus and that was this rather attractive Alexander bodied Atlantean of Newcastle on Tyne by EFE. Anyway at Fazakerley I needed to buy something to make it a memorable day out and I lurking almost out of view looking a bit like the Lincoln PD2 in those colours I managed to find a brand new mint Sunderland Roe bodied Guy Arab. I don't think the dealer found it easy yo sell and I got it for £14. I don't pay more than a fiver for 'black box' Efe's  but I will go up to about £20 for the best newer models especially if they are in my sights. Like many others I tend to collect what I knew and remember but anywhere north of Leeds was out of my range till the 80's which was  pity for like elsewhere I loved those buses till the NBC and PTE era when it all dramatically went down hill and even the best buses lost their character and a bit of their magic. Anyway at least Tyne and Wear didn't stray too far away from Newcastle's former and I think it left them as the smartest of the PTE's.

Monday 3 July 2017

Lincolnshire Coachlink on tour in Tavistock

Bearing a registration which once graced a Brighton and Hove Lodekka was this quite smart Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger of Road Car, better known as the former Lincolnshire. It was seen in it's latter days before the firm was sold to Yorkshire Traction if it had not already happened and then on to the even hungry Stagecoach. Well away from it's usual haunts it was enjoying a summer shower in Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor in 1999 or 2000 on an Airdale Tours charter.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Lancia Utec bodied Trolleybus 22 in Porto

This single-deck trolleybus seen in Porto in the 80's might look quite British but was in in fact a Lancia as were most of the later trolleybuses in Portugal if not all.

Saturday 1 July 2017

New or newish Lancaster Atlantean 207!

A new month so I thought I would post an image of a brand new bus. I couldn't find the onr I wanted but I thought this Lancaster City Council East Lancs bodied Atlantean might suffice. City Council does sound a bit grand so maybe we should have gone to see the buses as the Corporation kept the buses extremely smart during this period in about 1980 and who know exactly how many weeks old this very smart Leyland was. Incidentally I particularly liked the livery as my transport colours of blue and white were very similar.

Saturday Morning Jobs

When I worked in the transport industry I felt so knackered at the end of the week I rather resented having to get up and then hang about the yard all morning till lunchtime. But looking back it was probably te best day as it was a chance to chat and joke with the other drivers, also I was sent out on little errands for parts etc. which made a change. It looks like the boss of Fastline Travel in the Black Country might be an Indian Gentleman, and the driver trying to wash his coach doesn't seem to be having much fun so obviously no jokes about pies and whippets. In my day fun was allowed today of course anything except your thoughts is subject to the invasive 'health and Safety' laws which seem to dominate the UK.