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 30 October 2017

Stevensons Tiger FAZ 3195

I got a friendly wave off the driver of this former London Country Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger in Stafford doing the 876 to Wolverhampton. It was formerly B269 KPF. By this time Stevensons had become part of Midland Red North.

Saturday 28 October 2017

Eastbourne Leyland Panther

Eastbourne was one of the bodybuilder East-Lancs loyal customers and although mainly a double-deck fleet it bought some Leyland Panthers and a Daimler Roadliner. Of interest is the old post office telephones Morris Minor van for these were a popular buy with the less wealthy motorist. In my hitch-hiking days I rode in quite a few as they were common and I remember one owner complaining that he was always being pulled up by the police for impromptu road checks.

Diamond Volvo at the Birmingham Bull Ring

Birmingham city centre might have changed a great deal over the last few years but somehow it remains unmistakable.  The driver of the Diamond Wright bodied Volvo looks as though he's wondering where all his potential passengers have disappeared to.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Remember Atlas Express?

I don't think the tour operator who owned this chunky and angular coach seen in Trieste had anything to do with the parcel carrier once a familiar sight in the UK. I had forgotten about them till now but I seem to recall they had green 7.5ton vans with a map of the world on the sides. As well as Mercedes coaches we are treated to an interesting mix of Fiats so prevalent in Italy.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

With Miramare a scruffy Deregulated Leyland Fleetline

Deregulation flooded the market with numerous new bus operators and some made an effort to turn out smart buses such as Black Prince which was one of the best. But also to be found working in Leeds was this very scruffy former West Milands PTE Leyland Fleetline with MCW bodywork owned by the little known operator called Miramare.

Monday 23 October 2017

Trent Bristol RELL at Derby

I rather liked the old bus station in Derby as it always busy and could boast a good selection of vehicles. There was a good mix here with a Marshall bodied Bristol RELL that Trent gained as part of the break-up of North Western. Also to be seen was a National Mark1 and a 2, and one of the ECW bodied Atlanteans that wasn't lost in the garage fire, and from the little I can see of it I guess a Willowbrook bodied Leopard.

Sunday 22 October 2017

Not Much Dancing Around The Maypole

I remember the days when on a Sunday the roads were almost empty and there was little to do but now in our twenty-four-hour-seven-days-week culture the 'Lord's Day' can be about the busiest of them all. Often it is the suburban bottlenecks like here in South Birmingham that feel the strain.

Open Top and Open Top's

It's perhaps fortunate that the average tourist isn't interested in buses as if they were all enthusiasts there would be hardly anyone on the former LT Fleetline of London Pride instead they would all be packed like sardines on the former East Kent Park-Royal bodied AEC Regent run by enthusiasts with Big Bus. Perhaps it's a good thing that the champion of the minibus Harry Blundred who sadly died recently didn't go into this market as he would have had open-top Transits with standees falling on to your lap lol as you went passed Big Ben..

Saturday 21 October 2017

My Efe Collection: Some Southern & western National

When I started collecting model buses I thought I would just get one example from each operator. Of course it doesn't work like that and whether it be plenty of choice or just a subconscious bias I do tend to have several from certain fleets. I have had more exposure to this firm than the other BTC companies and if one counts Royal Blue as well I have accumulated eight vehicles. I expect too that my enthusiasm  for certain favourites is also shared by others so the likes of EFE follow our whims to make sales. One of my earliest child bus memories was going to Newquay with my mother and riding on a pre-war Bristol K5G open-topper which took us back to our hotel along the cliffs at Newquay. Also seen there was one of the Bristol LS coaches like the one at the end, so I had to have one of those. That holiday also sticks in my mind as I put my head out the window of the carriage on the single track line from Par and got a painful soot smut in my eye from the little tank engine as it chuffed it's way down to the coast.

Bee Line Metrobus in Stockport

One thing to be said about the Eighties bus scene it was certainly colourful. Red and yellow seemed to be a popular combination as can been seen here on a former West Midlands MCW Metrobus at Stockport. Operated in Bee Line livery it certainly looked better than in it's parent North Western most memorable 'jazzy' scheme.

Friday 20 October 2017

National Express Jonckheere Rapide Coach

In the Eighties National Express tried to impose what they called the 'Expressliner' a Volvo B10M with Plaxton bodywork on to it's contractors. Thankfully not all did and the idea was dropped so we could still find a bit of variety at least. Amongst the more exotics was a Volvo B10M with imported Jonckheere bodywork. Some designs one goes off but with the passage of time I've grown quite fond of them and they had a good reputation for quality too. A nice touch is the way the National Express stripes on the bodywork seem to mirrors the slats of the front grill. I'm not sure who owned it, but S.U.T had some of this batch at least. A338 YDT was killing time on the London Embankment.

Thursday 19 October 2017

Scragg's Optare Solo in Hanley

Bus-wise the Potteries used to be a hive of activity which included a whole raft of Independent's. Today apart from D&G First Potteries has it very much to itself. But one of the less well know small operators remains as Scragg's run some minibuses including this Optare Solo seen in Hanley.

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Thomas of Barry DFB 680W

Thomas of Barry did a joint service from Cardiff to Barry Island with Western Welsh. The arrangement continued in NBC days and a Duple bodied Leyland Leopard is seen in Cardiff where it could boast as decent queue of boarding passengers.

Thorkils of Koge at Roskilde

                                                                         A Danish Leyland-DAB

Monday 16 October 2017

Crosville Trainer 616 LFM Must be Tea-Break

I missed the half-cab buses when those outside London quickly disappeared from the streets. But a few hung on as driver trainers like this Crosville Lodekka standing outside Warrington Bus Station whilst they all had a cuppa I expect. After all they all have to learn how to drink tea and read the paper so that they never have to commit that sin of leaving on time lol. Many of these trainers moved around the country but this was once DLG 6 not to be mistaken for DLB 967 which was 616 HFM.

Saturday 14 October 2017

Huddersfield East-Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6

A star attraction at the POPS running day at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton was this very fine East-Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6. I had to have a picture of this and also took a ride as I have the Corgi OOC model of this actual bus. It's a pity Corgi got the red shade wrong.

Thursday 12 October 2017

Wilts & Dorset Olympian A903 JPR

A Wilts and Dorset coach-seated Leyland Olympian arrives in Bristol having made the long hilly journey up from Salisbury. I liked this spot at the entrance of Marlborough Street Bus Station and could usually cope with the bright sublight ahead but it's harder to get definition with a mostly white bus.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Travel West Midlands Enviro to Druids Heath on the 50 Service

I haven't had it many years but my well used Cannon G12 camera seems to have finally packed up with a shutter software problem so it's nice in a way that the last photo I took with it was a good one of an Enviro double-decker in Moseley on the even on Sundays very frequent 50 Service. Thankfully I have a spare G12 but I am not out of the woods yet as that one was playing up too.

Monday 9 October 2017

New Volvo Bus at Neuchatel

In the late-Seventies Swiss towns and cities had to abandon their traditional colours for a corporate orange livery but thankfully the idea was dropped and most returned to their old colours or took the opportunity to change it to something new. Apart from the addition of the white relief these were the traditional hues at Neuchatel but applied in a modern way as seen on this still new Volvo in the Nineties.

SYT Dennis Dominator at Etwall

This South Yorkshire PTE Alexander bodied Dennis Dominator was some way from home when I photographed it whilst working a former Blue Bus service whilst on trial with Derby City Transport.

Friday 6 October 2017

Chesterfield National2 at Pond Street, Sheffield

Chesterfield buses used to be green and cream but after privatisation adopted this mainly blue and yellow livery.  As well as National2's like this there were Series Ones, Dennis Falcons and maybe the odd surviving Leyland Panther. Sheffield's sky-line  in this view of Pond Street is dominated by recent architecture and it does look rather boxy and unwelcoming, a bit like the bus station really as bus enthusiasts with cameras weren't welcome here.

Thursday 5 October 2017

Arrowbrook in Chester

Busy Chester in 2015 and with just a month to go it seems all are ready for Christmas. Even the shade of green on the Arrowbrook Alexander 400 bodied Volvo looks a bit like Xmas wrapping paper. I'm sure though non-Welsh speakers might struggle with the destination on the Arriva Optare they might as well have written it in Chinese.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Tuesday 3 October 2017

London Buses M 1287 B287 WUL

I am probably over simplifying it here but generally one found more of London Buses Leyland Titans in the South and East whilst like this example, there were more Metrobuses in the North and West. In the long gone Sixties one had a good idea how far out from the centre of London one had reached as firstly the RTW's dwindled away, then the RTL's leaving just red RT's and RF's and of course pockets of Routemaster routes as the trolleybuses they replaced came a good way out too. 

Monday 2 October 2017

Eddie Brown Tiger in York

Seen in York Eddie Brown operated this former Shearings Van-Hool bodied Leyland Tiger.