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

Thursday 30 November 2017

Plymouth Citybus in Tavistock L302 YOD

As more of the Plymouth Citybus route network started to spread beyond the city boundery they became a familiar sight in Tavistock. But when this was taken in the Nineties they were still a slight novalty with coaches visiting on contract work like this Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

First Barbi in Bolton

Typical of the first buses to initially appear in First's corporate 'Barbi' livery were buses like this Wright bodied Volvo seen in Bolton.

Monday 27 November 2017

A Portsmouth Atlantean CPO 346W in London!

Often when I was working I had a lot of time to kill which was a bonus for someone who enjoys photography. Sadly we can't always guarantee that the weather will be equally obliging but at least there was some thin Autumn sunshine on this occasion when I had to go to Earls Court and come back later. When it comes to buses London could always offer the odd surprise but this East-Lancs bodied Portsmouth Leyland Atlantean was a rarity indeed.

Sunday 26 November 2017

A dull morning at Plymouth Bretonside greets the passengers as they alight this impressive looking Van-Hool bodied Leyland Royal Tiger which was something of a rarity. It belonged to Dack's Rosemary Coaches from the King's Lynn area of Norfolk. It's 'cherished' registration had come home as 'OU' was a Devon marque but not as one might suspect off a Western National Lodekka once a familiar sight in here.

We're Goin to Lincoln

Because of the weather the early November Lincoln transport museum running day pretty well marks the end of the bus rally season but this time we were greeted by a beautiful crisp autumn day. The Delaine is always well represented and never common, there are just a couple of these Willowbrook bodied Atlanteans/Fleetlines left. In later years the Loughborough firm, part of Duple built mostly saloon bodies for the BET and some on a lightweight chassis for the Independents and Highland. It used to build double-deck bodies particularly for Trent but the advantage of Willowbrook is they would take a single vehicle contract like this though Whippet also took a similar bus at about the same.time.

Friday 24 November 2017

Manchester: The Many Faces of Barbi

I don't know if it was intentional but I find the friendly 'Thomas The Tank Engine Faces' on this generation of the Alexander Dennis Enviro buses a bit freaky. Whilst I have my rant,  the current First livery is a bit insipid and not much improvement on the previous one as it was these similar cold depressing pastel colours that was it's fault, indeed it strikes me as a watered down version of  Barbi but at least it's not as bad as horrible 'Barbi 2'.Nothing was as bad as Barbi 2. The trouble is unlike proper nice red and cream Manchester buses of old these trendy colour schemes might look good on the drawing board but not in practice. Of course it's all a matter of taste as I admit I'm something of a traditionalist. Before someone mentions it, Derby Corporation adopted a similar grey and blue scheme but what was wrong with the olive-green and cream, at least it had a bit of class!

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Lothian Leyland Tiger Duple Laser

Always so smart I think the white livery of the Lothian coach fleet didn't do it justice, anyway it didn't show them off very well. As usual Leylands were the normal choice and a Duple Laser bodied Tiger was seen in Prince's Street.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

RN 4887: Market Day in Caldas Portugal

1984 was still a good time to visit Portugal as there were still plenty of British buses albeit with a local flavour to be enjoyed. RN was their equivalent of our NBC and it's orange and white buses really stood out. Somehow Manchester's similar initial PTE SELNEC livery never looked quite so good maybe it was just the lack of sunshine and light soft stonework to set it off. Nearly all the fleet seemed to have UTIC bodywork on Leyland or more commonly AEC chassis.

Saturday 18 November 2017

Surrey Motors PPF 492

As I took a more unusual rear view of a rather fine Surrey Motors AEC Regal at Alton I seemed to catch everyone's attention. Next time perhaps I will remember to put some clothes on.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Outer London: Routemaster RM 132 at Cheshunt on the 279

Believe it or not I simply felt I really needed this photo of  a Routemaster as I thought their days were numbered. Taken in 1980 I shouldn't have worried should I as they would soldier on in number for quite a few more years, indeed the extra stint would equate to the lifetime of most more ordinary buses. However some especially the RML's might have served the capital for fifty-years but  it was still not such a bad thing that I got this shot as their range in the forthcoming 'opo' double-deck era would  relegate these crewed buses to basically a more Central London range. Yes they still would come a good way out but not as far as Cheshunt which was near outer the boundry of the London Transport  'red' area. Although carrying a newer body RM 132 was an early example bought for trolleybus replacement and worked at least from  Poplar Garage before coming to Edmonton which did the lengthy 279 seen here taking it to Smithfield Market.

Mayne former Alder Valley Dennis Falcon in Manchester

People who regularly visited Victoria when they were in London might well have seen this unusual Wadham Stringer bodied Dennis Falcon on the Green Line stands when with Alder Valley. It was one of several non-standard vehicles the NBC tried and it was later sold to Mayne in whose livery it looked much more at home.

Monday 13 November 2017

BVG Zehlendorf Garage

One of a tiny batch of about five buses and only to be found working on suburban routes around the district of Zehlendorf  was this short MAN. It was caught leaving the large local two-hundred bus garage which was ringed with flats for the staff so apart from this view it was hard to look inside. Built in 1937 it was badly bombed in the war but this entrance arch and the concrete plaque survived the destruction.  Made famous for his role in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs who played Manuel came from here before his family fled Germany because they were Jewish.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Neuchatel Saurer Trolleybus 132

I think even celebrated genre photographer Robert Jowitt would like this 1989 shot of mine from Switzerland, after all it has that rather dated European feel to it with a suitably old Saurer trolleybus from the early Fifties and a rather sophisticated looking lady admiring the books or maybe having stopped smoking trying not to buy any of those tempting but  oh such nasty fags.

Friday 10 November 2017

Baby Arriva Enviro in Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton is hardly swamped with Arriva buses since the Wednesfield garage closed but as well as Cannock they still come in from Telford home to this small Enviro No 2148.

Thursday 9 November 2017

Central Scottish Ailsa AH11 LHS 735V

Even though I was self-employed it was not always easy to take a decent break on delivery trips to take bus photographs. Sometimes though I used to stop at the side of the road briefly to get one or two shots, consequently I don't often know exactly where they were taken. However this Central Scottish Volvo Ailsa based at East Kilbride was seen somewhere south of Glasgow where it was headed. Still there's something to be said for it as we are all guilty of taking most of our scenes in the most obvious places close to garages and bus stations which of course is very unrepresentative of where they go.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Fishwick Leyland National NFR 559T in Preston

Even the humdrum Leyland National could look a bit special in an attractive livery like that of sadly defunct Fishwick of Leyland.

Monday 6 November 2017

City of Lincoln Bristol VR RFE 27R

In an advertising livery to the untrained it might have been quite difficult to tell if it was a City of Lincoln or a Lincolnshire Roadcar ECW bodied Bristol VR.

Thursday 2 November 2017

A Long Wait at the bus stop in Cobridge

I'm sure in the old PMT days one would only have to wait a few minutes for a bus from Cobridge to Hanley but I must have waited about half-an-hour for this former Midland Red West Enviro 300 to come along and it wasn't even a Sunday. Many of our streets look untidy these days with signs and satelite dishes covering buildings not to mention cars parked on the pavement.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Cumberland Bristol VR with Solent Blue Line

Still in the pre-Stagecoach Cumberland red and cream livery was this Bristol VR seen in Southampton. Despite a livery that would break down the mass these more unusual ECW highbridge bodies looked very tall and a bit ungainly.