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 January 2018

Rain Greets Ellen Smith at Bretonside

Some wet weather greets these Lancashire folk as B887 WRJ their Ellen Smith Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger arrives at Plymouth Bretonside and is told where to park. The attendant left this job but would still have greeted the coach day-trippers as he got a job plying for trade down at the Barbican for the boats out to the naval dockyard. Growing a big bushy beard and with his strong west country accent he was ideally placed for the role down at the waterside.

Monday 29 January 2018

A bit of Inspector Morse Code

A Stratford Blue Leyland Leopard with Plaxton bodywork  in Oxford being passed by a different type of Leyland but bearing an equally iconic name and although I rarely watched it I expect Inspector Morse on the box drank Morrells Oxford Ales helping bringing those culture vulture tourists to the fine city. At this time I'm not sure if the X50 still went all the way to Birmngham but it certainly did in NBC days.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Grant doored Leopard at Barnsley Station

In the new order of Leyland Nationals, Bristol VR's and even Fords, at least the NBC adopted the trusty Leyland Leopard as it's standard coach chassis and no doubt Yorkshire Traction like a number of former BET operators was pleased about this as they had always been keen buyers of the type. As well as all-white coaches YTC was one of a number of operators who had Plaxton Supreme bodied examples with bus grant doors in a more pleasing red and white livery. No.153 was among later additions to the NBC fold in Barnsley, a National2 and an ECW bodied Leyland Olympian.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

No not Pere UBU, it's Crosville's UBU 72N a Seddon

 If you don't know who Pere Ubu was he was an outrageous character invented by the writer Alfred Jarry and based on a former schoolmaster, but I suspect many more will know it as a rock band from Cleveland Ohio.

When the NBC sprang into life and  dictated it's standard vehicle policy the Leyland National had yet to materialise and consequently  the in-house state owned Bristol and ECW were hardly in a position to suppy the significantly enlarged fleet now that it was stealing former BET Group orders off AEC, Daimler and Leyland, and its bodybuilders like Alexander and Willowbrook too. I think some would have been glad of the work during this difficult period  but as well as heaven forbid the introduction on a large scale of lightweights from Ford it went to Seddon and ordered one-hundred not very popular Seddon RU's for Crosville. Everything about the NBC was cheap and cheerful and these Gardner powered buses must have looked like a good substitute for the now doomed Bristol RE. As well as the main batch Crosville acquired a former demonstrator which it numbered SPG 699 and allocated to Chester.

Monday 22 January 2018

First Potteries Omnicity

Very typical of the First Potteries fleet are these Scanias whose wheel trims rattle noisily as they go past but the Omnicity bodies are quite eye catching. First hasn't tried to shake off it's 'Barbi' image but at least this application seen in Hanley is quite cheerful compared to all that grey they used to use.

Friday 19 January 2018

Sauer Post Bus at Chur for Laax

Because of winter sports I expect many of you will be more familiar with Swiss place names like the ski village of Laax than the decent sized valley town of Chur where the bus goes from. I'm afraid it is a few years since Saurer RH's ventured up there and I imagine snow-boarding was still in it's infancy when this was taken in 1990. Most of the PTT examples of this bus bore their own body-style but twenty like P25649 built by R&J in 1982 had a style more akin to those supplied to it's contractors. However it was easy to tell them apart as on those the lower front panel was left black.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Potteries Buses on Merseyside

Like a number of former NBC companies PMT tried to spread it's wings and expand following deregulation. It bought into nearby Crosville buying it's operations in Cheshire and on Merseyside. Because their livery was so distinctive and 'local' it's buses which found their way into the West Midlands too looked rather strange and out of place to my mind like this former Crosville VR in Liverpool WDM 348R.

Monday 15 January 2018

A Rare ECW bodied Leopard with Greater Manchester AJA 361L

In this view of a rare type of ECW body to be found on a Leyland Leopard the people of Glossop don't look particularly inspired just glum. Greater Manchester PTE had a few of these service-coaches for  private hire, airport work and more normal duties like this run to Simmondley. North Western Road Car had small garage here which I expect was it's allocation albeit a sub-depot of Thameside.

Sunday 14 January 2018

Roe Dalesman 242 CRF of Greatrex of Stafford

I spent some of the New Year picking the best and more importantly scanning the most interesting of these old beginners photography  Ilford Sporti photos. With square negatives it was not easy to get much closer than this to take this two coach view of the Roe Dalesman bodied AEC Reliance of Greatrex of Stafford 242 CRF. However boring as they might have been in their day the frontal treatment of the Duple Yeoman body on a Thames has made them a bit of a favorite of mine and much nicer than the much more plain contemporary Bedford. 168 HBF looked quite new so I imagine this was taken in about 1963. After the heavyweight era ended this firm turned to the Commer but I haven't changed my mind boring old Fords were favorites for much of the Sixties and Seventies.

Friday 12 January 2018

Reading Transport Leyland Titan RMO 78Y

Most PTE's at least tried the Leyland Titan but  London Buses was it's only real buyer apart from Reading Transport. It's much more widespread less sophisticated sister from Leyland the Olympian was not only a lot cheaper operators could choose their regular bodybuilder and special requirements too whereas the Titan was a complete package rather like the National and built with London in mind.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Now North Western, Ribble Atlantean RTF 637M

I'm not sure if I lived the livery chosen for the North Western used again this time for the former Ribble buses in the Merseyside and South Lancs area. Probably the neat type-face saved it and these Park Royal bodied Atlanteans seen in Liverpool looked rather attractive and probably not much worse than the former NBC poppy-red.

Monday 8 January 2018

Albion Nimbus in Yeovil 933 NYB

Over Christmas I re-scanned the best of my inferior old  Ilford Sporti prints trying to make them presentable. Many weren't up to it but I've saved a few of them when they are of the less Everyday. The Albion Nimbus was very very common especially with Independents but Hutchinson and Cornelius of South Petherton ran 933 NYB with Harrington bodywork which strongly resembled the Maidstone and District batch.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Southdown 1947 ECW Bodied Leyland PS1 GUF 727

Well we are supposed to start the New Year with something old and something new.  This ECW bodied Leyland PS1 of 1947 is certainly old but obviously most of these elderley vehicles externally have had to be heavily restored  so one doesn't usually see them quite as they really were in service. A period interior on the other hand is apart from a few repairs left alone but once again something that has been out of use just mellowed with age is not truly representative either but here we do get a real feel of what it was like to ride on these vehicles in the Fifties, how comfortable they were but sadly in a photograph you can only use your imagination to enjoy all those smells of engine and old leather.

Friday 5 January 2018

C112 CAT: Who Remembers Northern Blue

Following Deregulation some operators grew rapidly from out of nowhere only to disappear over night. Northern Blue was one of those I think as I only saw their buses once or twice, like most of them either they were bought out by the operator whose toes they were stepping on or they just went bust. However at least they had the sort of proper livery to show that they meant business as can be seen on this former Hull East-Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator.

Thursday 4 January 2018

FBW Post Bus in Brugg

The PTT owned post bus fleet was for many years very standardised but the contractors who contributed two-thirds of the vehicles offered a bit more variety such as this FBW at Brugg with one of the less attractive bodies to be seen dating I would suggest from the first half of the Seventies.

Wednesday 3 January 2018

West Midlands Metrobus BOK62V in Handsworth

West Midlands MCW Metrobus 2062 heads through Handsworth on it's way into Birmingham

Monday 1 January 2018

M&D: Something New at Knightrider Street NKL 207F

As it is the first day of 2018 I thought I would find an image of a brand new bus. I was a student at Maidstone Art School between Summer 1967 and 1968 which was an interesting time as new Maidstone and District vehicles included the final batch of NC bodied Daimler Fleetlines, and the rest were Leylands for some Stratchens bodied Panthers arrived and these Duple bodied Leyland Leopard coaches. Indeed this one was the first to be delivered at Knightrider Street and the crews were interested to see what it had to offer. As sleek and impressive as it might have looked I'm sure quite a few thought it was not in the same league as the previous coaches which had been elegant Harrington Grenadiers and what's more it wasn't even an AEC. Numbered 4607 my era at Maidstone included the dropping of the rather charming traditional letter based numbering system and this Commander might have been something with a C instead of something to go into something resembling a computer if that's what they were.


Amongst the most attractive Swiss post buses were some  Hess bodied FBW's delivered in 1977-8. Not only was the large fleet of Saurer RH's that followed based on this styling they were unusual in having Mercedes 0401 engines. Of the twenty-three buses when I was there in Jan 90 Lugano seen here and Meiringen had seven each whilst Thusis had five.