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

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Scrap Body off midland Red WHA 229H

Seemingly a sad end for a Midland Red Leyland Leopard as what was left of it lay forlorn in a corner of the premises of Martins of Middlewich. Thankfully this old Plaxton body was replaced a new one for I well remember this coach from new as it was allocated to Stafford and I was told it was a flyer too. By the time this batch was being built in 1969 this design had been replaced by the more streamlined Panorama Elite. I can only imagine Plaxton had a lot of body parts in stock and gave Midland Red a good deal.  

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Stevenson's Leyland Tiger in Birmingham A115 EPA

For a while even though vehicles gained the current MRN livery they retained the Stevenson's identity like this former Green Line Leyland Tiger seen in Birmingham on the X79 to Tamworth.

Monday 26 February 2018

Bus Line : Zurich-Zollikon-Kusnacht at Bellvue Terminus

Difficult winter lighting conditions and a bus merging into the background didn't make this one of my best bus photos but nor is a Mercedes-Benz 0405 particularly exciting but of interest is that it's departure time is shown on the destination: Those Swiss they are so helpful when it comes to timetables and travel.

Sunday 25 February 2018

A Little Neoplan in Brig

Brig is one of the least exciting towns in the Alpine district of Switzerland, a bit grey and dour and not the sort of place one would look forwards to a good night out. Still it wasn't all it's own fault as the town was hit by one of those melting snow mud slides and the shopping area got ruined. I hadn't seen them before but Someone ran a few buses on town service work but the next time I saw this small Neoplan they had sold out to Die Post the main operator who was continuing to run it in this advertising livery. 

Saturday 24 February 2018

Preston Corporation Leyland PD3 MCW ARN 657C No.72

Just like Ribble having Leyland Motors on it's doorstep, it encouraged  Preston Corporation as well to remain a loyal customer for it's bus products. Another thing they had in common was sharing the town's registration letters as seen on this MCW bodied PD3 approaching the bus station in 1979. Unlike the one's allocated to Ribble these didn't match the fleet numbers 69-73 ARN 654C-658.  The combined Ribble group with a fleet of 1275 of course took a lot more buses and coaches in 1965 than Preston with a fleet of just 95. They had some CCK's too 608-627C but most were ARN's:- 568C-607C, 861-866C, 775-817C. All were Leopards apart from Lowlanders 1861-6.

Friday 23 February 2018

Berlin in the Early Eighties: BVG MAN-BUSSING 2628

Before the Berlin Wall came down this is how I like to remember it by the Ku'damm. Dating from 1974 this was one of the very first of these MAN double-deckers to enter service here and early examples also carried the Bussing symbol on the grill. They had two things in common with some British buses, I'm sure many will disagree but  firstly they sounded a little bit like a Metrobus but with my second observation I'm sure many will agree for sitting upstairs the seats were quite low and one could only just peer out of windows if they were small very much like on a MCW Orion body. 

First Manchester Olympian in Leigh

Once a very familiar sight, still in the orange and blue lining First Manchester livery a NC bodied Leyland Olympian emerges from the shadows as it nears it's final destination at Leigh.

Wednesday 21 February 2018


As enthusiasts we welcome it when operators put a code on their buses so we can identify it's garage. M&D had letters on a disc at the back, Midland Red had it on the edge of the destination blinds, and Ribble used the spare licence holder which could be checked when the bus was standing. However in Prague they really went to town and wrote the garage name on the front of the bus as a form of local branding I expect.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Badgerline Olympian and Metrobus

Bristol Omnibus like London Country took the Roe bodied version instead of the more usual ECW body and they were easy to distinguish especially as the had windscreens first seen on the LCBS Green Line RP class. Also unusual within the NBC had been Metrobuses but Bristol had a few at Bath which it used here on the Bristol service and one of each can be seen in the more colourful Badgerline era.

Monday 19 February 2018

Arriva Citaro at Lichfield BJ12 4BK No.3001

I was dismayed to learn that Arriva will no longer operate any buses out of Cannock Garage from April due to funding. I was fed up as I use the bus to nip to town and back. But thankfully the 825 from Lichfield will still run as they can do it from Tamworth. At least it will add a bit of variety to the local bus scene and I expect I might be riding on these Mercedes-Benz Citaros from April perhaps.

Saturday 17 February 2018

Ribble Dual-Doorway National in Stagecoach Stripes PTF 743L

I'm sure I saw many Leyland Nationals in those notorious Stagecoach stripes but any familiarity has diminished because I find it hard to picture them in anything except NBC leaf-green or like this Ribble example which once wore poppy-red. Slightly unusual on NBC examples was the additional centre exit sometimes found on earlier ones like this and locally in the North West with Crosville too. some too. Still carrying Ribble branding and fleet number was No.387 seen in Manchester.

Friday 16 February 2018

A Midland Red LS18 at Leamington

Only the lucky few garages received the 100 Midland Red LS18 class Leylands with either Weymann or like this example Willowbrook bodywork. Other garages had to make do with the under-powered BMMO built S16 instead with it's big pedals and heavy clutch. Both Nuneaton and Leamington where this one was seen had a decent number of these Leopards. This BET style was not that common as the same at both ends look quickly superseded it soon after these early thirty-six-footers arrived in 1962-3, and maybe it's just a personal thing but I found this more square look with the split screens equally attractive. Even though other BET concerns like M &D, Yorkshire Traction, Northern General, PMT and Western Welsh had them too it seems only Midland Red 5212 has been preserved.

WM Volvo B10m Alexander C55 HOM: Best Bus on the Block

If you were to ask people what were their favorite Travel West Midlands buses the small batch of Alexander P bodied Volvo B10M's might well come top of the list. These were bought for trials alongside the Lynx but sadly the Leyland won as these were the opposite in being by modern standards almost indestructible and offered a much more solid quiet ride.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Happy Days London DMS 2035 in Stafford

Independent's like Happy Days of Woodseaves went through a lot of vehicles some of which stayed so long they have become part of our memory, but in the years around Deregulation things were far less settled and buses came and went so quickly sometimes they didn't get a repaint. Once stalwarts of the old pre-70's G.H.Austin bus services Leylands returned in the Eighties for bus and contract work and used Leopards became a feature in later years but a single former Glasgow Atlantean was so difficult to start in the morning it guaranteed Fleetlines like this Former London DMS would become the double-deck choice. Former DMS 2035 showing 'Private' emerges from deep winter shadow and catches a bit of thin sunlight on a chilly day in Stafford with snow and ice underfoot whilst another Happy Days vehicle, this time a Ford follows it on service. 

A Bit of Blue Tack in Bolton: Blue Bus PIB 5144

The pressures of Deregulation called for a lot of extra buses to flood the streets and cause mayhem. As the focus moved sharply away to busy urban work as opposed to longer coach based services a lot of these vehicles became redundant. Rebodying some of these brought in plenty of work for East-Lancs and as with this example with Blue Bus of Horwich a body from Willowbrook of Loughborough. For many of us the Loughborough manufacturer brings back many fond memories but like a lot of the British Bus Industry declined to the extent that it disgraced it's once proud name. These new bodies were usually put on still sound Leyland Leopard chassis and had a resemblance to the Lynx which also turned out to be lacking a lot when it came to quality. I guess otherwise some of the Leopards would have gone for scrap so at least cash strapped operators got some money out of them. Blue bus of course are one of the villains of the industry in the sense that they tried to run Fishwick's, the good guys off the road.

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Looking for Red in Bridgnoth

In Midland Red days Bridgnorth was a bit special for even though it was not particularly busy with departures it was served by no less than five of the companies bus garages and even had two town services. Buses moved between garages quite frequently but it would not be the place to try to see everything as a spotter for they were only single-deckers. A more important place on the system that had no garage for most of it's history was Coventry and I counted at least eleven garages that served the city on bus routes some of which were quite long and of course it included double-deckers. Back in Bridgnorth the  local undertaker peers out as an ugly Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLE of Bryn Melyn passes through Low Town on what would have been local Midland Red workings years ago.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

HSX 78X Eastern Scottish Ailsa in Edinburgh

During the Eighties buswise a visit to Scotland made a refreshing change from the scene in England and Wales especially as the still colourful Scottish Bus group escaped the drab fate of the NBC operators. A green and cream Alexander bodied Ailsa makes a nice contrast with the seemingly always immaculate Lothian Leyland Atlanteans in Edinburgh.

Sunday 11 February 2018

In this seaside scene of mostly elderly people eating ice-cream and fish and chips it seemed happily  nothing much had changed over the years except the open-top United Auto Bristol VR was now part of East Yorkshire from Hull and operating here as Scarborough and District.

Friday 9 February 2018

GMT Fleetline TNA 309M at St Peter's Square

A Greater Manchester Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline stops at St Peter's Square before heading down Moseley Street on it's way to Piccadilly and then out to Moston.

Thursday 8 February 2018

BVB Saurer in Chesieres

BVB used to run trams down from Villars to it's adjoining village of Chesieres about a kilometer away but this was discontinued probably when the new road bridge was built between it and Villars in the early Sixties. A replacement bus service was operated using a rather functional looking faded old blue Saurer but sometimes a rather stylish green coach was used instead and both were housed at the former tram shed in the village. Not a brilliant print I know but as a schoolboy I had to rely on my point and shoot Ilford Sporti with it's awkward for buses square negatives.

PNH 182: Thomas of Barry

I recognised the registration of this Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M at Victoria Coach Station as being a former Happy Days coach. Interestingly it bears a rising sun motif on the side which of course was a hallmark of the Austin families Woodseaves coach fleet.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Yorkshire Rider Tiger WSV 407

I can't remember where I took it but Yorkshire Rider ran this smart Duple bodied Leyland Tiger in National Express livery on contract.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Provincial and a Murky Day in Pompey

Portsmouth lost it's municipal buses for minibuses, Southdown became a Stagecoach stripe but on the plus side long established Provincial from nearby Gosport became a familiar sight. It was a pity though that they mainly ran Leyland Nationals but at least they still wore their traditional colours and looked quite pleasing on a nice day!

Monday 5 February 2018

Die Post Setra on a Valais Grey Cold Day in Brig

Switzerland when bathed in sunshine has a magical quality and even the railway system with it's old wooden stations and it's period industrial concrete sheds has a toy-town fairy-tale feel about it. Perhaps that's because it's still the way I remember it from my schooldays in the Sixties. But go there when they get some British weather with dense cloud and rain and it seems like an old-fashioned dump. So yes of course they get horrid weather here too but when in winter it was bad I used to take the train up into the mountains for I could live with the alpine snow outside the window. Usually after a lousy week the last two days were just perfect and I ended up not wanting to come home. As well as being a well know pont on the rail route from Geneva to Milan the town of Brig has a Die Post bus fleet which always interested me but this Setra which looked very much the same was actually owned by one of it's many contractors.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Showing Our Age. Eastern National VHL 177L

The destination of this preserved Eastern National ECW bodied Bristol RE at Lincoln might not be PC enough for some but is perhaps appropriate all the same as like heir vehicles a lot of preservationists are getting old too. Let's hope in the future our less official heritage will be taken more seriously by society as once we lose it we will never get it back.

Saturday 3 February 2018

Thamesdown Dennis Dominator SMW 56Y

As well as the South Yorkshire PTE the Dennis Dominator gained a lot of orders from the remaining municipal operators including Thamesdown. No.56 with Northern Counties bodywork looked rather smart in the blue and cream livery.

Thursday 1 February 2018

When the Ku-damm was Berlin

One forgets how busy this key area of West Berlin was for all the real action now is centred in the old East Berlin around the once quiet and deadly dull  former city centre area of Lindenstrasse. So as the old saying goes  what goes around comes around. But  from this view we can easily imagine how people in the East who obviously knew what it was like must have longed to eat in the restaurants and buy the goods in the shops in this bustling utopia of Capitalism. Now they can live in debt like every one else who loves shopping too much. Quality wise not one of my best but it certainly catches the lively spirit of the Ku-damm as a Setra of Immel and Kolb ferries the tourists who came from all over West Germany to see it as well. It is still busy here but somehow no longer feels like the very heart of Berlin but that is not such a bad thing either

Slavik Koper at the Customs Post in Trieste

Coaches from Croatia with West Europeans on board leave the Communist East on a day trip to Italy, and Trieste that beckoned was notable for being at the end of the Russian controlled Iron Curtain.