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

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 This BET style was not that common as the same at both ends look quickly superseded it soon after these early thirty-six-footers arrived in 1962-3, and maybe it's just a personal thing but I found this more square look with the split screens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.


Ross said...

I didn't realise that any of the LS18s had been preserved. That's cheered me up!

If only an LS20 had survived as well...

christopher said...

Ross sadly it's not a red and black Dp like an LS20 but former WM 5212 needs renovation but is back in BMMO livery at Wythall. As a kid I was rather excited by the LS18's and first saw them in Shrewsbury when we went to the baths but it was in the Xmas holidays that I got to ride on one for the first time as Nuneaton 5146 was waiting for me on the 765. Much better than a spartan S14 and a lot warmer than any BMMO, indeed that route was a bit of a gamble for although NN had about 13, Lichfield was still putting no-heater or doors S8's on there which as I know to my cost was not much fun for two and half hours on a cold foggy November day.

Ross said...

I'm not going to argue about the colour, Christopher; any LS18 is better than none!

I still don't understand why bus companies considered heating to be an optional extra back then, on buses with platform doors at least, and indeed some seem to view it as optional even now (in fairness, so does the railway; a couple of weeks ago I took an early morning train which had frost on the inside of the windows....)

It was one of the reasons I disliked WMPTE's Metrobi; they were *cold*.

christopher said...

You might think they could put a decent heater into buses today, the West Midland Enviros we have on the 54 have useless feeble heaters if they work at all. At theirs and Arrivas Volvos are warm.