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

Saturday 31 March 2018

Safeguard of Guildfod Leyland Lynx E51 MMT

Many Independent bus operators had to make do with cheaper lightweight buses or secondhand purchases, but a few such as Safeguard of Guildford was one of just a few who managed set a very high standard. In the Eighties it also had a few Bedfords but both the bus and coach fleet featured modern Leyland Leopards, Tigers and as seen here the Lynx.

Berlin a special day a new bus

In Berlin on special days of the year and holidays the city buses used to be bestowed with flags. That of course wouldn't happen here as whenever there's the slightest hint of it Arriva just take off the service to save money despite some people still needing to get to work. Someone should pay for the buses and I'm sorry to say perhaps it should be the urban motorist who has choice. Also worth celebrating in this view was the fact that the flags were on a brand new bus a MAN Wagon-Union No.1893 and an addition to that feeling of newness even the girl walking passed looks like a new doll removed from it's box. Yes even the everyday Berlin in those days was a bit like something out of a generic movie or just a bit surreal.

Friday 30 March 2018

Brighton TYS 1S: Waves of Nostalgia

I was keeping this and I know it's not the first day of the month but I've chose Brighton Corporation No.1. There is something about the number-one in a fleet and it's celebrity makes it that little bit more memorable than the others. For instance I can remember two more Brighton buses with this distinguishing mark, a Weymann bodied trolleybus maybe HUF 1, then there was a later Weymann Orion bodied Leyland PD2 5001 CD and lastly this bus one of a number of attractive East-Lancs bodied Atlanteans in the fleet. I guess these buses were not quite as exciting as the earlier examples I mentioned but nostalgia is a strange thing and it takes it's place amongst the Great of the Past. Of interest is the way some registration letters got moved to a different licensing office as happened here as YS was a Glasgow marque.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

M605 UTV Nottingham City Transport.

Dennis Dart buses with Plaxton bodywork are usually associated with the Badgerline companies but of course they could be found elsewhere such as here at Nottingham and the similar look of the minibus in the background is carried an Optare minibus.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Setra at Oranianburg

Once situated just over the Berlin Wall in the East is the pleasant town on Oranianburg but like many others it's bus station was hardly well appointed or inspiring.

Saturday 24 March 2018

Abbott of Blackpool Leyland Tiger D857 XBV

One of the great names in the coach industry was the Lancashire firm Abbott of Blackpool who in it's later years ran this Duple bodied Tiger which was seen going through the bus wash at the depot.

Friday 23 March 2018

Crosville Cymru Mercedes in Bangor

It's funny how many liveries were nothing special at the time but somehow we still get to miss them. Perhaps it's the extra portion of white which helps brighten up this Crosville Cymru Alexander bodied Mercedes-Benz mini in Bangor.

Monday 19 March 2018

Plymouth: They Parade Down the Royal Parade

This winter has been bitterly cold and at this moment I can think of nothing better than spending some time photographing the buses and girls on the Royal Parade in Plymouth. The women here and in Exeter seem to be especially lovely but I'm afraid when it comes to buses it's not what it used to be but under Go-Ahead Plymouth still has it's red 'municipal' buses but sadly the roar of the Atlantean is long gone.

Saturday 17 March 2018

Sheffield: Every Picture Tells a Story

It is quite true that all our photos do tell a story and I'm all for it when it is something more interesting than the bus.   As I like to take most of my photos in a public place I also sometimes also get a bit of an incite into other peoples lives. Here is a good example for as well as Northern Bus 929 CVJ an ECW bodied Leyland Leopard which started life with Eastern National as VHK 177L we can see a worried looking young lady in the back of a South Yorkshire panda car being escorted to the police station here in Sheffield and  no doubt fretting about the outcome of yet another shoplifting offence.

Friday 16 March 2018

Tempers frey at Manchester Piccadilly Bus Station

Someone's got rather overheated about something and a patient looking bus inspector obviously tries to humour the angry man. Now split into North and South divisions in readiness to be sold off probably all these Greater Manchester buses are Leyland Atlanteans, but another former GMT bus also carrying 'Manchester Standard' Northern Counties bodywork and hiding it's age was a Daimler Fleetline. Hall's green and white colour scheme was very different from the brown and orange buses of it's former owner at Piccadilly Bus Station.

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Midland Red Rebodied C3 Touring Coach UHA 190

Before the M6 was built all the traffic from Birmingham to the North West used to come through Stafford including touring coaches. In 1962 Midland Red had some Fifties C2 and C3 coaches fitted with new Plaxton bodies for extended tours bang up to date with the new Panorama. They were delivered in an off-white creamy livery which was short-lived as can be seen here, but a little was allowed to remain which didn't seem to detract from their appeance at all. This coach would have gone through the town and passed down Greyfriars where Sid Taylor had his scrapyard  the final destination for many a BMMO and no doubt where the old Willowbrook body of 4190 still could be found. Maybe it might have been the best place for this Ilford Sporti camera as well but I concede these hazy old photos do have a certain amateurish charm well suited to old dog-eared notebooks and other bus spotting memories.

From Poland a French looking Jelcz in Prague

Apart from having what looks a bit like a 1964 London registration number this bus in Prague had a British connection. It was built by a polish firm Jelcz which had been known as Zubr until 1968 and built buses using licence-built Wola-Leyland engines. At the end of the 1970's an agreement was made with Berliet where Skoda based passenger models would be replaced with the PR100 city bus  hence it's rather brutal french appearance. However it was powered by Berliet or the Wola-Leyland.

Monday 12 March 2018

SYT gets bought out by First Bus

Under positive guidance from the local Labour Council South Yorkshire PTE set out to be a good example of how bus services could charge low fares and run modern passenger friendly buses. But with Deregulation it had to be sold off and ended up with an operator with a poor reputation First Bus. Yet to be repainted and still looking smart was this Wright bodied Volvo one of a fleet of low-floor buses the PTE had bought.

Sunday 11 March 2018

ROX 658Y WMPTE Metrobus with the Rotunda

Birmingham was bathed in bright sunshine when I took this shot of a West Midlands Metrobus with the Rotunda in the background, a more durable landmark in this city which is constantly changing. We are now more aware of Victorian buildings that deserve to be saved but the Rotunda so symbolishes the concrete underpass Birmingham of the Sixties and early-Seventies it should be preserved as an important landmark of it's time, the other one that springs to mind as being of national importance is the magnificently bold and brutal Preston Bus Station.

Springtime at Shugborough

A Staffordshire  springtime Sunday Morning outing to Shugborough Hall nearby with my girlfriend at the time. Lesley was interesting and indeed the dream package for she worked as a psychiatric nurse but was not just excited about naturism and nude swimming but also used to dress in a leather one-piece and was in an all-girl motorcycle group. better still didn't mind posing in front of some Volvo B10M coaches for me both with Plaxton bodywork. The East Kent coach was the oldest and shows even if it still had a late NBC feel how easily it's pleasant dark red and cream livery could be updated. Much liked Bakers of Biddulph from the top of the county was fairly local and it's coach also a 3500 carried a later paramount body. I suppose these British bodies looked a bit conservative in their day but seem a lot more pleasing on the eye today as I find a some modern coaches look really hideous more like futuristic spaceships than nice traditional buses.

Friday 9 March 2018

6316 HA Midland Red D9 at Stafford

Even as a schoolboy I managed to take some decent photos despite having a pretty primitive camera. For a young spotter a brand new  Midland Red D9 was something to behold with all it's bright red paint and untarnished metalwork including a bit extra on  this still shiny bus as it had beading around the wheel arches as can be seen here. I checked out 5315 at Markfield and it still had fibre-glass wings and so I think 5316 at Stafford was the first one maybe. 5317 also at Stafford was the same but a few numerically later ones retained the earlier wings and the inconsistency was perhaps typical of Midland Red and although it was far from true it could almost be argued that no two BMMO's were the same.

N602 APU Thamesway City Saver Plaxton Volvo

Belonging to Thamesway in bright orange and yellow City Saver livery for the Southend to London service was this Plaxton bodied Volvo at Victoria.

Thursday 8 March 2018

A York Bus Rarity REL 402R.

Following Deregulation well known for it's quality coach fleet it might seem odd to see a York Brothers service bus. But in the past it did indeed run buses even double-deckers including an all-Leyland PD2. But Leylands were a rarity, which makes this rebodied Leopard even more interesting. It's new Plaxton Bustler was not common either on a PSV either nore usually found on white painted MOD vehicles and the like. It had started life with Shamrock and Rambler as a futuristic looking but not very sound Willowbrook Spacecar body. York had been an AEC advocate in the past and by 1986 just one remained in this Northampton based fleet, the rest being  Ford, Setra and Volvo.

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Brighton: A bit of a dog!

By the end of the Sixties bus operators were finding life tougher. New single-deckers built for 'OPO' like this Brighton Corporation Marshall bodied Leyland Panther introduced to help cut costs from falling passenger numbers only saddled them with expensive mechanical problems and more debt. These early rear-engined saloons were even more troublesome than the less than perfect Atlantean and Fleetlines but at least when those appeared on the scene firms could revert back to trusty old-fashioned half-cabs for a few more years but by 1968 there were fewer options and firms had to make do with new underdeveloped  technology. Even the basset hound looks unimpressed.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

The Post Bus to La Locle

In many Swiss towns whatever the weather and indeed even when there is an inch of snow lol just like clockwork yellow post buses are there patiently waiting outside the station for the busy express trains to arrive. Even though it is quite a decent size Neuchatel was only served by the one route seen here to La Locle using one of the now much missed Saurer RH buses. As a government body the PTT had special status with certain privileges for vehicles carrying the 'post horn'  like having the right of way on Swiss Passes. Also it was a cosy relationship with railways for if there was room they used to have their stands  right next to the railway platforms, but rather like Britain and Brexit once the post office was devolved not only did they lose their very own P-Reg numbers for cantonal plates the post bus became a more humble affair having and the stands were moved further away as was already the case here.

Sunday 4 March 2018

Oh la la! Going Top-Less in Brighton

I suppose after Blackpool the town of Brighton must be Britain's best known holiday resort but there are many and the nice thing is they are all different. Brighton and Hove with it's royal connections aspires to be a little bit posh but fails but being the favourite resort for Londoners makes up for it by being a little bit cosmopolitan and certainly bohemian in the 'Swinging London' King's Road sort of way. Blackpool had Ribble buses and Brighton Southdown both interesting fleets which were associated very much with Leylands in BET days but as elsewhere within the later NBC years had to buy Bristol VR's. But even under the NBC both were able to take some Atlanteans and whereas Southdown got rid of theirs quite quickly for more Bristols Ribble managed to just buy a few and stick to the now reliable and better AN68.  TNJ 994S might look like it has a fairly standard ECW body  but it was in fact a convertible to open-top. I suppose by this time even open-toppers had to be modern enough to do all year round 'OPO' but I think we all preferred the resorts when the most ancient buses like old-donkeys were given an easy retirement gently cruising along the promenade. Oh well it was not all bad for here at least on the South Coast they managed to keep one or two.

If Willam Shakespeare was alive today he'd white a ode to this Coney Island

People go to Spalding for the Bulb Festival at tulip time but I don't suppose visitors come to Stratford on Avon to see the plentiful traffic cones. They have become one of those things that sum up modern heaving Britain today as just their presence means either annoying road diversions or slow going often for miles and miles. However all the other motorists seemed happy enough to follow B124 UUD a City of Oxford Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger in smart City Link livery as it threaded it's way through on the long limited-stop X50 service which linked Birmingham to Oxford via Stratford.

Saturday 3 March 2018

Saturday Morning in Geneva

When I used to take my short winter break in Switzerland there was often a bit of time to kill in Geneva and despite being saddled with a bit of luggage there was always a bit going on outside the station to photograph. By this time in the late Nineties all the Sauer-Leylands had gone aprobably the last of the FBW and Saurer buses too. Mercedes bought out the Swiss bus chassis builders which is why they became commonplace ie this 0405, and even though the trolleybus might have a Hess body the rest of it might have been a NAW used for local spec Mercedes buses built at the old Saurer factory at Arbon.

Thursday 1 March 2018

East London Scania at Trafalgar square

A still new looking Northern Counties bodied Scania of East London on Docklands Service D11 leads a procession of buses through Whitehall and approaches Trafalgar Square. Without any obvious branding it had probably yet to succumb to ever expanding Stagecoach ownership.