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

Monday 30 April 2018

Midland Fox East-Lancs bodied Olympian A280 ROW

This former Southampton Leyland Olympian found it's way into Midland Fox at Leicester. Unlike later efforts East Lancs was still making quite attractive bodies in the early Eighties but this bus didn't look it's best as it was showing a 'temporary repair' after accident damage or as the registration might suggest, having a row..

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Lowland Scottish National2 RFS 580V

As with the NBC the Scottish Bus Group was also broken up to be sold off by the Tories who believed public ownership was a sin burdened with trade unuions, workers rights, and a strange concept that one gave a service not just to make money. The part of Eastern Scottish which became Lowland drew a short straw when it came to viable operating territory but at least had an attractive livery as seen on this Leyland National2 in Edinburgh.

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Burton's of Brixham Bedford RBD 109M

Burton's of Brixham ran this quite attractive former United Counties Bedford with a Willowbrook body dating from 1974 which was seen in Torquay. The NBC had it's own standard small bus the Bristol LH but normally small batches of lightweight buses were added as well to it's fleets which added a bit of variety and if unusual even local character.

Sunday 22 April 2018

Stagecoach Bristol VR Open-Top in Exeter UWU 608S

Devon General at Torquay have a long tradition of operating open-top double-deckers in the summer and that extended to Stagecoach ownership where we see an ECW bodied Bristol VR wearing those once familiar stripes nobody seemed to care for. I'm tempted to say I think I prefer them to Arriva's new insipid light blue and First's current scheme which reminds me of those Eden Vale yogurts when stirred up like the black-cherry. But no I didn't like this livery at the time and even the old Arriva turquoise buses stir a bit of enthusiasm now that worse is to come.

Saturday 21 April 2018

SMB 601V Bostock of Congleton

At the time this was taken Bostock of Congleton ran a fleet of forty-five Bedford and Leyland coaches including this Duple Dominant bodied Leopard. Nearly every number was used, this was No.6 but there was no No.13.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Plymouth VJY 144V: Bus With an Ego

An ego as big as a bus even I'm not that bad lol. But I can imagine furnishing seller Larry Speare not being happy with the look of his image on the bus and then tells the sign writer to start again. I'm not keen on all-over advertising such as on this Plymouth East-Lancs bodied Leyland Atlantean at Bretonside but what I hate the most is as a passenger when the design partly obscures the window I want to see through and there would be added irony if it said "See Britain by Bus". One thing is for sure I expect Larry has not only changed a bit since since the early Eighties but his fashion tastes have moved on. I wonder if he wore platform-heels if not the registration number at the front would be almost in line with his moustache.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Arrive Wight Streetlite in Stafford

I call myself a bus enthusiast but I don't know a lot of run of the mill stuff these days and I had to look up the name of these Wright bodies. It's a good job I did for if someone had said it I might have thought it was a Wright Streetlight. Spelling it correctly a  Streetlite still quite a rare sight in Stafford but sometimes when perhaps they're short of buses one comes in from Telford. This was taken with my new little Sony pocket camera and in perfect conditions it is impossible to tell it apart from a more upmarket SLR. I'm getting to like it a lot.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Clydeside Leopard TSJ 39S in Glasgow

I think most of the other Scottish Bus Group fleets were more interesting quirky and probably more attractive too but I still think Western Scottish was my favorite as in both livery and area diversity and size it was a bit like their Ribble over the border. So I thought it was a pity when it's sprawling empire was split up and here in a busy Glasgow one of it's many Leyland Leopard Alexander Y-types operates under Clydside ownership on a service to Kilbirnie. A Scottish destination one could not imagine on a Ribble bus excepting of course after Deregulation as anything was possible then .

Monday 16 April 2018

Der Blaufelder Reisen Bussing Coach

I obviously created some interest when I stopped to take a photo of this Bussing coach from Western Germany visiting Berlin and it looked very smart in the type of  attractive script signwriting they used back in 1982. This guy was a salesman and he tried to chat me up as I might buy some life insurance. I don't think so somehow it's a nightmare in English just imagine trying to understand all that small print that goes with it in German.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Royal Blue RELH 837 SUO: Gentlemen Gather Rosebuds Whilst You May

Maybe instead it should be taking bus photos with a camera whilst you may. I'm not knocking anyone as I'm an enthusiast too, but what exactly is the appeal of taking super quality shots of preserved buess and coaches when you see the same ones time and time again, indeed it wouldn't be so bad if they were out on the road where they belong. Maybe it is a way to combine an interest in photography and buses together, yes and I guess that's what I do. But I do find rows and rows of highly polished buses parked up on grass with the proud owner hiding part of the front with it's award board a bit artificial to say the least and most annoying too as gormless people who forgot their glasses seem to deliberately get in the way and painstakingly read what it says on the board every last word!of it, meanwhile I mutter to myself saying it's only a revamped Routemaster for Christ's sake. For myself I perhaps take one or two portraits of vehicles that catch my eye but when I do it I like to include other things that are going on including people of course often a 'no no' to the die-hard purist 'bus twitcher' even if she's beautiful and showing it off. I guess the important thing is we all go there and enjoy ourselves for if we didn't and the owners didn't go to all the trouble of bringing their pride and joy there would be no event to go to. I suppose it's my fault I can't just enjoy it as a day out, the trouble is I am old enough to remember the Fifties and Sixties and sometimes it's a bit like someone like Alan Titchmarsh doing a cover-version of your favorite Hendrix song or the BBC trying to do a new version of Dad's Army without all the old faces we love.

Thursday 12 April 2018

A41 SMA: Crosville Chester Liverpool Road Garage

A good sample of the buses be found at the Chester Liverpool Road Garage of Crosville in the Eighties. As well as a Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger in Town Lynx livery being carefully reversed there is a bit of an earlier ECW Bristol RE version. There are two types of Leyland National, an Olympian and a flat-fronted secondhand former East Midland Bristol VR. A fororite of mine was the former MW coach converted into a recovery vehicle is just visible. Notable but missing from this view was a Seddon RU. The National Bus Company was not quite as dull as we might think from our memories and Crosville was one of the most interesting.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Happy Days of Woodseaves Leopard SWW 146R

When G.H.Austin of Woodseaves went bust in 1969 it got rid of all it's elderly second-hand Leyland Tiger Cub buses and a new company took the name of it's coach business Happy Days but little else changed much except the fleet went over to newer and even new Fords. But by the mid-Eighties things were starting to change with the arrival of a Leyland again this time a former Wallace Arnold Leyland Leopard. No doubt as elsewhere demanding motorway running dictated heavier premium motors and more similarly bodied former Wallace Arnold coaches arrived but this time Volvo B10M's. But a lot more Leopards found their way into the fleet and by the time they sold out to Midland Red North it was a bit like Austin's again with elderly Leylands doing much of the bus services out towards Shropshire along with a pair of Scanias bought new..

Monday 9 April 2018

Peddle-Power in Copenhahen HT 1583

Not only is the flat landscape around the Danish capital flat and ideal for cyclists they are not a hurrying lycra-clad race apart in their ray-bands and tinted goggle sunglasses at war with all motorists and even humble pedestrians as they assert 'peddle-power', instead they are normal people like the rest of us and indeed going stark naked above the shoulders feeling the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. Crossing the Amager Bridge in Copenhagen can be most pleasant in Summer but when those cold easterly winds blow it's another matter and I would much rather be on one of the now long gone DAB bodied HT Scanias which stood out from the rest of the fleet.

Sunday 8 April 2018

Midland Red S15 in Hyde Lea

Yes this is a another early photo I took with my little Ilford Sporti camera. It was about 11.43am but I can't tell you exactly when it was but I expect it was summer 1966 as 4621 didn't come to Stafford till December 1965. I know the time at least as during the week all the other trips on this town service the S98 was with double-deckers. The local allocation was only for seven saloons and surprisingly it operated more S15's like this than the ubiquitous S14 of which I believe there were only three listed. However S15's came and went with firstly new 4647, then 4602, 4621, 4608. Also new was 5087 and 5085 was here for a while too.
  4621 is seen passing the Hyde Lea village school which was handy for me as lived just across the road. I can still remember a lot of things from my very early years whereas others have terrible memories.

Saturday 7 April 2018


I'm afraid till I get a new camera this is the very last new image I have to put on here. The scanner is jiggered and the lens is stuck in one position on my Cannon G20 which is why I couldn't zoom in on the Holmeswood MAN coach passing Stafford Hospital on it's way towards the town. Considering I could only hold the camera out and wait till the coach came near enough it didn't turn out too badly. Of course I have more than enough material to keep posting but I'm missing my camera already. As I told one of my friends it's a good job then that there are no Arriva buses in Stafford on a Sunday except from Telford. Cannock Garage is now closed that day which is ridiculous when it's catchment area is urban and the shops are open and people still have to go to work. It's a pity they couldn't do half-fare journeys on this day or something just to get people to use the bus because to be fair to Arriva they are pretty empty.

Friday 6 April 2018

Stagecoach Iveco Minibus L940 CTT in Exeter

Oh dear I can't remember taking this photograph of one Harry Blundred's Iveco minibus in Exeter. it looks like one of mine though especially as I also got in the girls across the road. By this time it was owned by Stagecoach which was rapidly replacing most of these bread-vans with proper buses again, but having said that a similar bus behind it has gained those infamous stripes so it didn't happen over night.

Thursday 5 April 2018

Dennis Dominators Dominate in Leicester

They are now a rare sight in some towns but in the Eighties the double-decker was still very much a force to be reckoned with. An East-Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator still in the much more subtle and pleasant traditional Leicester livery is followed by two similar buses whilst another cream and maroon bus brings up the rear. It's an MCW Metropolitan and we can also see a former London DMS with Midland Red East or more likely re-named Midland Fox by then.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Midland Red North PUK 563R in the snow

Winter turns up every year but it still seems to take us by surprise especially when it turns to snow. It looked particularly unwelcoming in this view of buses at Goal Square in Stafford when Midland Red North was trying to revive a bit of the old BMMO magic with red buses. Sadly not only was the paint too dark it was of poor quality quickly faded and looked scruffy. Also the heritage inspired historic typeface it employed just made the company look old-fashioned and dull whereas something brighter and more modern might have freshened up the image. Leyland National 653 had been renumbered to 953 to identify it as one the local buses that had been modified to get under the Colwich Bridge.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

City Line Bristol VR PHY 699S

One of the nice things about going down to the West Country by coach was there was usually a decent enough break at Bristol and Marlborough Street Bus Station was situated in such a way that there were a number of good spots to take photographs nearby. Red yellow and blue together were popular colours employed on a number of former NBC fleet including the Bristol City Line fleet where it's brightening effect was almost 'springlike' compared to that drab old leaf-green and white. A Muller Road VR pick up a good load on it's way to Henbury.

Monday 2 April 2018

A Gem from 1929 Bolton Leyland TD1 WH 1553 at Lincoln

Now Easter is out of the way we can look forwards to another bus rally season so the enthusiasts will soon be polishing their steads and pumping up tyres. I'm a bit fickle as to where I go as I get bored quite easily and at the end of the day they are just buses parked in a field but now that I've officially stopped collecting diecasts the list is going to get even smaller. I don't do static events anyway and so I like plenty of rides which also give me access to the nearby town and the Lincoln museum events are ideal for that. I never made it to Malta for the bus experience but as a nipper I did go to Jersey with my mother which must have been just as good and so my formative memories include seeing about three very similar buses with JMT. This Leyland TD1 is a former Bolton bus dating to 1929. I wasn't old enough to go out spotting then but they fascinated all the same and it's just a pity I wasn't old enough the appreciate that amazing fleet.

Sunday 1 April 2018

A hot and busy Porto

An unorthodox bus picture from Portugal where Iveco trolleybus 165 vies to catch the eye with all the other distractions in this bustling city view.

Leipzip MAN on the 52 to Plagwitz

As the former East Germany slowly gets modernised both a new MAN bus and a tram steal the limelight with tired looking Communist era trams outside the Bahnhof in Leipzig.

Burnley: Not such a good Good Friday

This Lancashire town was pretty quiet on Good Friday in 1996 and this girl had a date but the cad stood her up. A few Burnley and Pendle buses were out including this Volvo B10M which showed how  attractive the angular Alexander P series body looked in an attractive livery.