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 29 May 2018

Brighton & Hove National WYJ 163S

Even the mundane Leyland National could look a bit more interesting and worthy of a photo in a different livery. Like many others this had once worn NBC leaf-green before Southdown was split and Brighton and Hove District was reborn along with it's attractive red and cream. Also of note this was one of the less common two-door variety.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Lytham JTD 381 in Morecambe

The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Group organised a great event in Morecambe today. I'm not a great one for bus rallies with lines of buses parked on the grass I much prefer running events like this where vehicles are presented in more authentic settings running along the seafront and of course give rides.  Much of Britain was hit with ferocious thunder storms but for a change the north got the best weather as it was a very pleasant 22.c with a breeze. One can't find a better example of a Lancashire bus than a Leyland PD2 like this one with a Leyland body. Not only did Ribble have them but most of the municipal fleets had them like this one in Lytham St Annes blue and white livery. Rugged and reliable these Leyland Titans continued to be produced right up to 1969 but it's own body production ended in 1953.

Friday 25 May 2018

Silver Star in Caernarvon WVO 855S

Not quite the much missed Silver Star of Porton Down but this North Wales independent certainly helped add to the variety to be found in Caenarvon indeed this area was a hot spot for small interesting operators in the Nineties. I think most of them are gone now with Arriva filling in some of the gaps, but I'm certainly glad I got about in those days to photograph what I now see as a kind of 'Indian Summer' for enthusiasts before the major groups filled in the gaps. This was one of a small number of ECW bodied Bristol LH6L buses delivered to Mansfield & District/East Midland.

Crosville Olympian A144 SMA at Woodside Birkenhead

Unless one tries to avoid it most bus photographs are taken in the most dreary or boring locations and so somewhere like Woodside Bus Station and ferry terninal at Birkenhead was literally like a breath of fresh air. Not only was it busy itcould it could always provide us with an interesting array of buses plus great views across the Mersey to Liverpool and the Liver Building. By the Eighties the magnificent blue and cream corporation buses had been replaced with verona green PTE Atlanteans but Crosville didn't look too bad under the NBC as can be witnessed by this ECW bodied Leyland Olympian on the frequent services to Chester.

Thursday 24 May 2018

First Potteries Scania Omnicity 65039 in Stafford

These Scania Omnicity buses have been the mainstay of the Hanley-Newcastle-Stafford 101 Service for a number of years, indeed 65039 is twelve years old now which had it been a Midland Red bus in BMMO days it might well have been due to be withdrawn shortly. There seems to be an irony in the fact that modern buses bolted together seem to last even longer than many of the old straighforward ones with solid bodywork built by craftsmen and which were so reliable. Also in the old days buses were usually kept inside a garage overnight whereas today they are stuck outside in all weathers. The problem in the past was the pace of innovation and the need for bigger buses whereas just at the moment it's just about keeping the weight and cost down so they don't have to 'throw them out' till they fail.

Mid-Warwickshire YAY 701J at the Lincoln Farm

Mid-Warwickshire operated to the south east of Birmingham and a number of it's vehicles could be found on the muddy pot-holed lorry park of the Lincoln Farm Inn Transport Cafe on the A446 inbetween Stonebridge and Warwick near Balsall Common. It operated a number of rear-engined single-deckers which no doubt it bought cheaply due to their poor reputation including AEC Swifts, Leyland Panthers and as seen here a Willowbrook bodied Daimler Roadliner which had been an industry training bus.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Len Wright's The Bee Line Dennis Dart at Heathrow

Firms like Thames Valley are just a distant memory now as is it's successor Alder Valley. Newbury went to Reading Transport and Aldershot and Guildford went to Stagecoach  but most of the Thames Valley area became The Bee Line under I think Len Wright. After the mini-bus craze it took operators a while to think big again and these short Darts with Plaxton Pointer bodies were the next step back up towards sensible large buses. Optare was very active at this time trying to catch the economy end of the market producing various innovative cheap buses from minis and midis to full-sized vehicles including double-deckers but it was the success of these fairly simple workmanlike Darts especially compared to it's from rival Volvo that saved Dennis and made it the success story it still is today.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Northern Counties Bodied Leopard at Chester

During the Seventies single-deck variety was a rarity because the market was geared towards the ubiquitous  Leyland National and bus grant service coaches. Most of the few other saloons went to the remaining municipals and bodywork included the Duple Dominent but both both East-Lancs and Northern Counties managed to pick up some business. With rather square NC bodywork was this short Leyland Leopard with Chester. City Transport and looking smart in the updated 'more cream'  traditional brown based livery.

Monday 21 May 2018

Fiat Trieste Inbus 261

Rather like the French with so much elegance and beauty all around mundane considerations like the design of it's buses don't matter to much, or so it seems. A typical Italian Fiat town buses looks as if it's ready to depart in Triente.

PMT: Turner's Leyland National2 A306 JFA in Stafford

Sadly all the long established Independent bus companies have now gone from the Potteries and even PMT now part of First has barely one-hundred buses where once I remember there were over five-hundred. After PMT took over Turner of Brown Edge they retained the name and attractive livery for a time and it even appeared on Leyland National2 A306 JFA which was seen in Stafford where most people wouldn't know who Turner's were.

Sunday 20 May 2018

City of Oxford Fleetline at Bicester MJO 389H

Apart from a rather big garage in the city at Cowley Road, City of Oxford only had small and tiny depots and one of these small ones was at Bicester. Near to it was this Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline with passengers on board probably awaiting a new driver to take them to their destination.

Chris White AEC Reliance at Bretonside

As with local football teams bus enthusiasts take sides and most notably between AEC and Leyland people, and I expect if one was to do a head count it would be for the Southall concern. I'm not sure it's quite so marked with coach builders but Plaxton might have been a little in some respects it was Duple that provided the most variety and one of it's best designs, the Dominant looked superb on this AEC Reliance parking up at Bretonside on a day trip to Plymouth.

Friday 18 May 2018

DAB Articulated Bus in Sheffield C103 HDT

Very much a feature in SYT days were the DAB Leyland articulated buses seen in Sheffield, an idea that has still to take off in Britain especially following their unpopularity in London.

Thursday 17 May 2018

Enjoying An All Britain Tour: Shearings Tiger D595 MVR

I don't know where I took this photo of a new Shearings Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger on a National Holidays UK tour but I expect it's passengers drowning their sorrows over a cup of tea didn't care either and must have wished they had stayed at home. I've a feeling it's one of those cafes that served up everything with a Yorkshire Pudding up north on the A1.

Monday 14 May 2018

Yeoman's Bedford VAL CVJ 800C

The small city of Hereford being on the south-west flank of the giant Midland Red empire also played host to a number of large companies, indeed Red and White had a small depot here too. On the Independent front as well as Wye Valley was Yeoman's who provided an attractive bottle-green painted mix of interesting old and bought new buses including this quite rare Duple bodied Bedford VAL. A little quirk that lasted many years was the way the company tried to register it's buses with a hundred number. Probably they had a friend who worked in the local road-tax office who helped if they could to find one that was available.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Ian Allan: Bus Aren't What They Used to Be

Ian Allan realised there were rail enthusiasts who would welcome pocket size handbooks full of numbers and this led to a nationwide craze for spotting trains during the Fifties and before. With buses London Transport was well represented of course but later came other bus companies too and area books. All of these date from before my spotting days started indeed the ABC of London dates from December 1944. I think it must be quite a rariry and was given to me today by my friend Natalin, and it sumarises the bus fleet but all the trolleybuses and trams are listed individually although the trolleys lack any registration numbers. A useful reference book with includes the garages and trams sheds too.

Springtime in Dresden

Following German Reunification the former East was getting a makeover and western modernity was springing up all around as can be witnessed by the three-axle Neoplan Syliner coach just visible. But like the eco-unfriendly brown coal blackened cathedral the old trams were badly in need of a spring clean.

Warstone Green Bus Atlantean XWG628S

Looking smart in Warstone's distinctive colours was this former SYT Roe bodied Atlantean seen hurrying in Wolverhampton and causing my snatched photo to blur.

Thursday 10 May 2018

Crosville Bristol FLF Lodekka 138 YFM at Rock Ferry

At the Birkenhead garage in 1967 was this Bristol FLF built in 1962 which looked very smart after a repaint. Crosville had several large garages and here at Rock Ferry there were almost one-hundred-buses.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Trathens Neoplan Skyliner at Bretonside BDV 875Y

I know the MCW Metroliner double-decker coaches weren't really up to the job but they had a bit of class about them which this Neoplan Skyliner didn't. Perhaps I just didn't like these German coaches as being too 'American' and especially when as an insult they carried the once hallowed name of Yelloways on the side. This one at Plymouth Bretonside also carried the name of local Rapide operator Trathens.

Sunday 6 May 2018

Metroline M142: Too Much Information?

There was a wealth of information here at a bus stop at Victoria in London if one could find it for as well as London Transport there were boards for commuter-land services too including Oxford. This lady is having trouble reading upwards into late afternoon sun and I just wonder how someone would have managed in a wheelchair. I often wonder how the disabled people without those horrid disabled cars that looked and seemed a bit like kid's peddle cars got about in the past.  At this time there were still Routemasters to be found on LT routes passing here but I rather miss this still smart Metrobus of Metroline which had yet to receive it's new owners red and blue livery.

Saturday 5 May 2018

Liverpool Lime Street & Halton Dennis DK04 MKF

We have lost most of our former municipal operators but a few still survive including Widnes but now known as Halton. Once an almost 100% double-deck fleet with half-cab Leyland PD2's it later became a stronghold for the Leyland National, National2, and the Leyland Lynx. With the demise of Leyland came Dennis Darts like this East-Lancs SLF seen in Liverpool way beyond the reach of the former Widnes Corporation

Friday 4 May 2018

United Counties Leopard at Leicester

A quite new United Counties Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopard makes it's stop at Leicester on the National Express 487 Service to Portsmouth.