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

Thursday 28 March 2019

A Brand New Salford Bus: Leyland PD2/MCW FRJ 255D in 1966

There was always something a bit exciting about a new bus in the old days when a bit of polished brightwork made them stand out. Well there wasn't much of that of Salford buses but they did look very smart in that no-adverts and dark bottle-green livery. That day in 1966 I caught not just one but two of them with my Ilford Sporti camera, hence the poor quality. No doubt it will be in one of my tatty with age spotters notebooks.

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Ribble 'Tank' PD3 TCK 838 at Liverpool in 1981

In the December 1981 winter sunshine this was a lovely day for some photography in Liverpool but it would have been more suited for colour as the soft quality of the light made some negs difficult to work for I couldn't make the bleached out areas darker without deepening already dense areas of shadow. Still it catches the mood and more importantly the Ribble MCW bodied Leyland PD3 one of just a few so-called 'tanks' still in service including from Aintree where a handful still ran up through docklands towards Formby.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

London Coaches Leyland Titan KYV 372X at Victoria

Looking back it is quite interesting to see all the different liveries carried by the new companies that were formed after the break-up of London Buses. London Coaches chose this  red and cream livery which makes one look at it and try to think of Provincial operators like IOM and Luton and District. T328 was seen leaving Victoria and as it was the evening looks as though it had finished it's shift on the 52.

Saturday 23 March 2019

A Diamond to Goldthorn Park

The van based minibus seems to be making a bit of a comeback albeit as something more akin to a midi-bus. But the low-step variety could prove to be a useful tool for services like the 61 in Wolverhampton which serves the narrow tree-lined avenues of the rather more prosperous Goldthorn Estate where Mercedes and BMW Cars far outnumber potential bus passengers. There is no visible fleet number on LS68 FOM operated by the Rotala's Diamond.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Front Line Leopard in Birmingham XUB 671V

A smart looking Leyland Leopard with Front Line Buses seen in Birmingham. These were the days before the rather likeable Badgerline Group merged with Grampian and it all went wrong as the new exciting First Group adopted a kind of battleship grey livery and it divisions scoured the country swallowing up bus companies whether they were profitable or not and then ruining them. Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit but it wasn't very good because all the big groups cared about was their City shareholders and this near monopoly is far from what Nikolas Ridley promised when the Thatcher Government deregulated the bus industry to break up the state monopoly.  Oh well if they were still with us those Badgerline buses would probably all be taken off the road as the Government and many farmers believe they spread TB lol.

Monday 18 March 2019

East Staffordshire DAimler CCG5 in Burton EFA 295D

Two different generations from the East Staffordshire fleet were hard at work on a school contract duplicate with a 1966 Massey bodied Daimler CCG5 up front followed by an East-Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator.

Thursday 14 March 2019

Ambassador Leyland Tiger G111 HNG

By the time this Plaxton bodied Tiger was delivered new Leylands like this were getting scarce on National Express contracts losing out to the standard Volvo B10M. But Ambassador formed to operate the Eastern Counties coach side bought some and this example was seen approaching Victoria Coach Station in the sunshine.

Devon General Massey Bodied Leopard at Paul Street

I don't think this was planned but things were very different in 1980 when Devon General buses at Exeter Paul Street Bus Station just parked up and passengers walked across the bus lane. Of course accidents were rare as people used their common-sense. The Corporation like many County Towns seemed to like Massey bodywork and this was one of six bought to replace elderly Daimlers on it's share of country services which it worked alongside Devon General.

Sunday 10 March 2019

Grampian Mercedes 0405 in Leeds

When Grampian joined the rather colourful Badgerline group to form First things seemed to become too big and rather impersonal. One of the first happenings was the arrival in England of some Mercedes O405's from Aberdeen and they could be seen in Leicester and as here in Leeds.

Friday 8 March 2019

Three Routemasters at Trafalgar Square

The old saying about three buses coming along at once isn't so true these days except in places like London and the other big cities. But when like these three Routemasters they are on different routes it doesn't really matter does it.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Halton Leopard KTB 748F

Widnes Corporation or as it had now become had been one of those very conservative operators which continued to buy the same buses and in this case traditional half-cab East-Lancs bodied Leyland PD3's with an eccentric just one opening vent at the front on the top deck. Maybe it was a change of general manager but fleet replacement policy turned to the single-decher instead. Of course it might just have been simply the desire to convert the system to OPO but nevertheless even though they looked a lot more modern the first of these buses were still  were still East-Lancs bodied Leylands

Tuesday 5 March 2019

One For The Bin? Western National C966 GCV

I'm afraid if I see a poor negative with some potential I try to rescue it if I can and had it not been blurred this would have been a great shot but alas it is not. However I still think it is worth posting as no doubt someone will want to see Western National Mercedes 120 C966 GCV with a green front but I find with imperfect shots they're a bit like looking at a monochrome as one needs to use a bit of imagination too in this more unusual view of the road stretching away into the distance in Plymouth.

Monday 4 March 2019

Longroyd Bridge: Say Cheese!

It could be bemusement but some people just don't like being photographed for various reasons. But here of course I was just taking a photo of one of the former Huddersfield Roe bodied Daimler Fleetlines close to the depot at Longroyd Bridge. I quite like this photo of 1980 though as it catches the character of this area where rather better-off bungalows and houses cling to the hillside overlooking views of mills and countryside whilst scruffy dwellings and shops huddle for room next to the road so close the windows always need cleaning as the heavy traffic rumbles passed.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Crosville in Weston super Mare

The second time around things are not usually as good as the first one and that seems to apply for me with bus events for the one-off's add an element of excitement to the experience. Still it's a pity that we just went to the one open day and running event staged by the tribute company from Western super Mare calling itself Crosville. It owned some heritage buses as well but it seems that maybe because it's hard enough to make any headway operating buses these days these firms which try to mix business with pleasure usually seem to fall by the wayside. It's a pity though that they only staged the one event as not only was it a gorgeous day this is the ideal venue for someone like myself who wants from the outing than just old buses.

Friday 1 March 2019

London & Country XPG 183T

Ray Stenning produced some attractive liveries such as that for London & Country whose area included Guildford where one of former LCBS's Park Royal bodied Atlanteans was seen carryling local branding.

Trent Willowbrook 003 YRC 194

I've always admired Trent for the smartness of it's fleet which even extended to the unpopular shoddy Willowbrook 003 body. This Leopard in London even gained a cherished marque perhaps the owner hoped people might think it was older than it was lol. Even though it was not officially allowed even then drivers openly smoked even when they were likely to be seen by officials. Today of course it is quite different but one still sees a few drivers of commercials who smoke, not so much lorry drivers but tradesmen who are breaking the law if others use the vehicle as well. But with police resources so stretched it is one of those laws which is left up to management to enforce as the police have better things to do.