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 31 May 2019

Lancashire United Leopard YBN 631V in Warrington

Under GMT control the slightly sombre Lancashire United coaches adopted a much brighter scheme. In later years Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopards had been the choice like. The fleet number just beneath is windscreen is tiny but it looks like later GMT No.48 was still LUT 569.

Sunday 26 May 2019

National Travel (SE) Travelscene Bova SMY 624X

Sometimes we accidentally take photographs which have enough added interest to become talking pieces. Although I say it myself this view of coaches in Elizabeth Street after exiting Victoria Coach Station is a bit of a gem. It seems rather appropriate that the National Travel (SE) Bova should be heading home to Holland, a lovely sleek coach the clumsy application of NBC's striped-blind scheme only spoiling the subtle clean effect. But what I love in this photo is the classic Seventies Ford Granada always ready in every crime drama episode to give chase but the Sweeney's expressionless leather gloved trained police driver with mouthing off Carter and Reagan on board always ended up crashing through an advertisement hoarding before doing a complete spin to stop it crashing down a cellar on a demolition site as the bad guys with the shooters got away in their old red Jag. My alter-ego is Jojo and even though the big brash probably metallic gold Ford was a bird-puller I think instead I can see Jojo trying to still look cool clutching onto the deep leather seats in the back as the XJ screeched around corners hub-caps coming off and me wondering which to do first, pee myself or be sick hanging on for dear life! Anyway the local floozies can't all be adrenaline hungry gangsters molls and I think this Essex Man stayed in the inside-lane and liked to cruise looking for pub car parks and quiet lay-bys to ply the ladies with Babycham. I call him Essex Man not out of disrespect but WOO of course was an Essex registration number, and no doubt had he the gall to try to pick up a classy lady like Jojo then she would have told him to go back to school as 69 was the year he was born lol.

Johnsons Scania YT19 DYA

I haven't seen many brand new 19-Series PSV's yet never mind photographed them. Seen last week in Peterborough was this Johnsons Scania which was less than a month old.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

ORG Ikarus in Oranienburg

One of the nice things about being interested in transport is it takes us where the tourists don't go. I think with this shot taken in Oranienburg it is somewhere even bus enthusiasts rarely venture. Soon after Reunification in the former East Berlin this scruffy housing estate is not so different to those we find in many British cities.

Monday 20 May 2019

AE56 LUJ.Stagecoach Dennis Dart in Peterborough

As time goes on I seem to get less enthralled at bus rallies, in my eyes at least the buses don't seem to belong and it just spoils my memories. Of course it's interesting to look around the stalls even if I have stopped collecting diecast models, and then there are the enjoyable heritage rides, I even managed for the first time to get five-minutes on a London Country GS Class Guy Otter this week. But now I pick events where there is plenty to do which usually means access to a decent sized town. I have never spent much time in Peterborough and even though the diet may be mainly Stagecoach I really fancied seeing what I could do with my camera in this rather typical East Anglian city. I often look through my old photos and wonder how I captured gems one after another but I've come to realise that I used to take a lot of views before I came across anything really good and sometimes nothing at all.  On Sunday and I needed a lot of patience to get a decent handful of good photographs but luck pays a part too as this Dennis Dart Plaxton Pointer illustrates sitting at the lights heading for Yaxley.

Saturday 18 May 2019

Gentle Breeze in Scarborough: Mercedes L608D C408 VVN

I must admit today I wouldn't go anywhere in the UK just to see or photograph buses, but thankfully I still like their mundane everydayness and doing photography of course and that keeps me going. But the period following Deregulation was so interesting and as well as going in my car and stopping off at places I took coach trips to places like Scarborough and I'm so glad I did. Scarborough and District was set up to cover the former United Auto network in the town and even though this Skipper branded Reebur bodied Mercedes-Benz L608D was not the most exciting bus it inherited I still think I got a pleasing enough shot of hair being blown in the stiff warm breeze from the sea. I think it's time for an ice-cream.

Thursday 16 May 2019

A Bolton Rarity Bond/Ashcroft PD2 JBN 140

In the Sixties at Bolton Ralph Bennett and East-Lancs Coachbuilders together introduced a new look for the municipal bus with it's squared-up by striking Atlanteans. It also brought about a livery change which looked alright at Bolton as it was neatly applied but I still think older more traditional buses looked better as they were and I rather liked the way Southampton mixed the old with the new. This might look like a regular Leyland Titan PD2/13 but it carried bodywork by Bond/Ashcroft.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

First-PMT Former Crosville Olymian A157 UDM at Crewe

When I last went to Crewe First-PMT had a small garage there but it was a stronghold for the double-decker and could offer up both Bristol Vr's and Leyland Olympians like this former Crosville example.

Sunday 12 May 2019

BMMO DP BHA 399C; You Can't Paint A Rose

Well the bus rally season has started again and no doubt I will go to a few events that interest me. One of the best last year was an Open Day held by Arriva at the old Midland Red garage at Tamworth. Amongst the buses  giving rides was this D9 which was preserved as it was thought at the time to be the last one built entirely by BMMO at Carlyle Works. But I was sad to read that it's owners at Wythall have decided to repaint it out o this it's original Midland Red red into bland NBC poppy-red. No doubt this is how many younger enthusiasts remember it instead but for me in the Seventies everything went downhill and as I read somewhere some wag quipped that NBC meant 'No Body Cares' and that seemed to sum up the nationalised and PTE run bus industry.

Saturday 11 May 2019

Burnley & Pendle Volvo B10M J24 MCW

Despite the registration number hinting at something else, Burnley and Pendle had a batch of East-Lancs bodied Volvo B10M single-deckers with a similar look to the second lot of rebodied Tigers delivered to Midland Red North.

Friday 10 May 2019

First Midland Red Coaches B107 JAB

It might have been good to present a unified corporate image to City Investors but as it was with the NBC the loss of proper individualistic liveries did nothing for staff morale and a pride in the fleet. Midland Red Coaches was one of a number of attractive fleets that carried First Group branding in the early days and they often looked smart like this Plaxton bodied Tiger at Sheffield.

Thursday 9 May 2019

Clean v Dirty in Stafford: Arriva and Select

The latest Arriva livery is a bit insipid and dull but I must admit the Cannock buses are usually very clean but maybe an extra effort is being put in as Arriva is up for sale. Not helped by not having very good facilities on a local farm where they live the buses of Select don't fare so well in dirty weather and the brown splashes of thick mud up the sides reminds me of that awful First Bus Barbi2 dribble-paint effect they applied to the buses not deserving to called Barbi.

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Grey Green Leyland Royal Tiger Doyan A839 SYR

Considering how few were built roughly 150 the Leyland Royal Tiger Doyan was quite a familiar sight as many key coach operators tried at least one if they already had Tigers and Leopards. The large London concern Cowie's Grey Green was a good example and as well as A839 SYR seen here at Stamford Hill it bought one at the same time with a Plaxton body too A840 SYR and another half-dozen came the next year.

Friday 3 May 2019

Tyrers Van-Hool Scania TYR 12R

They still use coaches on school work but they are not as common as they used to be and especially here in Stafford. So I thought it worth getting a shot of this smart Van-Hool bodied coach of Chorley based Tyrers, maybe a Scania carrying a party of booze fueled merry sports fans from Preston and no doubt including Weatherspoons the local public houses were pleased.

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Central Buses Optare Solo in Lichfield

A bit like the old days when many nearby towns had corporation buses, a short journey can result in completely unfamiliar buses. For me Lichfield is the next town but there are a number of buses I wouldn't see in Stafford including this Versa of Central Buses and I think The Midland Classic on the Birmingham to Burton route was also an Optare. It is nice to see there are still a few route numbers still surviving from Midland Red days as here we could also see buses on other old BMMO trunk routes in May 2017 like the  825 and 765 which once made a marathon journey to Coventry but alas now only goes as far as Tamworth..