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

Sunday 30 June 2019

A Question of Choice at Alton

To most those who weren't interested in buses these Aldershot and District Dennis Loline 111's all looked very much the same. But of course they weren't and it is interesting to see how a different body-builder can alter the appearance. I don't know what others will think as the Weymann bodied bus closet to the camera bears a resemblance to the much scorned upon MCW Orion, the Alexander bus on the other hand is a lot more rounded but also looks a bit top-heavy but that is my choice as it's my stylish.

Friday 28 June 2019

The Secret of East Yorkshire 421 CKH

This East Yorkshire Plaxton Paramount bodied Leyland Tiger leaving Sheffield for Bridlington used to be registed A521 AVN.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

H For Stafford County Hospital: Arriva Volvo 3911 FJ58 HYU

Still on the 825 but not common like the VDL's, a Wright bodied Volvo does the Stafford to County Hospital shuttle. As the last leg of the longish 825 it was a terrible service some days with buses running late or not turning up at all. But workings on the old Town Service 8 from Burton Manor to Parkside have been split so that it does the first part as a new No.7 and then a hospital run before doing what is left of it to the old 8 to the north end of town. I have to say it is a very reliable service albeit only going outwards from the one stop in town at South Wales which could be quite a distance from the Market Square or Sainsburys on crutches.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

I Spy with my little eye in Plymouth

Those mini-buses were a lot more boring then. Nice then that  I took my time and did something different that day with Western National Mercedes branded Hoppa C959 GAF as the picture says a lot more about Plymouth in 1990.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Benvan Soudley Valley Leyland Leopard CTH 700C

This well known Plaxton Panorama bodied Soudley Valley Leyland Leopard can be forgiven for looking a bit grubby as it was winter in the Forest of Dean.

Friday 21 June 2019

Dennis Trident in Wolverhampton Corporation Green BL53 EDF

Last week when I went to Wolverhampton I almost left my camera at home but I'm glad I didn't as the West Midlands Dennis Trident-Alexander 4535 painted in the old Wolverhampton Corporation green and cream colours had eluded me. I had seen it several times but I was always just too late to get a photo but surprisingly that day it stopped right opposite my friends shop on of all things Route 4 which normally has branded Wright bodied Volvo single-deckers on it. Previously when I glimpsed it before it was going to Northwood Park but I expect it was covering for a breakdown.

Monday 17 June 2019

H.Espihito Santo in Porto

A hot afternoon in Porto in 1984 and two buses of J.Espihito Santo (excuse my spelling) are waiting to depart. Both have local bodywork by UTIC but the Leyland was a lot newer than the AEC and looked very British with it's Leyland National2 windscreen.

Sunday 16 June 2019

C112 CAT; Northern Blue Dennis Dominator

East-Lancs Coachbuilders gained a reputation for turning out ugly buses and that dubious honour was well deserved if this example of craftsmanship is typical. This former Kingston on Hull Dennis Dominator doesn't look like it was designed just thrown together. It's only saving grace when seen here loading in Burnley for Leyland was it's attractive Northern Blue livery. I think part of the problem at that time was it was about the only bodybuilder left which offered customers with smaller orders in the Municipal sector  the buses they really wanted when it came down to exact specification, something they were used to and thus hated the off the shelf National and Metrobus. Cheapness was more important than looks too at a time when impending Deregulation was spreading uncertainty in the industry..

Windnes Corportation Leyland PD2 TTE 283D Waiting to Be Restored

I have mixed feelings about bus rallies but they are a day out and if there is enough to do like the chance to go into Liverpool too then that's fine. However there is usually something interesting to see and I enjoy looking at the vehicles such as the former Widnes East-Lancs bodied Leyland PD2 which is waiting at Fazakerley to be restored like it's similar sister 562 RTF. Both that one and TTE 283D had a Lancashire registration because Widnes like Warrington both used to be 'on the other side of the Mersey' and to my mind still belong there. A feature of the Municipal sector was the way fleets fell foul to the quirks of a General Manager as in Widnes where just one opening window vent was specified  giving the fronts of otherwise smart  buses an untidy mis-match of glazing.

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Paris Street Bus Station in Exeter

Of course buses have a limited life and come and go sometimes before we hardly realise they are getting old. For much of my life bus garages and many bus stations managed to stay the same but things have changed greatly in the years since Deregulation with some improvements but a lot of asset-stripping. Like Bretonside in Plymouth, Paris Street Bus Station in Exeter has gone too I believe. I'm not sure about Marlborough Street in Bristol but I think Taunton and Yeovil are still very much the way they were. Even in later years there would be a spring in my step here as I recalled Devon General AEC Regents and Reliances and Exteters green and cream Massey bodied Leyland PD2's and the short Leopards which were just waiting to go into service the first time I visited in 1966.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

LT Uxbridge Garage Delights

The red bus garages on the fringes of London held a certain fascination, maybe it was because some of them like Uxbridge were quite small and as a teenage spotter one surmised that being more distant these buses would be the ones one didn't see in the centre. That was true of course but they usually worked at least one route which took them into the central zone even if it was only Routemasters like RM 77 to Shepherd's bush. A new much bigger garage was built here but this the old one housed just over fifty buses a number which would be quite decent for a provincial town but seemed like almost an outstation compared to some of them like New Cross.

Friday 7 June 2019

Northern BUs AFM 113G in Sheffield

Looking back to the years following Deregulation they were certainly full of interest. It nurtured a number of operators who were competent enough to hold their own alongside the big boys too like Northern Bus in Sheffield. Some even managed to buy new buses but to our delight here we could find an assortment of used Leyland Leopards, Bristol VR's and of course Bristol RE's like former Crosville SRG 113.

Tuesday 4 June 2019

ABN 722V Rossendale East-Lancs bodied Leyland Atlantean

Rossendale Transport survived till 2017 when it was sold to Transdev. But it had expanded and changed a lot in character since I took this once typical bus a crimson and cream painted East-Lancs bodied Leyland in the Eighties. In Rawtenstall it's hometown after a rain shower this Atlantean is bathed in bright sunlight.

Monday 3 June 2019

Liverpool Winners and Losers

When Liverpool Football Club wins The Championship League their fans certainly let everyone know and with the imminent return of the triumphant team from Spain the fans were painting the city centre red with celebration and driving me an no doubt Everton supporters mad with those football horns parents were recklessly buying their kids. But in Liverpool there will be more winners and losers as Arriva is offering a weekly bus ticket for sixteen-pounds whilst Stagecoach is doing it for Fourteen.