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

Wednesday 31 July 2019

Former Samuel Ledgard AEC Regent 1953U and Daimler SDU711

In recent times closures and sell-outs of even legendary Independents like Fishwick and Pennine hardly raised the eyebrows of despondent enthusiasts. But back in the Sixties it was a different matter and many of you still mourn the passing of Moore's of Kelvedon, Silver Star of Porton Down and of course Samuel Ledgard of Otley. A small bonus was that it often brought in unfamiliar buses which broke the monotony of BTC Bristol ECW fleets like West Yorkshire, but  despite it's size only a handful were taken in including some Roe bodied AEC Regents and a Willowbrook bodied CVG6 which had been a Daimler demonstrator SDU 711.. 

Monday 29 July 2019

City of Oxford Buses in Coventry!

Bus wise my era was the Sixties so I found it a bit odd when I saw City of Oxford buses in Coventry like this ECW bodied Bristol VR YBW 487V. In my day Midland Red came in occasionally on a shoppers service from Banbury which was about half way but one of the good things about the NBC was it had no worries about crossing traditional boundaries and limited stop services linked many of the main towns.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Flyde Renault in Blackpool F141 UFR

Love it or loath it there was always plenty for transport enthusiasts to do and see on a sunny weekend in Blackpool. Back in 1990 there were still two municipal operators as Fylde Borough Transport from nearby Lytham Saint Annes competed in a fairly manner on the route along the prom till they merged. Both had interesting fleets but perhaps these Renault minibuses with Northern Counties bodies were not exactly the most noteworthy buses to get excited about.

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Former Hyndburn Dennis Falcon B51 XFY with Bee Line in Manchester

Despite the varied and colourful liveries the devolved NBC operators didn't come up with quite so many interesting vehicles as the Independents in Manchester. An exception in Bee Line livery though was this freshly painted East-Lancs bodied Dennis Falcon that came from Hyndburn. Either they had banned cigarettes or they were trying to reassure passengers that it was not a Leyland National  as there was a sticker on the window.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Used Daimler Fleetline BHL 622K at Nuneaton

Under NBC management Midland Red was allowed Leopards too but it had to take more than it's fair shares of new Leyland Nationals. Consequently without any orders double-deckers became rather thin on the ground and so in later years after it was split up the new companies had to top up with second-hand buses like this former West Riding Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline in Nuneaton on a town srvice with Midland Red South.

Monday 15 July 2019

London Central Leyland Titan at Trafalgar Square A929 SYE

It's so much easier these days with a digital camera as one doesn't have to worry about wasted shots but in the days when I used film it was a bit of a challenge going to somewhere like London where the possibilities of photography are endless but at the same time a lot more limited than one might expect. One of the biggest problems is often by the time one spotted something they liked it had gone. In the end I think I just wandered around and tried to record what I could and action shots like this Leyland Titan T929 might not be perfect but it certainly catches some of that rushing and summer heat as the traffic-lights change.

Sunday 14 July 2019

Viscount Northern Counties Bodied Leyland Olympian F509 NJE

Bus rallies are all a bit different, some are always the same and some refreshingly so. But for me a new one I went to this year was at a large village just outside Peterborough called Whittlesey where even the main street is closed off to display the exhibits. This makes a nice change from displays in fields and car parks but a serious problem is the bored locals sometimes get in the way. It all seems like yesterday to me but these teenagers might be too young to remember the local operator Viscount who adopted this unusual yellow and white livery following the sell-off of the NBC.

Friday 12 July 2019

Voel Coaches Volvo B10M in Caerarvon

Seen in Caernarvon in the late Nineties was this Volvo B10M of Voel Coaches with Van Hool coachwork.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Willowbrook Spacecar at Hilton Park

When I was still working and not in a great hurry I often used to pull off into the motorway services to see what coaches were in there. Of course now I'm glad I did as I have shots from 1980 like this Leyland Leopard with distinctive Willowbrook Spacecar bodywork at Hilton Park on it's return journey to Southport for National Travel West.

Friday 5 July 2019

Why-Why delilah or ratherYY63 OJD

Sorry it's not even South Wales and I haven't even been hit across the head with an old Tom Jones fan mag but I seem to have a habit of using song titles for my posts. I guess it's not quite as informative as writing about a 2013 National Express Caetano Lavante arriving in Peterborough on a quiet Sunday.  However women's names on National Express vehicles is not so far fetched as it might seem for they do just that in the West Midlands.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Trying the Dennis Dominator in Southmpton A277 ROW

The first generation Atlanteans were troublesome especially compared to the tradition half-cab bus. Perhaps operators had got used to it to a certain extent and the the improved AN68 version from Leyland was certainly good enough to boast a strong following including the Municipal fleets along the South Coast. When it was axed it caused quite a quandary as Municipals in particular didn't like change and with good reason preferred the tried and tested to the new. Leyland's replacement for the Atlantean the Olympian was tried along with Dennis Dominators like this. Sadly the threat of Deregulation killed off the big bus market and the mini-bus boom so nothing was really clear any more. As at Plymouth it's non-standard Olympians were soon sold off but more Leylands appeared in the shape of the new Lynx which had it's fair share of faults.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Stagecoach Solo in Chester MX54 YZT

Optare Solos are everywhere it's not surprising I so easily get distraced as seen here in Chester.

Monday 1 July 2019

Western National Strike Buster Buses in Plymouth

In the old days when the trade unions had more influence I doubt if Western National drivers would have been willing to go out to steal Plymouth's work whist the crews were out on strike. But in the true spirit of Deregulation and cut-throat competition Western National went out on the cold wet winter streets made hay whilst the sun shines. I expect buses were drafted in from far and wide as this former London DMS carried stickers for Cornish Busways.