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

Monday 30 September 2019

Before the PTE's swept them all away Manchester was awash with Municipal buses in whole variety of liveries. After Deregulation it got seriously colourful as a whole range of operators arrived including two former Municipal Operators Rossendale and Blackburn. A Stagecoach Volvo Olympian gives way to an East-Lancs bodied  Blackburn B10M in heavy traffic at Piccadilly.

Friday 27 September 2019

West Midlands SN66 WPB

One of the problems with bus photography is enthusiasts tend to choose the same most obvious spots and take similar views. There is nothing wrong with that and although the image quality might sometimes be slightly suspect I enjoy trying to take good pictures when I'm on the move from an oncoming bus. Not only do I get to take some familiar views which I wouldn't normally see in collections  like this fine Victorian cemetery on the West Midlands 529 route it's always a gamble whether they will be any good as the bus hit a bump or the shutter goes too late.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Grim Day in Bolton Prior to First Takeover by Diamond

A bit grim and a tad cold for a summer afternoon and with rain impending making thrilling photography difficult. They dull livery of the First Volvo doesn't liven things up much but the takeover of the local operation by Diamond was announced just a few days later. I wish I had spoken to the brightest thing here the well-rounded lady in red as it might have been my friend Louise of some years ago.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Stevensons Leopard XNE882L at Spath

A number of Independents were partial to second-hand Leyland Leopards for bus and contract work and this included Stevensons of Uttoxeter. I took a photo of this one with a Plaxton Panorama body that in it's later days had been demoted to airport duties by Greater Manchester PTE and was pleased as an employee walked through the shot at Spath as it helped the composition.

Monday 23 September 2019

Porto Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster 501 in 1984

Shaken to pieces on these stone sets every day a number of these 1960's Leyland Worldmasters in Porto were rebodied by the same builder Salvador Caetano in the Eighties but No.501 was an unlucky one. However it wasn't tragic as I was told this particular bus stayed in service and since has been preserved.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Arriva Wright bodied Volvo BP66 VKX in Liverpool

I don't want to knock them as I like the products and I've read that Wright of Ballymena are in financial trouble but I'm afraid striking looks taken to the extreme can also be rather ugly. Maybe they will grow on me and at least in it's bright green this Volvo of Arriva looked a bit more cheerful in the damp Liverpool streets than it's Arriva cousins.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Maidstone & District Harrington bodied AEC Bus 242 BKM

The BET companies all had similarities which gave them a family feel but at the same time they all seemed to be different as managers were given their say. Hence firms like Maidstone and District stood out as they bought batches of unusual buses including locally built Beadle bodied Reliances buses and from Hove more similar AEC's with attractive Harrington bodies which also appeared on another rarity the Albion Nimbus. Having not long been renumbered from S242 to 3242 a driver fills out his Waybill having just returned from on probably the 12.23 from Grafty Green.

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Stagecoach SN65 ODJ at Cheshire Oaks

At one time buses took people to work in large factories but now seem to serve shopping centres like The Cheshire Oaks where a Stagecoach Gold liveried Enviro calls on the Liverpool to Chester service and to think this was all green fields and countryside not so many years ago. I don't like them myself Britain is getting like America but at least it gives people somewhere to go to do the real thing when they need a break from on-line shopping.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Midland Fox SYPTE Fleetline SHE560S

A pair of Daimler Fleetlines kill time between duties at Leicester. The Midland Fox livery was bright and cheerful in yellow and red which was popular at the time. I cannot help thinking this later 'Liverpool Inspired' later version of the classic rounded design was not an improvement as seen on this former South Yorkshire example. However I concede there was less expensive curved glass to replace and the angular lines and peaked bulkheads were fashionable at the time.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Badgerline rides again in Weston

Unlike Arriva which is quickly painting it's fleet an unassuming pale blue First has in various parts of the country done a lot to shake off it's dowdy grey image and it was a pleasure to see buses sporting the cheerful Badgerline livery again in Western super Mare.

Friday 13 September 2019

Former Midland Red Fleetline 6263 at the Bull Ring

Most of Midland Red's final batch of Daimler Fleetlines went to garages in Birmingham and the Black Country and consequently found their way into the West Midlands PTE like former 6263. These were delivered as dual-entrance buses but this seen at the Bull Ring had had it's unpopular centre-exit removed. It was easy to tell the former Midland Red buses as they had Alexander bodywork whilst the Fleetline following by local MCW was the norm.

Thursday 12 September 2019

Alder Valley Leyland National No.164 TBL164M in Newbury

The passage of time can not only put a kind of nostalgic gloss on what were quite mundane photos but it can even turn them into gems. I'm not sure this study of an Alder Valley Leyland National going through Newbury is quite that wonderful but it is quite fascinating in it's own way. Look how prosperous the people and how tidy and clean the street is.

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Midland Red Rides Again: Frontline in Rugeley PUA315W

Considering it is just a small town Rugeley saw more than it's fair share of operators and their liveries. One of the less well known was Frontline who made an appearance briefly and what looks like the First Group 'tomato soup' red might not be quite right but at first glace it reminds one of the all-red Midland Red buses that called here in BET days but before the bus station was opened. This was a Roe bodied Atlantean that started life with West Yorkshire PTE and I've a feeling First owned Frontline of Tamworth for a while before it was sold to Stevensons who were by that time part of  MRN.

Sunday 8 September 2019

First Leicester Streetlite SN65 WBA

With branding for the 25 and 26 Mowacre Hill Routes in Leicester, a Wright Streetlite was out on a Sunday Afternoon last year with what looked like plenty of passengers.

Friday 6 September 2019

South Notts Leyland Titan RRR912 dumped at Gotham

The South Notts garage at Gotham was definitely worth a visit for as well as recent stock there were a few withdrawn buses slowly decaying in the yard too including this 1954 Weymann bodied Leyland PD2/20. The bus alongside was similar but being four years newer had a little longer to go yet. Gotham always makes one think of Batman of course but I think the locals call it 'Goatham'. So none of his enemies were out and about except perhaps 'horsefly man' as I got one of those stings that you don't even notice till it goes red and swells. When I got home I had to get it treated in A&E as my hand had swollen up like a Michelin Man. Obviously they don't like people taking photos lol.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

West Midlands MCW Metrobus 3000 F300 XOF

The West Midlands seems to have regularly been blessed with buses in heritage liveries. West Midlands did a batch mostly in the old Birmingham livery in the Nineties including Metrobus 3000 no doubt chosen for it's number which was seen passing a Wright bodied Volvo branded for the Hagley Road on Corporation Street

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Merseybus Willowbrook bodied Atlantean WWM 927W

When I was driving for a living I often stopped where I could for a few minutes to take a few bus photos before carrying on, so not surprisingly I can't always remember exactly where they were taken. That is the case with this rather ugly Willowbrook bodied Atlantean of Merseybus whose lake of destination information makes things no clearer. I imagine it's not too far from St Helens.

Monday 2 September 2019

First Coaster in Weston super Mare

It is good to see that the traditional open top seaside bus services are still alive and well in Western super Mare. Here in cheerful liveries Dennis Alexander400 double-deckers of First enjoy extended lives.