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 30 October 2019

Midland Red LS20 JHA847E on Stafford Town Service

Hylton & Dawson Duple bodied Beford CAX 14V

Running less glamorous vehicles like this made Hylton and Dawson one of those lesser followed Independents. However they were a part of the Leicester bus scene for many years and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels at least a tinge of nostalgia for this lowly but smart Duple Dominant bodied Bedford.

Monday 28 October 2019

MX09 OPN. Arriva 2982 in St Helens

I spent hours on the much quieter Sunday wandering around St.Helens trying to take good interesting bus related photos but as nice as the views seem digital cameras don't always record what we think we are seeing. Thankfully there were a few opportunities to take the sort I shots I like the most.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Not surprisingly when facilities become badly neglected they become eye-sores and the planners want to get rid of them. This happened to Henley's spacious Sixties bus station which with a bit of TLC could have been brought up to date. One wonders maybe the fact it was on a large potentially valuable site might have swayed them to 'reluctantly' bring the bulldozers in. In the Eighties the Potteries was still able to be able to support a number of interesting Independents including Stonier which by that time was owned by Berresford of Cheddleton. The Willowbrook Leyland Leopard cames from Jones of Aberbeeg.

Monday 21 October 2019

UNited Autombobile Bristol VR PAJ 828X in Leeds

United Automobile had a vast territory ranging from Berwick on Tweed on the Scottish border and even managed to reach as far south as Leeds on the service from Ripon where a Bristol VR was seen in the late Eighties.

Midland Red West Tiger A895 KCL 1011 in Birmingham

Some of First's liveries before the Barbi Years were pretty awful like First Bradford but others weren't bad at all. Midland Red West bus stayed true to the Midland Red brand but made the buses look individual enough not to be mistaken for the NBC or the old Midland Red. With lots of long trunk routes into Birmingham coaches were popular here and a Leyland Tiger formerly with Ambassador comes into Birmingham on the 192 another reminder of the old Midland Red which stil went  to Ludlow via Kidderminster and which once could also boast Leylands as both Ludlow and Kidderminster had the Leylnd PD2/20 LD8 class also chosen to do longer routes.

Friday 18 October 2019

West Midlands Trident Y761 TOH in Wolverhampton

If the conditions are right I'm always snapping buses and it doesn't matter if I have taken it before like these Wolverhampton Dennis Tridents like 4163 which keep doing the same routes. It doesn't matter as unless it's a standard record shot every one is different somehow especially as the weather is always different.

Gash of Newwark Plaxton bodied Leopard NRA191P

Even though Lincolnshire had a garage beside the bus station when one thinks of Newark on Trent they think of the much more interesting W,Gash and Sons, one of a number of fine traditional Independents that ran into Nottingham. These services even in later years were able to justify the purchase of new buses a process encouraged due to the availability of the government bus grant in the Seventies. Daimler half-cab double-deckers had been the choice in the Fifties but the Leyland Leopard came afterwards and as long as they did service work to qualify for the grant they could also be fitted with coach seats and be used for that too. In the difficult times the industry has had to endure since Deregulation how these smaller operators would have appreciated that kind of support and good well known firms like Gash might just have survived.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Dennis Javelin Demonstator M799 HPJ

Something unusual coming through Stafford on a National Express service was the new looking Dennis Javelin which turned out to be a demonstrator.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Strathclyde Volvo Ailsa OGG 180Y

In the winter the delicate sunlight can be beautiful but a bit too thin and wispy to make sharp black and white photographs. it's worth having a go all the same especially if it is a rare opportunity as happened here as at the end of the Eighties I seldom went to Glasgow and managed to take photos. Also this was one of those stop anywhere you can for a few minutes sort of encounter and considering that it isn't a bad one of one of a typical Strathclyde Alexender Volvo Citybus. 

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Banstable: Don't All Rush At Once

I like to get people into my bus views if I can but despite appearances sunny Barnstable was not as hot as it looked and people were not taking shelter, perhaps they had all headed off to beach or gone to Wimbledon. Nether less this is a nice capture as the minibus revolution didn't last long and I'm sure you all want to see a classic 'Ford Transit' Bread Van again. It was 1996 and this Red Bus example belonged to North Devon and had Robin Hood bodywork.

City of Oxford Daimler Fleetline UFC 422K

Once the half-cabs had gone I  particularly wanted to photograph the survivors from the past such as this Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline, a type more typical than the NBC stock and a vehicle which once wore the City of Oxford duck-egg blue and maroon. Cities like Oxford and York weren't built for the car and couldn't benifit from Post War rebuilding either to make inner-city ring-roads and build big central ugly multi-storey car parks. Of course that's a good thing and especially so when it enourages visitors to come but use the Park and Ride services. Normally it is new types which get branded for this sort of work but it's nice when the oldies help out too. Perhaps being a bit antiquated they were unpopular with 'opo' crews and at least doing the Park and Ride wass more of a doddle with fewer stops and simple ticketing.

Sunday 13 October 2019

Or should it be how many Arriva Enviro double-deck buses does it take to fill Saint Georges Hall. I always get a good vibe in Liverpool it's a great city for photography. It's easy to include people too and if you get sick of that there is the wonderful mix of architecture. This view the perceptive I chose reminds me of the Beatles somehow, maybe I watched Yellow Submarine too many times. But humour is always not far away even if it's not intentional like this bus it seems to be called Gaza. Yes it's the sort of place where silly things make you chuckle.

Saturday 12 October 2019

Are Their Days Numbered?

This preserved former Wallasey Atlantean, an early example from 1959 can be excused for kicking out so much smoke as it was both well laden and climbing hard heading for New Brighton but it makes me wonder how  preservationists will cope when tighter emission regulations come in. I certainly don't want to see them frozen in museums and nore do I like the thought of steam trains being run on clean energy. After all the half the magic is the glorious sight sound and smell of those wonderful beasts from the past. We sometimes focus too much in the past and should try to appreciate little treats like a day out on riding on old buses as sadly it might not last for ever.

Friday 11 October 2019

The Gaumont: The Final Curtain

Call me old-fashioned and a cynic but I hate to see old buildings being demolished and especially when they have history and held wonderful memories for local people, perhaps Ted and Doreen had their first fumbling kiss or snogged in the dark smokey back row seats of the once focal but now flattened to rubble Gaumont Cinema in Wolverhampton. The Optare Solo is doing the circular shoppers service.

Wave Goodbye To Telloway!

One of the most greatly missed operators from the Deregulation era is Yelloways of Rochale famous for it's distinctive yellow and orange and when they were still available AEC reliance coaches. After it's sale the name was retained for a while but in a way it was a pity they did as it was asset-stripped by S.U.T and became just another here today gone tomorrow company even running old second-hand buses in the Manchester area.  Most of the remaining express coaches took on NBC white like this replacement Neoplan in Rapide livery leaving Bristol.

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Plymouth Citybus Dennis Dart at The Hoe X201 CDV

Plymouth city centre had to be completely rebuilt after the war so the best place nearby if you want to get away from all that Fifties Concrete is down at The Hoe. Sadly even this area has been tidied up losing a lot of it's former rugged charm. At one time too Atlanteans used to ply their way down these narrow streets on the open-top service but when I was last there a rather mundane Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart was typical.

Monday 7 October 2019

Greater Manchester Centreline Seddon Mdibuses 1717 XVU 352M

A familiar sight around Manchester City Centre in the Seventies and Eighties was the fleet of Seddon IV midibuses which did the No.4 Centreline service which served both Piccadilly and Victoria stations.  If I think the fare was just 12p today one wouldn't worry to much if they didn't quite have the right fare and paid too much.

St Helens Leyland PD2 East-Lancs MDJ 555E at Birkenhead Tram Day

For me it doesn't get any better than this as my love of buses is for the more traditional. But that was my era including my formative years and others who were born much later have just as much right to rave over Dennis Darts and First Barbi. You have to admit though that in some respects dreary towns like St Helens showed bucket loads of Civic Pride and in this instance looked particularly colourful with it's red and cream buses. Salford was another good example as one knew they were no longer in Manchester who also used red and as for the Warrington bus next to it that was a Foden which illustrates rarity and  variety to be enjoyed in those days. 

Friday 4 October 2019

Cannock based Arriva FJ06 ZTL in Wolverhampton

I'm pretty oblivious to which buses I have pictures of and which ones I havent got. It doesn't really matter that much I just like taking photos which please.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

London & Country National Greenway SIB 6714

The Drawline group included East Lancashire Coachbuilders and so not surprisingly they were given the contact to body many of the buses. Most memorable was perhaps the National Greenway which was a stripped down National Mark1 and rebuilt as a new bus and now featuring the still popular but shortly to disappear old fashioned big Gardner engine. I think the London and Country version of the 'house livery' was the most attractive as seen on this bus at the Elephant and Castle south of the Thames..