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

Thursday 28 November 2019

BMMO S15 633 AHA at Coventry Pool Meadow in 1963

There were a few well served places in the Midland Red territory where one might have thought there might have been a garage such as Ashby and Bridgnorth, but the glaring example was the city of Coventry. Of course as with the other two there were already garages close-by and Leamington who supplied this S15 4633 in 1963 for an afternoon tour was very active at Pool Meadow. I rather liked the untidy nature of this bus station and the 1920's 'coach house' architecture of the Midland Red booking office with it's oak beams was a nice friendly counterpoint to the new Cathedral all that Post-War concrete. It was a great place for photographing buses but I'm afraid some of those bus shelters were rather rudimentary as was my first camera.

Jojo and Rochdale AEC Regent NDK 980

I recently visited the North West Museum of Road Transport on their annual running day and was very impressed as it was clean and well laid out and housed a lot of the local buses buses I so remember from thereabouts. Rather as happened at West Bromwich, Rochdale buses once looked their best in the traditional livery like this. No doubt they chose a simplified mostly cream scheme as it was cheaper and easier to maintain but  it was dull in comparison. I also expect Rochale made this change in the early Sixties because of the advent of spray-painting but thankfully the West Midland's corporation left it till they were about to be taken over by the PTE and only some new Fleetlines got the poor treatment. These two buses mean something to me though as my family was from Manchester and on the destination of this AEC Regent is Blakeley and it was such a dump my Grandfather used "Go to blakely." as a form of mild abuse. Southport not only painted it's buses in that attractive red and cream but the lamposts too and as I have strong family connections there too it brings back early memories of childhood.

Monday 25 November 2019

Tyne and Wear OTN 422R Metro-Scania Metropolitan

It's a shame they turned out to be 'rust buckets' but I rather liked the sophisticated Metro Scania Metropolitan double-decker.  Tyne and Wear PTE bought about 180 which was probably not a wise choise with the harsh winters and  need for salt on the roads.

Thursday 21 November 2019

And I thought I was the Anorak: First Manchester SN12 AJX in Bolton

I have days out on the buses and my friends have preserved bus trips but to confess I am not so interested in buses these days that I would go out for the day just to see them or photograph them. However I am glad that when I go somewhere I haven't been to recently I make an effort and take some good well thought out shots. When I do it I like to think I am just having a walk or just killing time but once the ones I have taken are in my collection I start to value them. I tend to think of 'the present ' as a moment of time more than a none-event and it deserves to be recorded. Indeed even this First Manchester Envoro double-decker deserved to be recorded as a couple of weeks later the local First Bus Bolton fleet would pass to Diamond and it would never be the same.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

A Collection of Stevenson's at Spath UVT 14X

A grant-door Stevenson's Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger is seen at the Spath headquarters with an interesting collection of double-deckers in the background including a former West Wales Bristol VR, a Leyland Olympian prototype and the well known former Northern general.

Saturday 16 November 2019

Northern Bus Bristol VR HKE 678L in Sheffield

Northern Bus departed from it's normal livery to paint this former Maidstone and District Bristol VR in Sheffield into Tilling Green. I'm not sure what Bradfield Bus meant but I am left with a feeling that a lot of the enthusiast led 'hobby' operators were doomed to fail eventually. Not because they ran the business badly but it's hard to mix business with pleasure when there are hard-nosed competitors snapping at their heels trying to trip them up or take them out.

Friday 15 November 2019

Two Volvos in Liverpool

Selwyn of Runcorn was one of those coach operators one knew well but if I hadn't checked out the owner of this National Express liveried Plaxton bodied Volvo coach seen in Liverpool in 2017 I might have thought they had gone out of business like many others in recent times.

Thursday 14 November 2019

13 SNY Caerphilly Massey Bodied Leopard

A cold foggy morning in the Welsh Valleys but still worthy of a photograph as I have always loved Massey bodied Leylands and the sort of conservative Municipals that operated them.

Monday 11 November 2019

West Midlands PTE Fleetline VOH21J at Cannock

I didn't find this generation of Northern Counties bodied buses particularly attractive, it was put together rather than designed and lacked any kind of flair. Still there have been worse and having been ordered by Coventry they not only added a bit of variety to the West Midlands PTE fleet they added a bit of variety. 4021 was based at Walsall but was seen in Cannock

Sunday 10 November 2019

The Delaine ACT540L at Lincoln LVVS in 2018

Better late than never! Some people rush home after a day out and immediately put all their new pics on here. I would rather put one on at a time and completely mix them up which means some of my buses keep you waiting or not come on at all. That is made slower as I have another problem and that is I still have the free but limited size Flickr account. I also like to bring back some I've had to delete and I had thought about a PRO account but apart from taking things out of groups few people would notice as few really rummage far beyond the first page or so. The Delaine Northern Counties bodied Atlantean was as always beautifully turned out but I want to write about the Lincolnshire VR as I've ridden on it a number of times. Indeed in 2019 not only did I do it again at the LVVS running day I could have bought a model of it too. At one time I might have snapped it up as not only have I just only got one other Bristol VR in my collection, Lincolnshire is one of less than half a dozen sizable BET and BTC operators which I don't feature in my collection. It wasn't expensive either and I felt a bit churlish coming back with nothing but in another way I'm pleased as I made a decision to virtually stop collecting discasts as the shelves are almost full and I've stuck to it!

Thursday 7 November 2019

Gmpte Fleetline 4610VM in Stockport on the 192 from Manchester

I don't know about other people but certain buses have a romantic connection which leaves me with a soft spot for them all their lives. A very good example is this first batch of Manchester MCW bodied Daimler Fleetlines which arrived in 1963. That was a year that changed my life and also I had a pre-girlfriend crush on a girl called Imelda Daly who lived on Derbyshire Lane in Stretford on the 11 and 23 routes on which Princes Road's examples worked. Actually I don't think this was one of them as if I remember rightly I'm thinking of 4600-4609 whereas this one was at Hyde Road. It was a long time ago so I might be wrong and the girl too was just ten in my mind is probably a blooming teenager now.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Metroline Metrobus BYX222V M222 at Victoria on the 52

A blue skirt was enough to show the public that this Metrobus was now with Metroline as it reached journey's end at Victoria.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Bristol Omnibus LHT 911 at Weston super Mare

Sadly the magic of photographing old vehicles can be lost as they get swamped in modern surroundings, so although it might not stand up to close scrutiny a more selective 'period' shot can give it some instant authenticity like this Bristol Bristol L single-decker in Weston super Mare

Friday 1 November 2019

Yelloway in Stafford for Chelenham XNE 188S

Much missed is Yelloways of Rochdale whose coaches could be seen on a number of long distance express coach services. The best known was that to Cheltenham where it connected with Associated Motors services network at the Black and White coach station. Congested Stafford is pretty well overlooked by National Express these days but for years good old Yelloways served us well and a smart Plaxton Supreme bodied AEC Reliance is seen picked up opposite the railway station.

Midland Red West WOC 734T in Ludlow on the 192.

The old Midland Red network of routes which was vast included a wide variety of services. Some were more appealing than others but someone boarding a Midland Red West Leyland Leopard couldn't expect anything much better than a trip out through Kidderminster to Ludlow on a lovely sunny day. Well they could of course, but I'm being a realist here and indeed on a dull day no doubt some of the local residents here would appreciate a day's shopping for bling in Brum. Once this route was the stamping ground for the Leyland PD2/20 LD8 buses but sadly the NBC starved the company of deckers so that it could off-load more Nationals. But at least it was allowed to buy plenty of these comfortable Plaxton Supreme grant-coaches like which were invaluable on longer routes like this. This 192 seems to be heading for Hereford, maybe the driver forgot to change the number blind after coming in from Birmingham to do his next trip.