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

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

K722 ASC: Leyland Olympians in Edinburgh

This rather bright looking Fife Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian in it's Stagecoach stripes looks like it's from another planet compared to the very plasant but conservative Lothian fleet.

Midland Red S23 RHA 937G at Coventry

Amongst the last of the BMMO's remaining in service was this S23 No.5937 at Coventry, once a Leamington bus which spent the last four years till Feb 81 at Rugby.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

No Room To Park in Berlin for Wallace Arnold Passengers

Probably in the early Eighties a Dutch registered Neoplan has to double park and it's passengers squeeze between the cars as it unloads it chartered Wallace Arnod passengers in Berlin.

Friday, 3 July 2020

BVP 777V: Not Quite a Golden Age Maybe a Bright Patch of Purple

As a bus enthusiast my golden age was the Sixties and I've never quite got over it's passing. But especially looking back other times have had their highs too and this view of a Midland Red Leopard heading out of Birmingham without a care in the world for Hereford brings back pleasant memories of still nice solid more traditional buses and very interesting times.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

YJ59 BUP: Empty Streets The Arriva Blues

Lockdown landscape where empty pavements like this have become normal, but I must admit I took it in Stafford just before Covid19 arrived disrupting our lives. I haven't bothered but had I taken any bus photos at this strange time in our lives I still think I could not have done it much better as unintentionally I seem to have caught the feel. I like the thin cool but sharp sunlight casting long reaching tenticles of shadow and even this current rather insipid and in poor light rather depressing Arriva livery makes me think of the poor old NHS and it's blues. But the people are coming out again hurrying to empty the rails at Primark.

VRG 415T Part of The Post-Deregulation Jigsaw Puzzle

A long time ago now but Deregulation was a bit like a big cat which jumped on the almost complete jigsaw puzzle scattering the pieces everywhere. Some people might want to try at some point to  write it all down but the fact that this Merseybus  MCW Metrobus in Liverpool carries an Aberdeen registration and London Buses livery could inspire a school essay on it's own and this is just one bus. In fact it was one of five which went to Tyne & Wear and if I remember rightly in London to Enfield or Potters Bar.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Prague 6579

When I was there in the mid-90's most of the Prague trams pulled trailers but Route 7 seemed to be an exception with just single units.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Bolton the Really Brand New and the No Longer So New

With the exception of Nottingham which continued to evolve it's own buses the other innovative municipals of the Sixties got taken over and absorbed into the PTE's. As well as the huge city fleets I'm thinking of smaller Sunderland and here at Bolton whose general manager Ralph Bennett was responsable for a completely new design studio commisioned modern corporation bus from East Lancs. Once these one time eyecatchers that had passed to Selnec and was look looking shabby and it could be argued that their scream of modernity fifteen years earlier had become more a look of 'Period' quirky but no doubt some of that same thinking and desire for clean lines went forward into the next generations of Manchester Buses like the Mancunian and the brand new  'Manchester Standard' Northern Counties bodied Leyland  Fleetline 8076 BVR-76T seen here probably out on it's first day out.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Berlin BVG MAN Wagon-Union 3375 at Zoo Bahnhof

As in London one doesn't need to empty their wallet to see the city on enthusiastically touted sightseeing tours as the less pampered and more outgoing tourists who don't mind crowding in alongside the locals can see it all on the local buses paying normal fares and routes like the 100 will always have double-deckers and must be a thorn in the side. I might be wrong but if I remember rightly before Reunification there used to be far more sightseeing buses in West Berlin doing the sights and going over into the East than when I was last there about eight years ago.

Warstone's in Walsall: Sherpa F249 DKG

I don't know what was on my mind when I took this shot of Warstone's Green Bus Frieight Rover in Walsall but I don't think I was too eager to get the perfect view of the bus as it was hardly what made this firm so well known. No girls to catch glimpses of either, maybe I just liked the ordinaryness of the moment. The later LDV's were called Frieight Rovers but I think this was an earlier Sherpa and the registration suggests it came from the Cardiff area.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Busy Sunday in Peterborough

Plenty of buses on a sunday last year as a coach-seated First Excel Enviro double-decker calls in at Peterborough on it's long journey to Norwich.

Friday, 26 June 2020

4348 Wilts & Dorset Bristol VR in Bournemouth

What can be more appealing than a hot sunny day in Bournemouth. When I went there in the Nineties there were still plenty of Wilts and Dorset ECW bodied Bristol VR's about. Over the years I grew to rather like them especially their sounds which were just as enjoyable inside as they were when they went passed and yes like so much from the past they had character.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Stagecoach Enviro WA11 CHN heading for Topsham on the T

The trouble with Stagecoach buses is they tend to all look the same and one has to see the destination before they can guess when the photo was taken. Topsham is a well known destination, a quiet hamlet or village that many years ago got swallowed up by the city of Exeter as it expanded. It is interesting though that letters are used here instead of route numbers as this was how it used to be in the time of Exeter City Transport.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

A well known Southdown Queen Mary survivor is 1965 425 which was busy doing a open top service with Wallace Arnold in the fresh air for the visitors to Torquay in the Ninities. A few years later I was to ride on her as well after it had passed to Appleby's for service in the raher more breezy Scarborough.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

P443 JOX Reminds you of something else?

There are some buses we like and not for the most obvious reason. I liked these Volvos anyway but this batch made me think of Midland Red as this is P443 JOX whilst by coincidence Midland Red had both Nationals and Plaxton bodied Leopard coaches in the pervious registration scheme and the series which included JOX 444P. JOX 443P was another one but it never ran for Midland Red as it moved to another NBC operator South Wales along with 442 before entering service in the Midlands. Before anyone pulls me up, yes there were two Daimler Fleelines as well which had been ordered by Harpers JOX 439-440P.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

London & Country F576 SMG in Croydon on the 408 to Leatherhead

Things seemed to be on the up after Deregulation when the fledgling groups like Drawline had a good look at their image and got Ray Stenning to make a basic design but with a different colour  pallet for each operator. It worked well but even if they saw them I don't suppose the public were aware of the subtlties of it all. Of these the most attractive probably was London Country SE which was rebranded London & Country and whose two colours of green reminded me of Aldershot and Distict in a way.. New buses included this Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian in Crawley on the well remembered 408 to Leatherhead Garage which would have seen green RT's when I was youngster in 'my golden age'. 

Monday, 15 June 2020

London Heathrow Airport: Speedlink Dennis Lance SLF M959 SDP

I imagine having arrived at Heathrow to go on holiday most people would quickly get checked in and then head for the duty free area to spend some money and try to chill. But I'm afraid if it's sunny outside for the average enthusiast all the buses and coach coming and going is a bigger draw. Of course it's also an excuse to waste a bit of film as much of it is mudane but having come from elsewhere their unfamiliarity makes it seem okay. Actually one bus here is quite interesting and that is the Dennis Lance SLF staff shuttle belonging to Speedlink. I'm not sure but the unusual looking bodywork might be by Berkhof.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

King's Norton Executive YN CSZ

One thing about the Asian population they seem to like travelling to large gatherings and especially weddings which is good for the local luxury coach operators. Here at a yet another service area going south on the M5 near I think Gloucester was a large party from the Birmingham area giving us the familiar sight of a Johnson's, a Plaxton bodied Volvo B9R of King's Norton Exective, and an eye-catching metallic blue Bova.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Goodbye Marianne

Every hour to Wolverhampton but sadly the 54 doesn't run any more and I used to use the service frequently and I miss seeing the red West Midlands Enviros in Stafford like No.854 Marianne. But alas it has given me an excuse to use a song title for my heading courtesy of Leonard Cohen.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Laussane NAW Trolleybus 778

A NAW trolleybus in Lausanne in the 90's

GM Buses Fleetline KDB 128V going to Farnworth

A rush of activity in Manchester after the lights change. It looks like this NC bodied Fleetline leaving for Farnworth had been transfered from Northenden as it seems to carry the depot code. At this time the fleet hadn't yet been divided into North and South and sold of rendering these garage movements highly improbable

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Alexander Dennis in Walsall BV57 XHX

Not surprisingly even though big groups like National Travel have quite standardised fleets there is always a contrast between the generations of buses as the new slowly replaces older buses. Two typical Alexander Dennis buses are seen here in Walsall last year an Enviro and a Trident.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

At Last The Perfect Enviromental Bus

As you can see things are much better than they used to be for underneath parked buses we no longer find nasty patches of  thick black engine oil instead it's a gentle sprinkling of brown leaves a puddle clean enough for young children to play in. I was going to make a more serious point about how nice it was to see this at last as sometimes I could smell the diesel leaking from Arriva buses and used to tell the driver to make sure they reported it as it is so dangerous to two wheeled road users on a wet road. But alas it's not quite so good in reality as I see the buses are all park behind that yellow line keeping it hidden but having said that I feel it's a lot better than it was. Once Optare Solos were everywhere except Stafford but now the once ubiquitous older Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Darts have mostly gone they seem to have taken over a lot of the duties at D&G, Select and even Arriva have got in on the act.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

DSB Volvo 719 on Kolding Town Service 4 to Strandhuse

Kolding seemed to be a a very typical Danish town and when photographed in the Eighties this Aabenraa bodied Volvo was also very typical of the almost 600 strong DSB railways fleet which despite seeming quite widespread had buses based in about twelve locations. The bus here was on a town service which a few years earlier when I came in 1979 was still worked by fairly  elderly cream painted DAB-Leylands as the town still had it's own bus service. However despite DSB being almost totally Volvo the twenty-six buses allocated here included a few of the twenty DABs which made up the rest of the fleet.

Monday, 1 June 2020

The real South Yorkshire H106 RWT

The Pontefract Independent South Yorkshire not to be mistaken for the much bigger South Yorkshire PTE was a familiar sight in Leeds for many years and when Drawline bought it like their acquisitions in the same area of West Riding and Yorkshire Woollen District it was allowed to continue in a grouped  version of it's old dark and light blue and white livery as seen here on a Northern Counties bodied Olympian their usual choice in later years. Of course operating about twenty-four vehicles it was tiny compared to the huge PTE with the same name but it had been around since 1929 having been part of Bullock of Featherstone.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

A New Dennis Dominator at Chester YMA 101W

I have always been a fan of small Municipals and Chester was one of the most pleasing with it's tradition graphics and that chocolate-brown and cream livery which seemed so well suited the city streets. For many year Guy double-deckers were the choice and once the Arab stopped being available it went on to the Daimler Fleetline and then as seen here the Dennis Dominator. One thing they all had in common was the Northern Counties bodywork contract which till they merged was shared with not too far away it's fellow Wigan bodybuilder Massey Bros.

Preserved Buses in Morecambe

Some bus preservation rallies are better than others and I particularly like ones where it mingled with the people becoming a sideline. On a fine warm day the English Seaside has a magic of it's own and makes a great backdrop for the sounds and smells of buses that worked there or nearby. This was a Ribble event in 2018 but all sorts tuned up like this Leyland bodied PD2 from another Lancashire town Lytham Saint Annes.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Stagecoach National2 FDV 831V in Guildford

It would have felt like a long trip to Bognor Regis had one got on this former Devon general National2 at Guildford. Of course the journey would have been a lot more comfortable if it didn't have that horrid plastic seating but hopefully being a Stagecoach bus it might have sounded a bit sweeter than some!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Midland Red S26 Leopard DHA 462K at Cannock Garage

Just like the LS18's the thirteen S26 DHA Series Leopards were only allocated to a small number of garages but as time went on many strayed beyond them. 6462 seen here wet and gleaming having just passed through the wash went to Cannock for fifteen months in 1979 before moving on again to LN, RY, and BY before it was withdrawn in 1987. However it went on to enjoy further service and lasted till 1992 working in Northern Ireland.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Invictaway Leyland Tiger ESK 988

Maidstone and District retained it's striped NBc Invictaway coach livery after the break-up and I rather liked it. One thing for an enthusiast that was annoying though was the number of mystery vehicles carrying 'cherished registrations' like Duple bodied Tiger 2191 seen here in London. Actually it started life with Southdown as B815 JPN.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Y723 TOH arrives in Walsall

Of course I usually try to get a bus into them like this Alexander Dennis Trident but sometimes it is nice just to take pictures and see what happens.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A DMS in Chesterfield MLK 432L

There were days when we went somewhere and because it was somewhere different we took photos even though we shouldn't because the light was poor. Then when we developed them the negatives were a bit flat reducing the contrast even more so it was always pleasing then when years later after abit of tweaking we find one we really like which made it all worthwhile. I think I can certainly say that about this view of a former London DMS at work at Chesterfield in the Eighties. At one time most proud Municipal Boroughs wouldn't normally even consider buying anything secondhand but purses got stretched and good housekeeping became just as important and Chesterfield bought secondhand Leyland Panthers from Merseyside too.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Arriva VDL 3704 in Wolverhampton

This Wright bodied VDL was allocated to the 1 and 2 Service from Cannock to Walsall but were  replaced by new 'Saphire' Streetlites. Since then they have appeared on most jobs including trips to Wolverhampton.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Wallace Arnold Devon Mercedes-Benz 307D at Torquay

Wallace Arnold Devon had this Mercedes-Benz 307D mini-bus at Torquay which they must have used as a passenger shuttle.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Stagecoach Enviro in Peterborough SN64 OKU

I think we will be lucky to get any bus events to go to this year which makes me glad I went to Peterborough last year. It's always nice to go to somewhere we haven't visited properly before even if all th buses seem to be the same which is usually the case with Stagecoach. This Alexander-Dennis Enviro single-decker 37219 was about as ordinary as they come SK64 OKU so why not do something a bit different.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Midland Red ex-Harper Brothers Duple Leopard Viceroy MRF 419L

Midland Red was one of those NBC companies which could offer a bit of variety and this was helped further when vehicles taken over from Harper Brothers were added to the fleet. Midland Red had Dp Leopards and Plaxton coaches but from Heath Hayes came some Duples as well like 2254 at Victoria Coach Station.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

JGU 724K. DMS on Oxford Park & Ride

The driver of this former London DMS now confined to Park & Ride duties has to cope with the hustle and bustle of Oxford in the Eighties.

Monday, 11 May 2020

West Yorkshite PTE Superbus L644 PWR in Leeds

In Britain's large cities numerous private bus opertors sprang up following Deregulation, and the West Yorkshire PTE seemed to want to confuse the public even more by fragmenting itself by creating new identities like this one on a Scania in Superbus Livery and had it not been for the fleetnumber one might never have guessed from this view.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Jeffs of Helmdon G908 WAY

A lot of coach firms had distinctive liveries but one of the most easily recognised were the ones belonging to Jeffs of Helmdon like this Caetano bodied Volvo seen in Stratford upon Avon in the Nineties.

Friday, 8 May 2020

BX61 XBS National Express West Midlands

One of National Express West Midlands Wright bodied Volvos needs so mechanical attention where despite it's size space space seems to be at a premium in Wolverhampton Bus Station.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Quicker Way to Malvern: Midland Red WOC 733T

The 144 from Birmingham to Worcester and The Malverns was one of Midland Red's best known routes. But as pleasant as the towns and countryside like a many a long bus trip it was something of an endless slow plod  even upstairs on on a D9. But the Motorway Age gave it a spring in it's step as now services could speed along the new fast roads like the M5 and at least some of the letter x numbered routes started to live up to the idea of them being an express service. Indeed Midland Red even used some of it's fast 'London Motorway' BMMO CM6's on it but in later years it became the preserve of Leyland Leopards Dp's and later  proper service coaches like Plaxton Supreme 733 seen leaving a slightly murky Birmingham City Centre in the early Eighties.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Stagecoach Volvo DK09 GXX in Chester

A Stagecoach Wright bodied Volvo seen following a cyclist in Chester in November 2015.

Going to Imperial Avenue Leicester City Transport Park-Royal bodied Leyland PD3 GRY 61D

The MCW Orion was always treated with derision by enthusiasts who said it was ugly. I must admit I didn't mind them as there were plenty in the Midlands and Manchester area and as I was familiar with them they looked normal. But whereas the genuine product was a bit like a 'jelly-mould' fit those which copied the design produced far more ungainly buses. Here is a good example in Leicester of a Park-Royal Leyland PD3 which was far more top-heavy and less rounded than an MCW. However despite that it added not just a bit of variety but also added a bit a bit of character. Of course all the smartly kept Leicester PD3 looks great but the most attractive had to be the superb looking East-Lancs bodied examples.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Arriva Optare Versa YJ12 PLU in Wolverhampton

I like there to be a few things happening in my pictures these days but obviously I quickly snatched this one of an Arriva Optare Versa in Wolverhampton. No people to enjoy either but and so a lone pigeon will have to do.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

London Central Optare Spectra SP1 at Trafalgar Square

New buses for London routes are two-a-penny and no doubt most go unnoticed by the public but a bit like the Borismaster later these Optare Spectras looked just that bit different and enough to catch the eye. I always tend to think of here at Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus to be the centre of London or maybe it's Parliament Square but buswise I think Victoria which acts like a transport hub could claim that honour. I thought this was fitting for the new month as the bus was number SP1.

United Counties London Routemaster RM 2192 with Stagecoach at Bedford

When Deregulation opened up the bus market operators tried anything to get one up on their competitors and that included the populist idea of bringing back traditional double-deckers with a friendly conductor like this Routemaster with United Counties at Bedford and it might looked a bit 'washed out'  but these were the only buses I saw there which were not in Stagecoach stripes

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Western National Volvo B10M F446 DUG

I don't suppose the driver of this Plaxton Paramount 3500 bodied Volvo B10M will be telling his tour passengers on a trip to Bournemouth that they have just gone passed where the wonderful two-storey Hants and Dorset bus station used to be or their coach is a cast-off from Wallace Arnold. However if he likes to set off on the right foot and entertain his most likely more elderly passed he should say his name is Doug just like the coach whether it is or not lol.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Greater Manchester Transport END 820D at Stockport

SELNEC or as it later became known Greater Manchester Transport after it was enlarged inherited a large fleet of Leyland Titan half-cabs from Stockport but these were soon diluted with other types and two former Manchester Corportation Atlanteans from the END-D batch can be seen in this view.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Nottingham City Leyland Lion D394 TAU

Nottingham went through a phase where it thought it worthwhile to have bumpers added to the front of it's new buses. In the past it was not very common and unlike these solid looking cast-iron affairs probably the bits of rather cosmetic chrome seen on the likes of M&D stock would not have been substantial or robust enough to bare a hot drivers weight on sunny day never mind withstand a collision. Nottingham has always been legendry for it's interesting buses and at least the City Transport was able to continue that tradition these rare Leyland Lion buses in 1985 also delivered to Eastern Scottish for service in the Edinburgh area.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Hampson of Oswestry Bristol LH BNU 674G

Oswestry had a small Independent who operated a town service with a number of interesting vehicles over the years including this Bristol LH which had formerly been with Midland General.