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 9 December 2020

No Solo for Solos

 For many years we never saw a Solo in Stafford till Arriva got a couple at Cannock. But by 2019 D&G and Select seen here had joined them. The numbers have dwindled again but I can't say I mind them particularly and being in the middle they seem fairly modern and well suited to the many bus services which sadly no longer carry many passengers.

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Two Very Different Mercedes-Benz buses in Lugano, Switzerland.

 Very different Daimler-Benz buses at Lugano in 1990 was this 1988 Vetter bodied trolleybus of the now closed system and and a much older service bus.

The bright and cheerful livery of this less common highbridge Bristol VR of Solent Blue at Bitterne lifts it out of the gloom. It was formerely 1451 with Ribble.

Sunday 9 August 2020

It's Gone Off The Rails so I Wil Love You And Leave You

 It looks like my old blog won't function properly any more so thanks for that Blogger. I would like to thank you all for visiting me and especially those who have been good enough to leave comments. Those who still want to enjoy my photography can still see new postings by visiting me at Flickr where I am 'Call Sign Jojo'.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Stagecoad Gold Enviro 15233 WN65 XEH near Chorley

A Stagecoach Enviro double-decker seen not for from Chorley in Gold livery on the 125 from Bolton to Preston.

Monday 3 August 2020

Darlington Marshall-Camair bodied Dennis Dominator

Darlington's buses were fairly conservative and mostly Roe Guy or Roe bodied double-deckers plodding about, but by the Eighties everything had changed. There were still a few lingering Daimler GVG5's but the rest was an interesting array of single-deckers including rarities like the Ward Dalesman, but more common was this Dennis Dominator albeit with Marshall Camair bodywork.

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Travel West Midlands GOG 106W

A sullen looking girl and No.2106 a MCW Metrobus in Birmingham.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Yorkshire Woollen L818 NWY in Leeds

Deregulation was great from the interestingness point of view with lots of variety and different standards. What killed it off was the imposition of corporate liveries and none of them were as good as the best they replaced. I liked it where tradition was given a modern touch to bring it up to date and I particularly liked the Caldaire group for they way they reintroduced the colours of it's Yorkshire West Riding fleets including Yorkshire Woollen as seen here in Leeds on a Plaxton Strider bodied Dennis Lance.

Friday 24 July 2020

Midland-Red D10's were two-a-penny in Stafford

From a bus perspective Stafford's claim to fame is it was home to Midland Red's two revolutionary underfloor engined D10 buses. Experiments had been tried out as long ago as the 1930's but nobody built anything reliable for the British market till Volvo came along with it's Citybus in the 80's. So it was sad that these buses never went into production as they never gave any trouble here once the garage got on top of all the jobs that needed doing on them and made little unofficial modifications like a hatch in the floor to make jobs easier, not that it pleased Carlyle which and de-modified them again but Stafford changed them back again!  Before they arrived here they had been hard worked on one of the companies toughest routes the 245-6 called 'The Track' as it followed the old tramway between Wednesbury and Stourbridge. It also went through Dudley and the buses were kept at the old tram depot site at Hartshill near Merry Hill.  They regularly had a maintanance problem in the Black Country and with these buses being different they were deemed a lot more trouble and  were no doubt neglected even more than normal. When it was finally decided to move them away the company found it hard to find a garage that would take them and they spent a short three month spell at Leicester in 1964 before finding a loving home at Pilgrim Place for the next eight years. They regulary did the 836 to Cannock and one set out each morning at 06.15 sometimes with me on board for Lichfield on the 825. Another regular haunt was the S84 and S97 to Burton Manor Estate as seen here where 4943 the first of the two was waiting next to The Nesbit. It makes you wonder how many crews weren't tempted to go for a swift half as it wasn't quite so wrong in those days lol.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Reading Transport Scania BUS 5X

Reading Transport certainly had an interesting mixed fleet which ran in a variety of liveries. In red and gold was the Van-Hool bodied Scania seen on the busy London Embankment.where the two girls performed for my camera giving me a twirl.

Chester City or Subway City

For once a Subway sandwich take-away lives up to it's name for as soon as one exits this one there it is. The Arriva Enviro double-decker carries a cherished registraion and as well as J400 ABW I have J100 ABW so I imagine when new it was to boost their image as part of some promotion. Little do I know!

Monday 20 July 2020

Brighton & Hove Scania in Eastbourne

I much prefer what I like to think are proper colours on buses and it was heartwarming when one or two NBC operators reverted to their pleasant traditional hues. It didn't matter if it had been updated in the process as it could look very smart as seen here on a Brighton and Hove East-Lancs bodied Scania in Eastbourne.

Sunday 19 July 2020

NBC Watfordwide Atlantean AN 37

It had more than it's fair share of Leyland Nationals but London Country was definately one of the most interesting NBC fleets and at least a lot of it's elderly RT's were replaced with these attractively bodied Atlanteans by Park Royal instead of Bristol VR's. This is one of those quick jump out of cab and grab a photo shots of AN37 so I can't remember exactly where it was but not too far from Croxley.  Some nice detail here though including a yellow Commer telephones van and I wonder if that handy looking branch of Lloyds Banks is still there, I doubt it!

Saturday 18 July 2020

KMP Mercedes N776 CJC in Caernarfon

When I was there at the end of the 90's Caernarfon like Bangor seemed to be awash with Independents including KMP who was operating this Mercedes minibus on what I imagine was the County Council funded Sherpa network.

Thursday 16 July 2020

South Wales Leopard NCY 476R bound for Haverfordwest

A cat or rather a Jojo must have nine lives. Today it seems unthinkable that one might attempt to  take photos on the tiny strip of pavement in the middle of the road in busy Bristol. But the world was a bit different in the early Eighties and not only were we not constantly being watched we were left to use our common-sense. All I can say is nobody seemed too bothered, I'm still here and believe it or not even managed to get back again without being run over despie not wearing a high-viz vest.  So I lived to tell the tale and also managed to get an unusual photo of a South Wales Duple Dominant bodied Leopard heading off for far off Haverfordwest. My advice though is as they say "don't try this at home".

Saturday 11 July 2020

F122 XEM Warrington Coach Lines

In this view taken on the M6 one can empathise with the hot tired people behind all that glass on the bus wanting to get home to a hot bath and a decent cup of tea after a long day out probably to Blackpool. I imagine it's a bit sticky as thundery storm clouds are gathering but maybe this East-Lancs bodied Dennis Dominator will make it home to Warrington before it starts. In the anything goes spirit of Deregulation a number of Municipals and PTE's set up coaching units like the eyecatching Coach Lines and why not as some of the coach firms were running smokey old bangers and trying to steal their remunertive stage routes. 

Friday 10 July 2020

Five New Wright Bodied Scanias at Chester City Transport

These five Wright bodied Scania park and ride liveried bus must have been a significant purchase for Chester City Transport. Obviously they were still very new when I made my visit to the depot as they were all proudly standing in a line albeit not lined up in order.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Eastern National Tiger from Bishop's Stortford HHJ 374Y

An Eastern National Alexander bodied Leyland Tiger rests before setting off back to Bishop's Stortford on the 712. I lived here for about nine months in 1969 and love this area of Victoria and Pimlico but I think the way the light plays off these white buildings made photography difficult at times or maybe just the light might have been poor. However as much as I wish it not every picture can be perfect but the nice thing about Flickr is all these buses are interesting to someone and it works as a record shot at least.

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.