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

Friday 31 January 2020

From Tomorrow it's harder to Walk to Berlin

Today officially Britain leaves the EU and not only do I have misgivings it makes me sad as it is such a more colourful place and that influence has spread to these shores as well.  The Germans are not noted for their sense of humour so maybe they have learnt something from us too judging from this fetishistic poster on the Ku-damm in Berlin.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Stagecoach Enviro NK57 DWD in Bolton

Of the big groups Stagecoach must run the most standardised fleet which makes them a bit boring as it doesn't matter where you go there's not much variety or anything to get excited about unless you like Alexander-Dennis Enviros. I happen to live somewhere where they don't operate so I can be a little bit more enthusiastic when I see them as happened here in Bolton. Thankfully I use my hobby as an excuse to take photographs as at least every town is different.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

First Eastern Counties Kings Lynn T577 JNG in 2002

Very much a period shot with not not much happening in this view at Kings Lynn but at least First had not yet closed this the former Eastern Counties garage in the town.

Monday 27 January 2020

Crosville Recovery Vehicle VDB 961 in Warrington

A mouthwatering procession of Warrington buses which had all collected at the traffic lights scurry onwards at last to their town centre stops making a delicious Leyland Din. Meanwhile a Crosville might have failed as the local breakdown tender a former North Western Leopard motorway coach heads down to the bus station to sort it out or just sort out hot a cup of tea.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Heyfordian Scania Jonckheere in Berlin

Berlin attracts tourists from all over Europe including Britain of course and one can see visiting coaches from well know operators such as Heyfordian. It was quite a haul but by the Nineties at least they no longer had to try to drive across East Germany to get here and I'm sure this Jonckheere bodied Scania was well up to the task.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Ribble Park-Royal bodied Atlantean NRN 397P at Morecambe

I wasn't a huge fan of the NBC era but there were operators and buses I liked more than others. A good example is this Ribble Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 which looks very much at home in poppy red livery. Of course preserved examples add a coat gloss to our nostalgic days out but buses like this are a pleasure to see nonetheless like this one Morecambe in 2018.

Thursday 23 January 2020

Postauto Neoplan in Davos

Once the Swiss Saurer and FBW were no longer available the Swiss Post turned to Germany to source it's buses firstly with Setras. Mercedes-Benz and some built to local requirements in Swizerland as the NAW. But after the Post Office was split up and sold off the fleet became a lot more varied and the Neoplan quickly made it's mark in the mountain areas.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

NCH 194E A Line-Up of Mostly Daimlers at Derby

Three attractive half-cab buses and two rather ugly Roe bodied Daimler Fleetlines taking a break at Derby Bus Station whose appearance was not helped much by that awful blue and grey livery. The old olive green was rather old-fashioned and it wasn't exactly cheerful but it didn't show the dirt, it was subtle and sophisticated and more importantly suited the town. I hated the changes in the Seventies, if wasn't bad enough that the NBC ruined all that wonderful visual heritage by unifying it all in such a bland fashion most of the municipal sector and PTE cheapened their image with what were deemed more cheerful and thus more popular colour schemes. I hated it and gave up on buses for quite a while and in case you haven't noticed when I did start taking photographs again luckily I stuck to go old black and white.

Monday 20 January 2020

Strathclyde Volvo Ailsa A88

Glasgow bought a large fleet of Atlanteans but in Strathclyde PTE days Volvo Ailsa B55's were the main choice but still with Alexander bodywork. A88 was seen in the Nineties.

Sunday 19 January 2020

Grimsby Cleethorpes MBE 613R

An exact fare only Grimsby Cleethorpes Roe bodied Daimler Fleetline leaves the garage in Vicoria Street to take up service in the Eighties.

St Helens Bus Station and a Preston Panther HCK 204G

It was okay when I was still collecting diecast buses going around the stalls but now I'm even less inclined to go to bus rallies unless they can offer something extra. That means getting away whether it be riding on old buses or having a walk around the town photographing a few buses in the real world. Here in St.Helens it was almost impossible to not mix the two at the bus station but it all helped to make the day. I always found the Liverpool MCW bodied Leyland Panthers a bit stark and ungainly looking but those delivered to Preston looked a bit more pleasing in that cheerful blue and cream.

Friday 17 January 2020

Y761 TOH: On the 11 to Underhill in Wolverhampton

I don't note them down so I can photograph the same bus several times but I don't mind the random nature of my bus photography as hopefully each time it is different and I find people and the play of light just as exciting. This was taken in September just as the shadows start to stretch and the sun's glint turns to gold. As I hinted I have photographed this bus before and that happens a lot in Wolverhampton for as well as the route branded buses others seem to usually found on the same routes like the 11 to Underhill.

Thursday 16 January 2020

New Crosville Bristol RE OFM3E in Chester

I know it was better and we quickly got used to it but I was a bit disappointed when ECW added BET front screens to the Bristol RE. It not only lost that unique look it spoilt the whole concept of the design as like the Bolton Atlantean it was designed to be uncompromisingly angular and boxy. There were practical reasons for the change too as flat screens cause dazzle at night and it was hardly aerodynamic. This Crossville example seen when brand new in Chester certainly looked smart in the cream and black coach livery.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Such A Grey One in Bolton

Well I consoled myself by thinking the forecast had been for rain and at least I took some photos in Bolton. It was not far away though and very grey and in situation like this where there is little contrast today's colour photography was still the best option. This was an important juncture as it was August 2019 and Diamond was about to buy out First Bolton.

Monday 13 January 2020

Southdown Atlantean PUF722M in Brighton

Having traditionally always been an operator of mostly Leylands the link with the past was quite gratifying when Southdown was one of a select few allowed to have smart new Park Royal bodied Atlanteans with the NBC. These AN68's were their first and I don't know if it was just because they didn't like them but they were later totally replaced by the NBC standard Bristol VR instead. No. 722 was seen in Brighton in the early Eighties.

Sunday 12 January 2020

Eastern National Bristol K5G 1327 ONO 59

The Lincoln transport museum running day is always held right at the end of the season at the beginning of November and the weather is different every time. In 2019 it was a taste of what was to come as it was dull and damp and I congratulated another photographer because at least they found a brief moment or two of sunshine that day. As it turned out I see I was quite fortunate too for this a rather super shot of an Eastern National Bristol K5G of about 1948 and it even carries a Clacton garage plate. A lot of people as well just enthusiasts love things like this seventy year old bus for it is the Britain we loved and can't bring back.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Stafford: The Rise and Fall of Arriva and First Bus

This photo of an Arriva Wright bodied VDL was taken in December 2018, It's a mundane enough scene but we shouldn't take things too much for granted as nothing stays the same for long and quite soon as far as Stafford is concerned both Arriva and First Bus might be gone. Yes we should still at least get Arriva coming in from Telford but it's funny really for having disliked them for so many years I will be quite sad to see them go. Maybe in this new decade we will see some of the big operating groups whither or crumble and then in their place a new generation will come along to get too big too and do the same. Well if nothing else it might be more interesting even if the buses themselves won't be.

Friday 10 January 2020

Purple Motors Fleetline in Bangor

The North Wales coast is most remembered for it's Crosville buses but there had always been interesting Independents too and following Deregulation and cut-back they seemed to expand and maybe even for a while thrive. Sadly some got taken over by Arriva and others went bust but one of the best remembered was Purple Motors of Bethesda who supplied a good variety of buses could be seen in Bangor including this former London DMS Daimler Fleetline.

Thursday 9 January 2020

A Black Diamond in Walsall KS03 EXM 20541

I'm not sure this Diamond Optare Solo looks expensive and sparkles enticingly but they are certainly spreading their network. Of course they have been well established in the West Midlands for a few years now and are a familiar sight in Walsall.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Stagecoach Devon Bristol VE: It's Illustrious

When Stagecoach bought Devon General not only did it continue the tradition of operating open-top sea-front services the vehicles continued to be named. Of course if one didn't know Illustrious was named after a battleship the intending passenger might just think the Bristol VR had serious reliability issues.

Arrive Wright Streetlight 3305 in Walsall

We don't see enough rear views of buses to get used to it but it makes a change and as things come and go so quickly these days it's quite interesting to see the route branding on Cannock's now departed Wright Streetlites.

Friday 3 January 2020

National Express Leopard XTF 826L on it's way to Edinburgh

A National Express North West Duple Dominant bodied Leyland Leopard is either arriving or pulling out from Lancaster Bus Station on it's long grind up to Edinburgh. It looks like the driver is reversing out but the activity on the coach might suggest they are about to get off.

Thursday 2 January 2020

First Manchester Wright Volvo N71 YNF

I don't think it was going home time so maybe there schoolgirls in Manchester had just sneaked out at lunchtime or had bunked off classes. Things have changed a lot buswise, Stagecoach has stayed very much the same but First with the exception of Oldham has been and gone. This wright bodied Volvo was seen in the days before the rule of Barbi.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

You're Never Alone With A Biro: Street Line MA 120

This 'Ace Spotter' in the 90' certainly picked a good spot outside Victoria Station to catch all the frantic bus activity but what makes people want to spot numbers as an adult. When I did it as a youngster most of the pleasure came from the unknown, the mystery of it and getting a pleasant surprise or two on a good day like a prospector looking for rare gems or or panning for gold. When as a family we first started taking breaks in London, Victoria seemed to be it's heart for buses at least especially with the coach station nearby and I always ended up there. The buses going north went up Tottenham Court Road and passed where we stayed at The Ivanhoe on Gower Street heading south. To tell you how long ago it was only one route with Routemasters came past and that was the 29 with Wood Green RM400's and 600's I think.  I knew very little about the bus network yet armed with a Junior Red Rover and  ignorant of how far it might be just hopped on a bus heading back to a garage sometimes even as far away as South Croydon if I was lucky or just my luck to to Camberwell.  Despite my ignorance I was 'street-wise' enough to spot about 1500 of the 8300 buses in just five days. As it is today there have always been enthusiasts who know everything but in a way I'm slowly going back to my early days as an enthusiast for I'm not really that interested and when I take a bus photo of Arriva in St Helens I get a kind of satisfaction as I don't know how many buses they have there or if it is rare or about to be withdrawn. The fact that it is a bus is good enough for me and it's making the photo that counts. Indeed the fact that I chose to take minibuses too like this instead of the good stuff means I have things that others missed too so it isn't that stupid really.

WEH130G PMT Daimler Roadliner in Stafford

THE SHOCK OF THE NEW. With it being the new year I thought I might put on a photo of a brand new bus on, though I do find it hard to believe but it's fifty year ago 1969. The proud young driver looking looks on as I take my photo for the small seven bus PMT garage in Glover Street didn't have any new buses till No,130 arrived especially as it's entire allocation was replaced with a new fleet in 1961-2. Plaxton bodied WEH 130G looks innocuous enough but this was the fabled Daimler Roadliner widely regarded as the UK's worst single-decker ever built and whereas most just had a few PMT in their wisdom built up a large fleet of them which led to problems.