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 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.