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, 30 December 2010

Amport & District

Since Pedestrianisation we are no longer used to seeing traffic in many our town centre streets and large vehicles look out of place like this Amport & District Plaxton bodied Scania coach VN55 NFT visiting Stafford with the army. However at one time not only did buses pass along our main street it was a major trunk route from the North West to London and the South West carrying heavy lorries too.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Devon General's Willowbrook bodied Atlanteans.

The very early Leyland Atlanteans bodied by the MCW Group and lookalikes by the others have a reputation for being rather uninspired. But as the sixties unfolded matters improved and other bodybuilders did some attractive designs. One of my favourites was by Willowbrook of Loughborough who supplied Devon General with six new buses in 1966. Not only were these buses better looking than the earlier MCW and Roe Atlanteans in the fleet they came equiped with more powerful Leyland 0680 engines needed on steep hilly routes around Torquay.

Monday, 27 December 2010

New standee buses for London

In the mid-Sixties London Transport tried new bus types including the AEC Swift or named for LT at first the Merlin. Sadly these less dependable stablemates would push out the ultra-reliable RTL based on the Leyland PD2 also to be seen here at Victoria. The first fourteen surprisingly had Stratchens bodywork and introduced both 'opo' and the continental concept of standee city buses to London operating short distance Red Arrow routes.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Porto: Evening heat haze.

I don't know if I've posted this image before but at the moment I can't bring much new stuff as my scanner needs to be re-configured as it doesn't normally work on Vista. However I rather like this view of a rather smart AEC entering Porto on a journey from Aluger.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas

Of course snowy images are not so effective this year but I'm sure Swiss snow is a more expensive luxury product or maybe it was just their Saurer and FBW buses that were better like this Saurer RH P24267 from the Eighties alongside a Nineties NAW BH 4-23 fellow PTT Davos stablemate. The NAW was a continuation of the small specialist alpine bus following the takeover by Mercedes-Benz but despite that these quite attractive buses found a following.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Swedish coaches and Danish blonds in Aarhus

Some people prefer coaches to buses but I like both and when it's to make a decent photograph it doesn't matter either way. I'm glad I did as for instance when I caught some of my 'buses and girls views' I snapped some vehicles that I might not have bothered with but which  have become a lot more interesting with the passage of time.
Probably but I can't really remember if I was also after the tall slim Danish blond girl in Aarhus but one doesn't see many Volvo's like this from Sweden perhaps bodied by Kutter carried on the front.

Hants & Sussex AEC Merlin in Portsmouth

Despite their short lives with London Transport these AEC Merlins and Swifts did not achieve the kind of popularity enjoyed by better buses like the DM Fleetline finding new owners. Hants and Sussex not only ran them but kept them looking smart too and on a rare visit to Portsmouth managed to snap one before it went too dark one December afternoon.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Learning in all weathers

Despite it not being a wonderful quality photograph I still rather like this wintry 'get in front and jump out to take' shot of PMT yellow Leopard trainer 927UVT which had trundled through Tittensor on the A34 with Bassett's Roadways in the background.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Manchester Atlantean in Whitstable

Following Deregulation Greater Manchester Atlanteans and Fleetlines too seemed to appear in many fleets. Fortunately the Northern Counties 'Standards' looked good in any livery including East Kent whose new colours reminded us of pre-NBC days. ONF657R was No 7657 but now 7557 as it paused across the road from the cafe where I used to have breakfast on Fridays in Whitstable before driving home via London for work.

A Black & White Christmas

Actually it should be 'black and blue' as I tumbled on a high kerb last week as I was running for a bus and ended up in hospital where I had six stitches on my chin and another on the bridge of my nose. Thankfully nothing was broken but I'm feeling very sore and bruised and not in a party mood. In 1969-70 a Black & White Daimler Roadliner enters Victoria Coach station.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Eastbourne: Memories of Summer

Enjoying the sunshine at Eastbourne in the 90's was this Van-Hool bodied Leyland Tiger carrying the registration letters of it's owner Ivy.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Historic Bern

Switzerland has done much to shake off it's old image and there was nowhere more conservative than Bern it's capital where the biggest disturbance was elderly trams pulling trailers as they slowly as if half asleep snaked through the medieval streets grinding and squealing as the went.

Out Christmas Shopping in Knightsbridge

December many years ago and in Knightsbridge I think they shop for the festive season all year round. A not very old London Buses Metrobus M1180 B180WUL of 1984 is not afraid to use it's size to justle it's way through the lunchtime traffic. It was heading for Turnham Green where it was one of fifty buses garaged there. No doubt I was trying to get the girl on the crossing in the shot too and she almost got away.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Is it Biel or Bienne?

In Switzerland Biel is right on the border where German and French cultures meet hence on maps you often see both spellings Biel-Bienne but for most it's Biel as it's rather more German. Outside the station was this very Swiss looking Ramseier and Jenzer Volvo bus which was bodied here in the town.
The later generations of rear-engined Leyland Atlantean and Daimler Fleetline were very much the same shape but frontal styling made for variety. One of the most attractive with a less square feel was built by Charles Roe in Leeds for the local West Yorkshire PTE and it looked rather nice in Warstone's Green Bus Company livery which was by the Nineties looking a bit too colourful. SUA 121R was seen in Wolverhampton at the time when the fleet and it's operations were growing.

Tiverton & District

The Leyland National could look rather attractive in a pleasant livery like the red and cream scheme applied by Tiverton and District to former London Bus LS 220 No.2811 THX 220S.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Snow! What Snow?

I don't think the local Post Bus drivers in the Swiss Alps would be much daunted by our recent snows in the UK as they are well prepared for it. This PTT Regie NAW BH 4-23 meets trains at Zeigelbrucke or maybe Wangen on the main line from Zurich to Chur and then returns to it's home at Uznach in the early 90's.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Lothian Leylands

In 2009 eighty-years of Leyland operation ended at Edinburgh as Lothian Transport withdrew the last of it's Alexander R-Type bodied Olympians. When I took this view in the Nineties there were still plenty of Leylands to be found including these rather attractive Atlanteans like AN68 No.636 GSC636X.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Manchester's Olympian Coaches

Greater Manchester PTE had a number of Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympian and Metrobuses fitted with coach seats for private hire and longer services. I thought the livery was rather attractive and still looked good even when it had aged like the buildings here in the middle of Manchester. No.3265 D265JVR carries the deopt letters BY for Bury and you can see from it's sides that it was now part of the First Group's 'Greater Manchester North' fleet whilst Stagecoach took charge of services and garages to the south of the city.

Monday, 6 December 2010

In those days in the Seventies the busy and often slow The Head of the Valleys trunk road in Wales carrying all the heavy traffic from Port Talbot and Swansea was not all dual-carriageway unlike today and all you saw was belting rain and bleeting sheep. Being stupid they used to wander in the road and I heard a story about one that was run-over in the night and being very messy nobody on this occasion would move the corpse off and it slowly got pounded into the tarmac creating a new bump. As you can see today the sheep might be just the same at  Merthyr Tydfil but unlike the coal and steel lorries of my day, eight-leg Fodens and Atkinson Borderers those clean white-goods trucks have got a whole lot bigger but sure some might say not always better.

Noddy Holder might love Christmas!

But it's no much fun doing your Christmas Shopping when it cold, miserable and yesterday's snow turns to slush and your trouser-bottoms and feet get soaked. Still in the winter of 1981-82 in my little town one could enjoy the roar of those National Mk2's which at least sounded like real Leyland Buses again. No.807 was the first of five at Stafford which were later joined by 812-814 from Shrewsbury and finally Tamworth's 823-825.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

At Montreux VMCV Trolleybus No.10

The main route and perhaps only route worked by these eighteen Saurer trolleybuses dating from 1956-58 not surprisingly was that which gave the system it's title WMVC running 12.8km along the shores of Lake Geneva from Vevey to Montreux and beyond to Villeneuve. After giving forty years of service these rather fine machines were replaced by the same number of low-floor Van-Hool/ Kiepe articulated (gelenkobusse) vehicles.

Railway Owned Guy Bus in Porto

In Portugal as well as being able to see railway owned buses at Porto these included relatively uncommon Guy's like No.7 whose familiar shaped Utic body looked  strange in white stripes.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Caroline Seagull

Looking at the registration number of this coach belonging to the Norfolk operator Caroline Seagull it would be easy to be tricked into thinking it was a former East Kent AEC Reliance as that operator had some old Park Royal bodied express coach rebodied by Plaxton. However I imagine somewhere along the line the rebodied AEC's went for scrap and similarly Plaxton Elite bodied Ford coaches took their 'cherished' marques instead which was a pity. 536FN was seen enjoying a summer day in London resting on the Thames Embankment.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Yorkshire Woollen District-West Riding Alexander T-Type

Alexander T-Type bodies were not very common outside Scotland but as well as somewhat surprisingly Eastern Counties having a few more could be found in Yorkshire and along with Traction, West Riding-YWD had eleven too. This view was taken at Birstall perhaps and the lightly loaded Leopard would encounter deeper snows than this over the Pennines.