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

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Yippee! It's famous Gasworks we've arrived in Blackpool

I'm afraid that to me these old British buses and coaches of the past were maybe not exactly quite in the same league as girlfriends, although often more reliable, they were however a bit like family and friends. Now that they've gone places like Blackpool and the little bustling corners they used to frequent that were once most welcoming feel empty dull and in a surreal way lonely. As Smith is probably still the most common name in Britain now after Patel not surprisingly it features widely amongst bus operator's too. Before Leyland Leopard TAC14W was sold to John Smith and Sons I expect it either belonged to Harry Shaw of Coventry or another one, Smith's of Tysoe.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Bournemouth Sunny Days

Marshall didn't build very many double-deck bodies which perhaps is a good thing as they were hardly beautiful. Bournemouth had twenty on Leyland Oympian chassis in 1981 No.180-190. Behind TJT185X is a crowded beach and blue skies so as you can see I picked the right day for my coach trip in the early Nineties. If only the weather was always as kind as this

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Less conspicuous than the all-Leyland Doyen were a number of Royal Tigers with Plaxton Paramount 3500 bodywork. However should they be confused with anything else the grill was crowned with an over-large badge. No doubt the driver of this coach was worried that some trophy hunter might yank it off hence the lucky horseshoe. Alongside it in bury St Edmunds is a light blue Cambus Bristol RE.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

UF 4813 Preserved Southdown Leyland Titan TD1

Apart from those of us who are old enough to have loved them many once familiar bus companies are now almost forgotten and especially in their pre-NBC etc guise. However Southdown is one notable exception no doubt helped by lovingly preserved buses like UF4813 a 1929 Brush bodied Leyland TD1 seen outside Pool Valley Bus Station in Brighton.

Blackpool Atlantean entering Fleetwood

Not one of my sharpest I'm afraid but here's one from from 1979 when 312 a still quite new East Lancs bodied Atlantean was seen heading into Fleetwood where the tram tracks join the main carriageway on a dull summer Sunday. Still it was much better than the weather that greeted us for 'Tram Sunday' last week. Of all the many Blackpool liveries I feel this version with the crest was the smartest.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

GMT: Manchester's double-deck coaches

Once Manchester was a lot more bleak with blackened soot covered buildings, but over time the colours have mellowed and the cleaner weathered brickwork hues of the smokeless age seem to be well matched by those on this Greater Manchester North Olympian. I found this 'soft' livery originally chosen for these coach-seated buses used on longer services rather attractive but Northern Counties bodied D265JVR looked in need of some new paint as the split off First North area buses quickly looked very scruffy alongside Stagecoach to the south that was famously covering everything in stripes.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Procters at Hilton Park

Despite it's name Hilton Park straddling the deafeningly noisy and polluting M6 Motorway is no green paradise, but as you see I managed to find something of beauty. I'm not sure which have changed the most since the early Eighties the coaches or the way girls dress but I think this girl had an arty look all of her own. Procters ran both buses and coaches in Stoke on Trent including this Duple Dominant bodied AEC Reliance XVT570M.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The nicest thing about Blackpool is the Prom and sea

Apart from it's trams there is not so much of outstanding transport interest to be found at Blackpool these days. Both Lytham (Fylde) and Blackpool had added to our enjoyment with generations of Leyland buses but by the time I photographed this still blue painted Fylde former Roe bodied Hull open-top Atlantean No.454 ARH307K in the by then merged fleet in the Nineties the sun was setting on our British bus heritage.

An outing to Shrugborough: They let me out sometimes

It is always good when one has a girlfriend who accepts that a day out somewhere will include some buses and better still when she doesn't mind being more in the picture. Lesley was one of those easy going 'good-eggs', but maybe it might be more than pure coincidence that like one or two of my girlfriends she has experience looking after the frail, elderly and mentally ill. Close to my home Shrugborough Hall was the home of famous photographer Patrick Lord Lichfield. North Staffordshire Bakers of Biddulph Plaxton bodied Volvo 3093RU had been F36HGG with Park of Hamilton whilst an earlier style of Plaxton on Volvo  East Kent SIB 8243 formerly H826AYS had come much further and probably also was new to Parks..

Metroline M142 at Victoria

I haven't been to London since I had a ride through it when those Bendibuses first arrived and yesterday I did the same going to the Isle of Dogs. It reminded me that there are interesting shots everywhere but sometimes you feel you're never at the right place at the right time. Slow down a bit and they just come as with this view of Metroline's BYX142V M142 on it's way from Victoria to Cricklewood on the 16.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Shearings new livery?

Shearing has a new livery and a smarter blue. However it may not seem so long ago that they introduced these colours which we have become so accustomed to, but it was long ago in the early Nineties. 731 driven by Geoff one of many rather fine Volvo Van-Hool coaches in the fleet at that time wrestles with the Manchester traffic.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside

Following Deregulation along with the frequent service offered a minibus service the reintroduction of clippies seemed a novel idea. Many bought old Routemasters but few unlike Blackpool bothered to spend money on them and keep them smart. On a 'sizzling' Summer Sunday former RM 848 surely invites one to get out of that seaside rain.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

PCW 945 Burnley Colne & Nelson

The combination of well proportioned Northern Counties bodywork and a cheerful reddy-brown and cream livery made these Burnley Colne Nelson Leyland PD2 buses particularly attractive. Indeed when other Municipals moved to a less sombre look this operator needed do nothing. Later this bus went to Stevenson's of Uttoxeter.

I wonder how many passengers a day?

Zoo advert by EwoodEddie1968
Zoo advert, a photo by EwoodEddie1968 on Flickr.

An effective and rather surreal advertisment for Copenhagen Zoo.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Was this really Europes finest coach?

I think were Mayne's to be put on a lie detector machine they would be found lacking when they described this Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger as 'Europe's Finest Coach'. However some might think so but a 'YUC' as the cherished reg for A419HND might suggest is a bit too churlish as a new Laser at least certainly looked the business and especially this earlier less plastic version.