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, 29 April 2012

M.H.Elcock Ford in Ironbridge

Today perhaps the best known coach operator in Shropshire is Elcocks, and carrying the name Telford Coachways was this Plaxton bodied Ford VDH 115S seen in Ironbridge in June 1992 providing the local 'Park and Ride' shuttle.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Three doors better than one? Basle FBW-Hess No.62

Basle is best known for it's trams and former small trolleybus system but of course it has buses too. Favoured in the past were several generations of these three doorHess bodied FBW's and No.62 was seen at Parliament Platz in 1990

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Guess what I got for Christmas in 1962

Like many others I got my first camera at Christmas and maybe had it been for my birthday in August instead, the first pictures would have been a lot better. Having said that Patrick Lichfield didn't have to take his with a 'click and hope' Kid's Ilford Sporty.  By December 62 Stafford's three S6's had been replaced by new S15 5087, rebuilt S8 3241 from Shrewsbury and 3266 seen here ex-Cradley. In the background today there's a Mercedes dealership where The Station Hotel stood and for 'Electrification' the new Stafford Station was nearing completion.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Eight Five Years but Are Happy Days Ending?

I've been told there are rumours in the press that another long established coach business is about to be sold off. This time it looks like the Austin Family who have been running buses in the Stafford area since 1927 are about to sell out to relative newcomer Leon's. Like many Independents the firm took to lightweight Fords in the Seventies but with the motorway-age as well as heavyweights like Volvo's and Scania's along came come in-between DAF's as well like E339EVH.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Fife Citybus in Kirkaldy

Whereas English operator's often chose the Metrobus or the Dominator as an alternative to the Leyland double-decker, the Scottish built Ailsa, later renamed Citybus was popular over the border. With bodywork built not too far away at Falkirk, Alexander bodied Fife A794YSX was seen in Kirkaldy in the Eighties.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

RN 8030 in Evora

The orange and cream RN livery looks far more suited to sunny Portugal than the wet street of Greater Manchester where it soon looked grubby and down at heal on SELNEC and GMT buses. One of the nicest places is the historic fortified town of Evora in whose narrow streets could be seen some smart elderly buses like this Utic bodied Leyland Royal Tiger Worldmaster that had recently been absorbed into RN.

Monday, 9 April 2012

WPH 139Y Balaston Wedgewood Rally

It will soon be the Bus Rally season again, but with the future of the Wedgewood Pottery Museum hanging in the balance I wonder if this might be the last time we enjoy this excellent venue. One of Midland Red North's rebodied Tigers calls at Stone on the shuttle. This one never ran with a black roof for MRN but it still brought back memories of the proper Midland Red I grew up with.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Tram 707: A Breezy Blackpool, nothing is going to blow this Balloon Away!

Probably if the weather was like this this Easter in Blackpool then it would be better than rain or just cloud. However with that wind it would have been chilly too but fortunately this was an August Bank Holiday and everybody was happy. The old 1930's English-Electric Balloon Tram Cars are one of the few really beautiful things you can see in a sometimes tasteless Blackpool.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

KRE283P Used Nationals in Reading

I suppose one of the interesting aspects of Deregulation was the way bus got scattered far and wide turning up in what had previously seemed the most unlikely places. Reading did not have anything to do with the Leyland National but they became a feature of the fleet when it snapped up the Alder Valley operations in Newbury. Some also ran from Reading like this former Potteries example KRE283P.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Routemaster Refurbishment

In the early Nineties as their numbers started to dwindle Londoners started to treasure the Routemaster and some gained extended lives following a major overhaul. I'm glad they lived on but I'm afraid the re-engined RML's never did much for me as without those AEC engine sounds they sounded a bit 'third world' and seemed to have lost their soul and magic. On the other hand one has to stand and admire the way London Coaches not only presented it's fleet but the efforts made to return RM's to an original spec.

AAL453A Heading for Digeth

The Birmingham Coach Company became a contractor for National Express working the Stanstead Service. In earlier times heading for Digbeth was a Leyland Leopard that had stared life with former owner National Welsh as BUH224V

Monday, 2 April 2012

Meaty Traffic jams before The Berlin Wall fell too.

People tend to think West Berlin was fairly traffic-free before The Berlin Wall came down but congestion was not unknown and especially frequent on the Kurfirstendam and approaching Zoo Station. Here in the Eighties a Bussing coach from the Netherlands has to negotiate a path through irate German motorists and van drivers.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Blackpool August Bank Holiday 90, Stokes of Carstairs

I'm sure I'm not the only one here who feels that the only good reason to visit Blackpool was for buses and trams, and maybe the sea air and girls in summer attire too perhaps. But even though it looks better in pictures it's full of atmosphere and interest with plenty of opportunities to get shots like this Scottish visitor, Tiger MSU300Y belonging to Stokes of Carstairs.