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 September 2013

Wolfgang: What's in a name?

One of the things I most enjoy when abroad is savouring all the strange words and I must admit the men's name of Wolfgang always makes me smile. I think this Nineties Hess bodied NAW trolleybus in St Gallen is bound for the long departed Wolfgang's Hut or cabin perhaps? Surprisingly for a country that seems to have a complexity of laws and regulations somehow trolleybuses like trams don't need to carry registration numbers, and I suppose if someone jumped in the driver's seat and stole one they wouldn't get very far so there would be no need to scribble down the number.

Peace & Tranquility at Belle Isle

A quiet moment in the Eighties at Wakefield Bus Station with typical NBC bus types in the background. Before it sold out, during the Sixties Leyland Atlanteans and Panthers had been popular with West Riding but today it is best remembered for operating by far the largest fleet of ill-fated Guy Wulfrunian double-deckers. Under NBC control Bristol RE's came first followed of course by the ubiquitous Leyland National whilst the Northern Counties Daimler Fleetline 725 BHL625K was rather more traditional. As the buses were operating in the West Yorkshire PTE area they carried MetroBus logo and no doubt ran to their conditions and fares.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Plymouth Atlantean 155 looking smart.

Plymouth City Bus has enjoyed more than it's fair share of different livies over the years, all of which have retained an element of red whether it be 'truck red' or a maroon shade. But perhaps my favourite and especially as seen on these East Lancs bodied Atlanteans like ATK155W ws this version with a bit of grey which was somewhat less harsh and cold than large amounts of black which came before.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

RN 6701: Rush Hour in Lisbon

In Portugal in 1984 many comuters still used public transport even if it did mean having to stand on an overcrowded bus like the RN Utic bodied AEC.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

BTX 419J: A distinctive looking East Lancs returns home

Concerns like Massey Brothers, Northern Counties and East Lancs didn't always get many orders for single-deckers so often alterations and modifications came about quicker than the orders thus enabling us to have a good idea of where a bus came from even after it had been sold like this East Lancs bodied Leopaed which had been new to Bedwas and Machin but which had moved to Blackburn where the body had been built and now at work with Aspden.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

In the NBC era Midland Red had to take new Nationals instead of double-deckers but maybe as compensation it was able to order plenty of  the popular Leyland Leopard which were ideal for it's longer services. The later ones all had coach bodies and 459 still looked smart in later Midland Red West livery as it exited the Bull Ring Bus Station bound for Ludlow on the long X92.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

3049: Der Bus endet hier!

In Berlin the interesting 15km hour-long cross- city 129 Service having passed a number of interesting landmarks including Checkpoint Charlie and the Anhalter Bahnhof and also travelled through some of the scruffiest parts of the old West Berlin and almost empty terminates at the expensive end of the city at Roseneck where most people use their cars instead I suspect.

Monday, 16 September 2013

RML 2317: Refurbished Routemaster

For me much of the appeal of the Routemaster lay in the cocktail of lovely sounds it made, so when the RML's were re-engined they lost something. However they certainly looked a lot better refurbished and it gave them more years of service. A very smart RML 2317 was seen passing through Victoria on one of it's most familiar routes the No.11 which crosses the West End.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

First 37297: Hard to bury the past

Before the PTE's came along the joint Manchester route to Bury was No.35,  and today now numbered 135 it's an important busy service even on Sunday. Two smart First 'Flagship'  Wright bodied Volvos pick their way through Cheetham Hill with one MX07 BUE No. 37297 wearing attractive heritage Bury green and cream whilst MX57 HEJ No.37302 carries the current livery which includes local branding for Manchester.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Independent Variety in Colchester

With an number of well know Independents East Anglia has always been of great interest. A good place to sample a few firms was Colchester and here we have Osborne's, Chambers, and an unusual Duple bodied Bova of Galloway.  Grey Green on the East Anglian Express network of course were a familiar sight too like this Plaxton 3500 bodied Volvo B10M A853 UYM seen when fairly new.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dab Leyland HT 1475 Cosses Anager Bridge

Even though they are not always as sharp as properly composed views, these scenes full of objects and movement often capture the true nature of a place and in this instance it was Copenhagen in the Eighties.
When people asked why someone was interested in buses there were any number of companies they could point to including the 'Walsall of the Independent's, Gosdport and Fareham. Sadly by the time I took this the fleet was very much of the unremarkable Leyland National but at least in the early Nineties People's Provincial retained that distinctive colour long before Arriva tried something similar but with less success.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

M803 MOJ: Have I still got the nerve for it?

Fortunately my old digital camera didn't really come up to scratch so it stopped me from risking life and limb photographing even more buses and girls. Still it wasn't all disappointment as I got some smiles as well. Arriva Stafford ran about three Marshall bodied Dennis Darts like M803 MOJ which started life on the Shrewsbury 'Park and Ride'.

Monday, 9 September 2013

London: Spend more it still doesn't look any better!

In the Eighties it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the rapidly expanding but ultra competitive London sightseeing bus market. However what must have been the premium brand Harrods of Knightsbridge didn't employ flirty dolly birds and cheeky chappies to attract the punters on draughty corners near landmarks, but as you can see perhaps the most distinguished looking Neoplan ever to run on British streets was nearly empty.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

1980: Freshfield Road Coach Depot

Most of the bigger BET and BTC operators had large garages and some of them like City of Oxford had one huge one to serve the city whilst all the others were fairly small. Southdown was one of the biggest BET companies which at one time could boast  a thousand vehicles but even in it's home town it could not offer the enthusiast anything as big as say the the 160 garage and works in Ribble's home town of Preston. This was because it had twenty-four garages often not too distant from one another plus various smaller dormy sheds. Freshfield Road in Brighton might well have been one of the biggest but that is just a guess, as Eastbourne, Worthing and Hilsea Lines had a decent allocation I suspect. However despite the row of mainly wintering convertible Titan Queen Mary's this was the Brighton's coach garage whilst a somewhat smaller Edward Street housed the local bus fleet. Indeed there was also another one which seemed to be for mostly storage on Moulscombe Way as all I saw in there were three out of use Burlingham bodied Commer Avengers.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

In July 1992 a Gloc' registered Willett's Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger was as enthusiasts often put it seen enjoying the sunshine in Bournemouth. That livery was pleasant but just looking at it fills my mouth with memories of cherry flavoured yogurt and the bits of cherry floating in it. Before anyone mentions it, the colours also remind me of from nearer to home Stonier's of Stoke on Trent too.

Friday, 6 September 2013

ECP 500P. Those Weird & Wonderful Fifties Coaches

Spending it's last year or two carrying students was this unusual Bellhouse Hartwell bodied Leyland Tiger Cub seen in Matlock which had been new to Hebble of Halifax.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

JRV 500F: Heaton Park Trans Lancs Rally

What a difference a decent camera makes, Nikon are supposed to be pretty good but I never had really good results from my handy Cool Pix cameras. Of course it's easy to say I'm not interested in the modern bus scene but with decent images photography seems like fun again. Also of course it would have been a mortal sin to not get a good shot of this lovely former Byng's Duple Commander AEC Reliance JRV 500F now restored by Goodwin's Coaches and being followed by another of their AEC Reliance coaches a rare former Glenton example with centre entrance..