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, 25 February 2014

G142HNP: One of Fifty new Lynx's for Midland Red West

Following Deregulation the fledgling major groups used all their spare cash to fund expansion and many fleets like Badgerline's Midland Red West were starved of new buses. And whilst elderly Nationals soldiered on the arrival of no less than fifty Leyland Lynxes changed the new bus situation dramatically in Redditch and parts of Birmingham.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

LR22 in still sleepy Surrey before the M25 arrived

When I took this view of still quite new London Country Roe bodied Leyland Olympian LR22 in the Eighties the view from the forecourt of Godstone Garage still had an unspoilt country look before the M25 cut through Surrey making motoring easier but sadly  bringing the commuters and chaos of London further out into the countryside.

Friday, 21 February 2014

WDA942T: All Change at Wednesbury Bus Station

Before a couple of days ago this was the last time I went to Wednesbury Bus Station in 1990. Now like others places in the West Midlands it has a more health and safety conscious semi-circular arena type bus station with lots of metal and glass and little else to please the senses. The buses too have changed and even though I have nothing against modern double-deckers they don't have quite the appeal of the Metrobus and Fleetline and as for the modern livery it's more like a billboard to add advertising than a distinguished colour scheme. Of the two seen here I think I slightly prefer the first one based on the old Birmingham colours but with a lighter shade of blue. The grey version looks smart enough but too many dirty grey buses for me make the streets look depressingly drab.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Old MAN750 Chariots ready to do battle

In Britain we can find some fine interesting backdrops for our bus photographs but the Croatian city of Pula could provide us with a host of secondhand MAN750 buses posed on the huge bus parking area in front of the magnificent ruins of the Roman Arena in 1982.

C66HOM: Shoddy Build & Lack of Development Killed the Lynx

Before they placed large orders five of these Leyland Lynx buses including 1066 C66 HOM were tried by West Midlands Travel alongside some Volvos but I'm sure many will wonder why the less than satisfactory Leyland product was chosen for the substantial fleet needed but as well as cost playing a part no doubt a lot of the pressure was political. In the end Volvo bought out the flagging cash strapped Leyland Bus anyway and having promised to invest in an improved Lynx the old Swedish rival quickly dropped it from their range.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

F115JEH in Berlin, a good seat is Paramount

It almost seems like a wasted trip when one goes on holiday and it rains. No doubt though the travellers on this Paramount Leisure Van-Hool Scania of PMT would have found Berlin made an interesting change from the likes of Bentilee and Biddulph. But not just the weather but the seasons can change quickly in this city as in April one can arrive with it still snowing and at the end of the week there might be people sunbathing in the parks or beside the canals enjoying an early heatwave.

Friday, 14 February 2014

HXI 3011: A Yellow and Black Midland Red of course!

Every cloud has a silver lining and even though Deregulation didn't usually bring us a better bus service outside London and a few busy corridors where squabbles break out it certainly brought us plenty of interesting developments. On it's journey from Midland Red to Arriva Stafford Garage saw a number of what would have been the most unlikely vehicles such as a number of unusual unwanted still youthful Ulsterbus Alexander bodied Leyland Lynx buses Stevensons had snapped up before it's sale to Arriva. The driver of this bus Brian became well known in the town as before his recent retirement when quizzed he could tell you exactly how many days or even hours before it would come to pass.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

807: Ice and trams in Gothenborg

No the Swedes don't like the cold weather any more than we do and hurry about their business.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

101: Nisland Red Nationals in Hereford

As elsewhere in Midland Red territory Leyland Nationals were a familiar sight during the Eighties but the Hereford allocation included the first of them all with the company now preserved HHA 101L.

Monday, 10 February 2014

H140 GVM: Sunlight & Shadows in Manchester

Too much sunlight and too much shade. Sometimes we try to do too much with our shots but photography should be fun and standing where I was neither of the subjects  were accessible enough to justify a negative by them self. But as I tend to look at it, if I hadn't photographed one I wouldn't have got the other adding a random unplanned elements to my portfolio and a lot more besides. I rather liked these GM Buses  Northern Counties bodied Dominators when they were sparkly new and the slim young lady brings a bit of contrast and life to those deep shadows.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

H841 GDY: Remembering Eastbourne Buses

No doubt local rate payers who didn't use the buses must have been pleased when the Tory Government made them have to be separate self financing companies. But few still remain as ruthless often unfair competition from the big groups gradually weakened them and 'reluctantly' bought them out at a knock down price as they headed towards insolvency. Of course the service that replaced them was always more expensive and infrequent, and in one or two instances like at Northampton which had always boasted a wonderful bus service it was so poor it simply ran itself down and down and eventually First Bus pulled out and let Stagecoach take over. Still much missed on the South Coast were the cheerful blue and cream buses at Eastbourne where I photographed this tidy looking Wadham Stringer bodied Dennis Dart No.8 H841 GDY when it was still quite new..

Saturday, 8 February 2014

BVG 3564: Short hops with Sondertariff on the Kurfurstendamm

The Kurfurstendamm is no longer the hub of activity it once was now that the heart of Berlin has returned to the east of the city. As this upmarket thoroughfare stretches quite some distance to cater for the more elderly shopper bus operator BVG did a special reduced short-hop-rate on Route 19.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

WLT584G: Plaxton Perfecting the Perfect Rose

Unlike Duple who irritated it's loyal customers by constantly changing it's look making earlier deliveries look quickly outdated Plaxton with it's highly successful Oggle consultancy improved new Elite version of the Panorama just let it's sleek winner slowly evolve. They must have improved but visually I'm sure I'm not the only one who liked the classic more rounded first version of 1969 the most like this former Grey Green Bedford at Bretonside which had retained much of the front styling from the original Panorama range. The Volvo of C.J.Down  from Mary Tavy was about four years newer and although still pleasant the front looked as though it had been stretched like an elastic band. But on a more positive note this elongated rather more aggressive frontal look was probably much more in keeping with the then more popular longer 12m bodies.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

BVG 2269: Not such pretty views for the top deck here

MAN buses have always been the most poular choice in Berlin including this one of many single-deckers bought in the Nineties at a time when it seemed the double-decker was going out of fashion.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

F532 ASB: West Coast Motors

Not surprisingly the always smart West Coast Motors fleet gets photographed a lot. I particularly like the firms garter emblazoned on the side as it reminds me of all those little Danish operators too who had bold colourful liveries. Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M F532 ASB found a warm pleasant Sunday to visit Blackpool.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

THX 287S: Busy London stopping for a quick one

This was one of those days when I had too much work to do to stop for long so I just pulled up and took a couple of shots. The good thing about these is they avoid the more usual settings but the bad side is apart from the destination I can't usually hazard a guess as to where it was taken. However in this instance as there's a Metrobus on the 74 pulled up behind the Fleetline DMS it has to be near Putney where both of these long routes met.