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

Friday, 31 July 2015

A Dose of Andrews

Many of the new operators that sprung up following deregulation managed to operate a smart fleet. But that was hardly surprising when it was not just mini-bus and taxi firms that had a go but former local managers who knew the business well as happened here in Sheffield. I know Terrier was run by former SYT managers but few could turn their nose up at Andrews Sheffield Omnibus who treated us to some attractive new and used buses too like this former West Midlands MCW Metrobus 2154 GOG154W..

A Green Line Addition THX 617M.

This Duple bodied AEC Reliance started life with Timpsons by then part of National Travel South East but found it's way into LOndon Country Green line colours and was seen here at Victoria in Buckingham Palace Road.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Enjoying the Greenery of Dartmoor on a Former Green Line Tiger.

One of the things I looked forwards to when I went to Tavistock was a ride to Plymouth on a Western National Olympian or Bristol VR. The odd long distance bus also called in as well like this Plaxton Paramount bodied Tiger formerly Green Line B291 KPF which I think was on it's way from Bude which offering an element of added comfort to it's Leyland sounds was also most agreeable. I'm not sure but perhaps this was a replacement for the Jennings service as previously there was often one of their coaches at Bretonside on the run.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

409 DCD: Have a Nice Day

An American politeness perhaps but when it comes to bus rallies the weather can make all the difference. If it turns out wet there is always enough to do in Blackpool of places like Manchester but if it's just a field somewhere all you can do is sit on the bus and wait to go home. I've been to Alton three times and each time it has been lovely apart from the time I got stung by a wasp. But how nice it is to chill out on the grass and watch the Queen Mary's slowly sail by. After London there it must have more preserved buses than any other operator including of course these open-toppers which often survive long enough to become preservation candidates by virtue of their being useful 'fun buses' for champagne leisure and good old sightseeing sightseeing. People have mixed feelings about this the companies standard class of Northern Counties bodied PD3's but to me they seem to sum up that Southdown magic that made it stand out.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Remember Localine in Stockport?

As a keen bus photographer as well as trying to take views in the various weather conditions I always thought it worth at least taking some shots of the less compelling vehicles like these minibuses. But as with most things given the passage of time people including myself are glad someone bothered to record the time when Greater Manchester South ran in the these Northern Counties bodied Renaults at Stockport under Localine branding. Of course it's even better when there are other things to enjoy in the scene such as at this busy bus station.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Plymouth Park-Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean MCO 254H

For many years Plymouth ran a 100% Leyland fleet and it was highly standardised for Early-Fifties Leyland bodied PD2's were followed by MCW bodies which continued well into the Atlantean era. However in later years there was a bit more variety in the bodywork and this 1970 example of what some might term the Sheffield 'Park Royal Roe' body was rather attractive compared to the earlier MCW boxes.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Aldershot & District at Alton Running DAy

No doubt the perfect weather helped but the Alton Running Day this year was one of the most enjoyable I have been to. As a youngster I was never a huge fan of Aldershot & District for by BET standards it was ultra conservative with no flashy designs and many of it's buses reminding me a bit of Tilling Bristols like this 1964 Weymann bodied Dennis Loline 488 KOT. Today of course it's one of the things that draw us all down to this Hampshire event.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Eastern Counties Dart Handybus in Kings Lynn

The very functional Wright Handybus had a certain charm. maybe it reminded us a bit of the rather square bodies on those early underfloor single-deckers of the Fifties. A bit too plain in it's former all-red London livery this Dennis Dart almost looked attractive in First Eastern Counties more cheerful red and cream as seen here at Kings Lynn.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Midland Red Willowbrook Leyland YHA408J

Even though examples of the more numerous Marshall DP bodied Midland Red Leopards have been preserved it's a shame none of the Willowbrook buses that preceeded them have been saved too least of all because they might wear the earlier all-red livery in which they arrived. By the time Cannock based 6408 YHA408Y was photographed in Stafford it was in NBC bus livery but still looking quite smart.

Monday, 13 July 2015

C351 SVV: Your Bus, but blink and you'll miss it!

Growing up I remember good Independents either like Whittle changing their fleet every couple of years or more usually running the same old buses for years on end to the point where we knew them all a bit like a PSV 'Whose Who." Yes everything had it's place but with Deregulation everything changed constantly and despite Your Bus briefly running this extremely unusual almost 40ft long Jonckheere bodied Scania few would remember it or even think it strange. C351 SVV was seen in Digbeth Birmingham but I'm sure here too they suffered from the same severe manoeuvrability problems that they were originally cursed by on London tendered routes.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Willigott but will it go as far as Sweden?

When it comes to image and tidiness the Danes are certainly a bit like the Swiss. I usually found their buses and coach nicely turned out but other Scandinavian countries can be more casual as can be witnessed by the very unprofessional signwriting on the blue Swedish Coach. I'm not sure what it was but it was quite elderly but certainly adequate for the short hop for backpackers and young weekend drinkers who took this short trip via the ferry from Malmo to Copenhagen. Today of course it's spanned by an impressive railway cum road bridge.

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Greater Manchester Prototype Olympian NJA568W

Greater Manchester built up a large fleet of Northern Counties bodied Leyland Olympians but it was easy to spot the prototype by it's grill and un-peaked front dome.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Dumfries: London's Unwanted Fleetlines KUC986P

I'm sure London Buses never got over the fact that it turned down it's own FRM rear engined Routemaster for having not got on with it's fifty Atlanteans after amassing a huge fleet of 2646 DMS Daimler Fleetlines quickly decided they were not suitable for London either. But every cloud has a silver lining and operators right across the kingdom for the very small to the largest PTE's snapped up these bargain buses like Western Scottish whose former DMS 1986 DR 988 was seen in Dumfries.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Off, a quick nip to the loo in Penkridge

At 8.30am Penkridge seems very quiet but that couldn't be further from the truth as the popular market is just over the road and this is their Saturday. I have always been bothered by Arriva's Turquoise  livery as I am slightly colour blind in the sense that through sunglasses or photographs like this I see it as light blue but to the naked eye it appears like a rather horrid green. Now that West Midlands Travel does it's own 54 Service to Stafford supported by the i54 we now enjoy two buses and hour to Wolverhampton. The Arriva bus takes longer as it goes via Brewood and even though anything is better than a Dennis Dart these once superior Wright bodied VDL's are now showing their age with rattles and oily smells.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Martin's of Middlewich Yard HWH 260F

An assortment of buses hoping to find good owners in the yard of Martin at Middlewich including from Greater Manchester, a former Bolton Atlantean with East Lancs body.

3294 at Hallesches Tor

A snapshot of Berlin how it used to be. Close to The Berlin Wall this area used to be a quiet backwater, once the heart of the city but now somewhere not too busy most of the time where one could enjoy the slightly surreal blend of monuments that have lost all meaning and beautifully ugly functional U-Bahn architecture and of course the political undercurrent that had made this place how it was. They seemed rather bland at the time but anyone who liked the sounds of the MCW Metrobus would have loved MAN buses like 3295 of 1983 which was then still quite new.