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

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Alton Bus Running Day: The Pursuit of Pleasure

Yes I seem to be in a nice place at the moment I even like Leyland Nationals enough these days to steal the odd photo, besides I had a very pleasant ride on this one a former Hants and Dorset bus from Alton to Odiham no doubt helped by it's fabric dual purpose seating instead of Seventies sticky plastic. These buses certainly had a character all of their own the only trouble was not only did the NBC ones all look the same there were just too many of the critters. The D/P version was a bit more unusual though especially in red and looked a lot better. We all grumble about the British weather but it's the perfect place to be on a beautiful summer's day.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Prague 9029: Driven around the Bend

These triple unit trams I saw in Prague were pretty impressive but one has to catch them at the wide turning circle at the end of the line to get a proper idea of exactly how big they are.

NTT 324M Unusual Western National Bristol LH

Some NBC companies had more interesting fleets than others and Western National was always one of the better ones for it had an interesting variety of bodywork on it's Bristol LH buses including this Marshall bodied bus at Plymouth Bretonside which reminds me somewhat of vehicles supplied to the MOD etc at that time.

Monday, 28 December 2015

D401 MHS: An Interesting Lynx in Stafford

 Midland Red North at Stafford had a number of interesting Leyland vehicles including Leopards and Tigers with a variety of bodywork. Not to be forgotten were also some unique Alexander N bodied Lynxs which had been tried by Citybus of Belfast which ran from here and as well as some conventional examples but these included yet another trial bus as 1016 was bought by Kelvin Central on behalf of the Scottish Bus Group. As no orders followed I think it remained the only Lynx to operate with them till it's sale in 1991. They had their faults but lack of speed wasn't one of them hence the distortion on this shot of D401 MHS as  hurries down the Tixall Road toward Stafford from the Heywoods.

Yorkshire Woollen District LHD 313K

After Britain's largest Independent West Riding of Wakefield sold out to the NBC it more or less merged with smaller BET Yorkshire Woollen District from the next town Dewsbury but they kept separate identities. So a YWD ECW bodied Daimler Fleetline was in Leeds bound for Huddersfield in the sunshine.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Northampton Wartime Utility Daimler VV 8934

Some of these old buses might look like they would not be missed but in that case one could be quite mistaken for vehicles like this Wartime Daimler from Northampton gave not only smooth gear changes but it pulled well. Even the Utility bodywork and wooden seats were not too uncomfortable for shorter journeys but of course being only 7,6ins wide meant you hoped you didn't have to share a seat with a large person. It was seen on the Lincolnshire Historic Transport Museums running day in November near Lincoln Station

Stylish ECW Body on Crosville Brisol RE

I think these were some of the most attractive and stylish bodies ECW ever built. Greater Manchester had some on the Leyland Leopard chassis but I imagine all the others were Bristol RE's for NBC companies like Crosville ERL 530 seen in Chester.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

From Chur No More FBW's up to Tschiertschen

I used to live in the past in some ways and a good example was when I went on holiday to Switzerland to explore my beloved PTT Post Bus Network I sought out connections with my schooldays twenty-five years earlier. Perhaps I was trying to just fill in the gaps or maybe subconsciously I was trying to heal wounds for my childhood was not really that happy and play and buses in particular was where I found solace. But thankfully Switzerland seemed frozen in time back in 1989 and reminders were everywhere and even though I had never been to Chur I knew which buses were here in the Sixties and I could picture them gathered here outside the railway station just like this. But by 2000 Switzerland was fast catching up and as well as all the old Saurer's and FBW buses becoming a memory places like Chur had a new impressive glass roofed bus station just at the end of the railway platform and passengers no longer had to trek up and down the stairs beneath the station to get to the buses. A shame but I'm sure they didn't mind besides P23507 a beefy little FBW one of a pair here to climb up tohe mountain to Tschiertschen had long departed into memory.

Merry Christmas from the Photographer

Remember the buses from the past makes me feel old but not since one helping Santa in Chester.

Monday, 21 December 2015

PMT Bristol RELL PVT222L at Woodhouse Street

Despite the dreaded poppy red NBC livery PMT Bristol RELL 222 looked very smart with all it's brightwork trim still intact as it stood outside the Woodhouse Street Depot in Stoke on Trent.

Midland Fox: Foxhound Coach BPR 108Y

Like Midland Red North fellow former Midland Red unit Midland Red East based on Leicester and now called Midland Fox bought Duple bodied Laser bodied Leyland Tigers off Shamrock and Rambler and no doubt it might have been possible to catch them together leaving the Bull Ring Bus Station in Birmingham.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Stockport MJA 891G A magnificent Lancashire Product

Yes it seems ironic that at the time the Selnec PTE was formed not only was Manchester Corporation taking delivery of sophisticated ultra-modern looking Mancunian rear-engined double-deckers just down the road Stockport was still buying traditional half-cab buses which shared a very similar crisp red and white livery. it would be churlish of me to say I prefer preserved Atlantean 1001 but no I'm sticking with proper buses as this East Lancs bodied PD3 is superb although a bugger to drive no doubt whereas the Atlantean as Leyland boasted is more like 'Childs Play'. Yes this bus was very much a Lancashire icon as is the Co-operative Society whose offices it stands outside but of course formed in nearby Rochdale.

Former M&D DH 567 in Exeter

Formerly DH 567 and later 5567 with Maidstone and District this was one of a number of MCW bodied Leyland Atlanteans transferred to Western National and also Devon General who also had them but it was only after two new G-Reg buses arrived that they first operated in Exeter for 30ft deckers had been banned no doubt because of an operating agreement with the Corportation.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

EWW 229T Wallace Arnold

Wallace Arnold coaches were a familiar sight all over the UK in the holiday season but in West Yorkshire they were always a familiar sight with a number of depots and a variety of work. A Duple bodied Volvo B58-56 was seen at Huddersfield in 1980. I remember this batch well as Happy Days of Woodseaves bought four of them.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Rugged Mercedes for Cold Winter Day

Naturally the cost of winter fuel seems to go up in harsher winters but it doesn't make one want to go out especially when the snow turns to slush and ice. Seen in Birmingham was a ultra reliable Mercedes carrying Rider Rider markings and in PMT livery.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Shrewsbury Arriva and Doggy People

No not dodgy people this is Shrewsbury not Bilston lol.  It seems the local Arriva garages have centralised bus types, Stafford had a few of these Optare Versa's including 2940 seen here but soon once the newish VDL's return to Cannock just ageing Dennis Darts will be left to trundle about. The drivers don't seem to care for these buses but from a passenger point of view they are a nice ride apart from annoying rattly doors but they all seem to do that these days now that buses are just bolted together.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Volvo in Salford Corporation Green and Cream

Often modern buses like the Alexander 400 body don't seem to look particularly attractive in traditiobal liveries but the sharp lines on these Wright bodies seem well suited to the former Salford colours applied to this Volvo seen in Manchester.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Mauritania Sails Along the M3 for Shamrock & Rambler

The three axle MCW Metroliner  was quite an impressive beast which was used by a number of NBC operators who needed the extra capacity of a double-deck coach. They struggled a bit on the hills so I think the medium distance National Express routes were more suitable as they were less likely to fall behind on these. Shamrock and Rambler distinguished itself by giving it's fleet of coaches names and appropriately for these 'liners' this one was named after Mauritania in keeping with Southampton's shipping heritage where it was based.

JPL 171K London Country in St Albans

Garston Allocated Leyland Atlantean PDR1 AN71 meets a Staines depot Duple bodied AEC Reliance RB 52 as they pass through St Albans in the Eighties. Despite it's high running number 94 Staines Garage only had an allocation of 27 or less so maybe it was a 34.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Wait is Over but the 828 was on time

There is something about going for a walk and taking a camera with you. The sun came out and the lady wearing a bright red coat made it a good potential picture. Arriva wants to cut the recently introduced 828 Stafford to Brereton service but the contract is meant to run till Spring. Normally it is 55-Plate Plaxton Darts but newer spare VDL's feature as well like 3757. Note the concrete bus stop post a reminder of the old pre-NBC Midland Red as is the 800 series route numbers they used for out of town services in the Stafford area.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Optare Metro Shuttle in Manchester

The centre of Manchester not only looks but feels completely different to how it was in the Sixties but still just as scruffy little pockets of it still remain such as the area around Oldham Street and Withy Grove where a modern Optare works the Metro Shuttle but I well remember a similar inner circle service which used smart new Leyland Tiger Cubs in blue airport livery before they were replaced by the Park Royal Panther Cubs.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Maidstone & District EKL 456K

At Lincoln a Marshall bodied Leyland Leopard in Maidstone and District colours makes the first steps on the homeward journey after the museum open day.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Reynard Bustler FOD 94!Y

Still in Reynard's livery was this Bedford with quite rare Plaxton Bustler bodywork seen in York but now as can be judged by the high fleet number part of the former West Yorks PTE which had extended itself beyond the former industrial municipal operations heartland of West Yorkshire when it took over York from the former BTC and later NBC West Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Swiss PTT Mercedes-Benz Post Buses at Brugg

Rather like in Britain the northern Germanic area of Switzerland has a number of quite decent sized small towns that one has never heard of and they often seem much larger as they are also usually busy railway centres like Brugg which is also an important post bus hub.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Crosville Lodekka Trainer in Chester

By the time I took this outside London half-cabs in service were becoming rare but thankfully we could still see a few on the streets working as trainers like former DFG 235 in Chester.