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, 30 June 2016

D&G Enviro YX63 GYG in Stafford

I believe the old saying of familiarity breeds contempt for looking back I wish I had taken photos of more local everyday buses for the record, and even with the likes of Flickr and Google we often can't find the thing we want to see again. Well now in the 'digital age'  there are no concerns about wasting film and so we can take as many pictures as we want. As alongside similar No.107 YX14 RZA this Enviro is the regular on the Stafford to Uttoxeter service it would be a bit too uninteresting to photograph in say the yard but the addition of people to create some activity always makes for a worthwhile picture.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Felix of Stanley Bedford YMT D694 WAU

Always a familiar sight for many many years at the old Derby Bus Station were the brown and red buses of Felix of Stanley often with the cat on the side. By the time Plaxton Derwent bodied Bedford YMT D694 WAU was delivered this once ubiquitous marque amongst independents was getting less common and even here heavier Leylands were taking their place.

Monday, 27 June 2016

South Yorkshire's DAB Articulated Buses C113 HDT

Notable buses in the Sheffield area were a fleet of DAB articulated buses which were ideal for limited stop urban routes to I remember Meadowhall Shopping Centre and as can be seen here Thurnscoe.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Wrexham over the Welsh Border

The NBC went out of their way to stamp out any local identity but after MAP they must have realised that to save more services local identities were needed as brands to center marketing on. Even the casual observer can see this scene was taken in Wrexham but today the advertising on the Crosville Leyland National is confusing as one can't quite work out whether it is selling us a local brew or trying to get us to join the army.

Merseybus EKA 214Y

Very impressive and that was just the Duple bodied Leyland Tiger but in Liverpool magnificent St. George's Hall is worth a second glance as well of course.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

POPS PMT's First Atlantean L9766 at Brittania Stadium

I'm afraid I don't take a huge number of photos at preserved bus events but it's always a challenge to get an interesting picture or two. PMT's first Leyland Atlantean from 1959 looked very much the way it did when it was new. Okay they were a bit boxy but in those days they were real head-turners for they heralded a new age at a time when there were still wartime utility buses running around.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Diamond Optare Solo KS03 EXP

As you can see even on the streets of Bilston one can find Diamonds like this Optare Solo.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Stuarts Leyland Atlantean PCN 890M in Manchester

Once both Manchester and Liverpool were alive with private operators but alas they have all gone, so much for Deregulation opening up the bus industry. The other side of the story of course is that the big groups aren't as efficient as the Independents some of whom seem to be making a reasonable living in the Shires where the likes of Arriva and First have cut back on their empires. Stuarts operated this former Northern General Park Royal bodied Atlantean and is seen with a GM Buses NC bodied Leyland Olympian turned out in my favourite of all their orange based liveries.

Monday, 13 June 2016

All jammed up in Portugal

I don't  think I know where this Caetano bodied Setra might have been photographed in Portugal it was 1984 but I'm sure someone will know where it is with that grand building as a backdrop.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

National Welsh Ford Transit Bustler Minibus in Barry

National Welsh launched it's 'cheap and cheerful' Bustler minibus operation in Barry, one of many around the country at the time in about 1985. Coincidentally No.2, 4, and 6 meet with another one in front of C102 HKG. I think they chose Bustler because it contains the word bus but they certainly caused a bit of hustle and bustle in the crowded streets as they gathered in packs like this.

Trying to Contain Myself with Excitement in Kirby

Oh dear I'm trying not to say I quite like the look of those Stagecoach stripes on this Alexander bodied MAN seen last week at Kirby where a few classic buses gathered in a world of featureless roads, iron railings and shipping containers. The later Stagecoach livery is better of course, but whereas Barbi was a bit dull it was nicely designed whereas the new one is all wishy-washy like a plate of mixed up fruit yogurt  and thin and dare I say it I think this is a bit better. As for Arriva It's about time it got a new livery too, anything except that vile aquamarine please which affects me as I have mild colour blindness making the blue turn a horrid green. Well at least the bus will feel at home here on Merseyside having operated with Stagecoach in Kington upon Hull

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Stagecoach Enviro in Liverpool

The problem with keeping a fairly modern fleet like Stagecoach is everywhere one goes the buses seem the same and I'm not a big fan of these Enviros with their rather Disney'Thomas The Tank Engine' faces. Still I managed to find a nice spot in Liverpool to take this photo but I recall also taking shots of Ribble Aintree Depot's last Leyland PD3's on the route to Old Roan and Litherland here in about 1981.

East Staffordshire Dennis Dominator LBF 233V sold to Thamesdown

A number of municipal operators took to the Dennis Dominator  including Thamesdown at Swindon. Like Warrington further north they were quick to snap up suitable cast-offs such as this former East Staffordshire example with East Lancs bodywork.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

East Yorkshire RAT 176R on National Express 216 to Hull

Not that I'm saying a bit of thought might be beneficial but  I think if we always took perfect photographs every time life might become boring. Indeed imperfections can add to the appeal and we see it regularly in old slides where something has got in the way of the shot and ruined it only to be the thing that makes it stand out in years to come. As for myself I always try to hold the camera straight and avoid blurring the image. However a little of it stressing the movement of a vehicle can be quite appealing such as this view of an East Yorkshire Plaxton Supreme bodied Leyland Leopard entering Digbeth Coach Station. What I like about it is the way it contrasts with the stillness of the background on a mundane grey day. How times have changed as then nobody came out of nowhere to pounce on me for parking my van outside the coach station for a couple of minutes while I grabbed a photo or two.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

666: The Devil if I care, my Plymouth and Bretonside Days have gone

Well it's exactly a year since I last went to Plymouth and it doesn't look like I will be going again as I now have no family there exactly. But over the years as elsewhere the things I loved about the place have been slowly stripped away, not just the demise of the Atlantean and VR, shops like Modelzone and of course wonderfully unique Bretonside with it's public area built underneath the pavement above, a place which which could boast a wonderful array of visiting coaches and activity on a good day but even the historic Barbican area has been tidied up and historic character spoiled so it now looks more like an imitation of itself or new-build visitor attraction. Of course it's still just as historic but the twee city planners have made it rather naff as one can no longer just imagine through half-closed eyes. Here at Bretonside are two Shearings coaches in different liveries, a Volvo B10m and a Leyland Tiger.

PMT MVT 210K in Burslem

The ECW bodied Bristol RELL looked rather attractive in PMT's new colours after Privatisation including this coach seated example but an enjoyable ride was spoiled by a terrible din as one of the overhead luggage racks was hanging off at one end.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Bury Corporation Liveried Wright bodied Volvo

The bus scene around Manchester has been enhanced by a number of buses turned out by the First Group in colours from the past. These angular Wright bodies seem to carry them rather well especially compared to when it has been done to the Alexander 400 series of buses. Instead of just plonking on standard fleet numbers this Bury based bus looks very attractive as it includes the right gold numerals too.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Mercian Leyland National2 EON 825W in Stafford

Carrying Tamworth's Mercian branding was this Leyland National2 which alongside 823-4 were kept at the Lichfield outstation and also worked the X25. A number of these were also allocated to this the Stafford end of the route as a low bridge under the railway at Colwich precluded more normal Nationals with that pod on the roof but several had it removed with that in mind.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Exeter Corporation Leyland PD2 VFJ 998

We can still get photos of buses going down the main street in Exeter but way back in 1969 they were Devon General in red and the Corporation in green like this MCW bodied Leyland PD2.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Stagecoach at Cheshire Oaks: Golden but hardly a golden oldie

The current registration system is easy to understand but a bit dull and not exactly useful for tying together fleet numbers. Oh well it's not too far away and the Stagecoach 'Gold' liveried Enviro might be registered in Scotland but the last bit ODJ is a bit of the old St. Helens with it's proper buses. But more and more bus services are routed to serve places like upmarket shopping village Cheshire Oaks like 27269 on a journey between Chester and Liverpool. Oh yes and it really used to annoy me when people called buses coaches and coaches buses, and I suppose dual-purpose are still buses rather than a coach. Still one cannot argue that this is not a d/p spec either but it only does bus work so it must be a bus.