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, 31 July 2016

Just an hour in Bath: First Optare Solo MX05 RTO

Well less but I love a challenge trying to find my pictures. Here a First Bus Solo 53810 passes the bus station in a view which might have worked better in black and white.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Buses Girls & Street Junk in Liverpool SN65 OES

Probably it should be girls and buses and not buses and girls for in my views it is the women who have prority, however if I can I like to show enough of the bus so that it can be identified but no there are no set rules. But as in this photo I like to include all the bits of street furniture as part of the composition or as I am about to christen it 'urban junk'.By the standards of say Arriva Stagecoach runs a 'brand new' fleet mostly, but these new buses do get monotonous like this Enviro in Liverpool heading for Kirby

Friday, 29 July 2016

NOB 323M: Mister Blue Sky

In this view of a West Midlands Daimler Fleetline I loved the swathes of thin sunlight but as for turning it into a great picture that I think was beyond my skills. However I still like it as not only is it how we sometimes see the world there is a wealth of of defused detail and I think it was taken in the Hockley area of Birmingham and I stopped briefly between making business calls in my van to get it.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

First Manchester: Soup then the Rain

I wasn't keen on all the First pre-Barbi liveries especially this horrid orange and purple which along with his golf clubs one of the managers brought down with them from Strathclyde. But it might have been a good idea to hop on one of these First Manchester NC bodied Leyland Olympians for a trip to Leigh as it looks as if those black rain clouds were hurrying over Bolton on their way to drop their load on Manchester, anyway that's what popular myth had us believe. I expect all that soot and dirt in the air during the Industrial Revolution helped seed the showers on the low ground as they approached the Pennines as it doesn't seem so true today. But even in the Seventies on the Yorkshire side they didn't exactly get away with it either as I remember days when the fog hardly lifted all day in the West Riding and  Calderdale area.

Massey Bodied Atlantean on the Tonbridge Road EKP 228C

In my old digs, for the year unbelievably having Maidstone's Atlanteans going passed both ways every three and four minutes during the day makes it hardly surprising that I became a big Massey Brothers fan and of these rather conservative  'County Town Corporations'. No the buses were not as classy as the more traditional more rounded bodies found on the Corporation Leyland PD2's which also went chugging passed to and from the garage usually on service but the Atlanteans had a quirky charm and certainly in their early years were very free of annoying rattles unlike even the new buses of today. In those days I would never have guessed that later in their lives they would show up again in my life this time with Stevenson's of Uttoxeter who had about half a dozen of the twenty strong boxy fleet. Very rare buses they were too as apart from one or even two that went to the A1 Group in Ayrshire Colchester was the only other exponent.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Happy Days XWC 18 or is it 18 XWC?

I'm afraid I'm the only one on the trip who never saw a horse but on the other hand some of the lads might have only seen the bar. No a local bookie organised this trip for his best punters lol, I just went to York for the buses. Interestingly Happy Days also had XWC 18 another similar Neoplan and I wonder how many times when writing it down drivers got them mixed up

Monday, 25 July 2016

Secondhand Buses at Potters Bar GBU 5V

I remember as a youngster going to Potters Bar garage and seeing nothing apart from the ubiquitous RT. How things had changed by the late Eighties as not only was London Buses buying partly used secondhand buses rather than flogging them off, Potters Bar seemed to become a gathering place for as well as it's indigenous LT Metrobuses it gathered Volvo/Ailsa products, Scanias, and even Metrobuses from places like West Yorkshire PTE and as here Greater Manchester.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Terravision YT10 WLD

An Irizar bodied Terravision coatch loads in Manchester on the service to Liverpool Airport. I don't know why because the weather is lovely but I wish I was flying off somewhere at the moment.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Wet Wet Wet at Bretonside

What a wet shocker in Plymouth, but as this Plaxton Paramount 3500 on Rapide 531 prepares to leave for distant Newcastle on Tyne I don't think the weather would be any better up there either just colder. I think it was  Christmas 1987 and I was down there for my mothers funeral so pretty miserable all round ready. As for the coach it was a lot more interesting than it looked for despite Northern on the side it was only on loan being part of the Yorkshire Traction fleet and an uncommon Leyland Royal Tiger delivered new as A72 YDT.

It might not be a real Diamond but it will take you for a ride

You never have to wait long for a bus from Bloxwich to Walsall it's amazing what a little competition will do to boost the service, the trouble is it often leaves other areas under resourced. Almost in town the girl on her phone takes the healthy option and walks anyway but there do seem to be more than it's fair share of overweight people often with mobility problems in the Black Country. The Diamond carries fleet number 30834 but I think you will find they don't have that many buses lol.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

JJD 451D: Read all about it!

It looks like RML 2451 spent all it's working life in the London Transport Country Area, and even here at Victoria in the heart of red bus London it was still in worn shades of green and in use as a trainer from Hatfield.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Bristol in the Sun, what a Scorcher!

It might seem like this is the first red hot day we've ever had but it has happened before as can be witnessed by this Bristol Omnibus FLF with all it's windows open.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Ballerup in 1982

Not far from Copenhagen is the small town of Ballerup. The Van Hool bodied volvo B10M of Ballerup Bybusser isn't that fascinating but the fashions are and do you remember the young women's fad for thick woolens, knitwear and fluffy hair styles. Yes this is how Denmark looked in 1982.

Wallace Arnold in Edinburgh

In my opinion Duple's final offering was one of it's best and still looks just as fresh today. This Wallace Arnold Volvo D215 LWX was seen in Edinburgh.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

First Potteries in Newcastle

Our town centres have become bitty with little town planning and filled with endless street furniture, roads, traffic, noise and other junk.

Friday, 15 July 2016

PMT 661 on the 10 ratesTen out of Ten

I used to find it hard to be too enthusiastic about the rather unimaginative NBC but time is a great healer and sometimes certain images fill me with what one might call awe. Indeed I would much rather hear the rumble and whine of one of these Leyland powered Bristol VR's in poppy red and white to the rattles of a  'fruit yogurt shades' First Omnicity as it hurries by over the bumps on Greyfriars in Stafford. Also of course gleaming PMT 661 looked extremely smart no doubt after a repaint for the Datsun Cherry might be a year older but it has lost it's newness.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

GHA; Beside the shop not only BHS goes bust in Chester

I've heard GHA has gone bust and with a fleet of 200 buses covering parts of the former Crosville empire and even into former Midland Red and North Western territory. The sprawling network of services will take some covering. The trouble with private operators who pick up the bits the big groups won't do, they bigger they get the harder they fall. A similar thing happened to Western Greyhound in the South West. Perhaps the administrator might let them or someone-else run the existing stock as even the likes of Arriva and First don't keep many spare buses these days, a far cry from the Sixties when for example most London Transport garages had a row of dusty delicenced buses but still ready for the road.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Swiss PTT NAW P24437 at Thusis

A favourite amongst Post Bus fans were the NAW BH 4-23 buses first introduced in 1985 and which entered service in small numbers till the early Nineties. These had the right feel and were attractive buses but underneath was a Mercedes powered by an OM 427 h a engine. When the German giant took over FBW and Saurer they retained the latter's factory at Arbon to build specialised add-body buses for the Swiss market like this especially as they wanted to build the bodywork themselves retaining local jobs.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Silver topped PD2's and more:I loved BET Maidstone & District

I suppose when coming from my era as bus enthusiasts we emanate from four camps bias and interest-wise, whether it be London Transport, Tilling, or Scottish.With local operators like PMT, Trent and the mighty Midland Red in my home town I am firmly a BET person. But when it comes to picking a favourite that's more difficult as despite family traits each had it's own unique character whether it be the 'rugged' well used Leyland buses of Yorkshire Traction or quirky local 'Dennis' Aldershot and District which was a bit more conservative and more like a Tilling fleet than the others. Lovely Southdown was a bit 'twee' and therefor Maidstone and District must figure as a less obvious favourite along with Ribble. So familiar in various shades of red I was bemused by the rich dark green and cream livery, those number prefix letters and that magnificent emblem, the depot letters they carried on the back plus the numerous garages themselves and often quite small with a good variety of buses. Maidstone had a bit of everything including both highbridge and a pair of low Regents including by then renumbered DL 41 to I think 6741, but PD2's were numerous as were Fleetlines in 1968.

Trathens E100 WWA: Anyone for Totnes?

As the Eighties progressed NBC coaches wore a greater variety of liveries, but the National Express brand was still going strong as can be witnessed by contractor Thrathen's Neoplan on their usual services from London to the West Country sitting in bright sunlight at Victoria Coach Station..

Sunday, 10 July 2016

C519 WBF: Before it Pours in Blackpool

Before the rains arrived a Midland Red North Duple bodied Leyland Tiger of Hotspur from Shrewsbury sits in the once familiar coach park next to the Pleasure Park.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Bingo! Yes it's the Bingo Bus V882 HBY

One could be tempted to say they don't see any of First Bus in Wolverhampton, but there is this one still in babi colours belonging to Coastal Coaches that can been seen on a Mecca Bingo contract which some of the locals enjoy whilst others think of a quite different Mecca. But even the National Express coaches which now load in the bus station rather than outside don't go quite that far

Friday, 8 July 2016

From the Top Deck National Express WM Y732TOH

I know it is difficult to take perfect photos from the top deck of a bus but I think with such a good vantage point it's too good an opportunity to miss. Also it encourages us to take photos all along a route and not just in the usual stopping places where things like shelters can get in the way. Y732 TOH heads towards Wolverhampton from Bilston.

Green Line and Gold Line at Heathrow

People off to hopefully sunnier climes as they alight their buses at Heathrow. Situated between Reading and London this was an important stop on Gold Line commuter services and here a coach-seated Leyland Olympian meets a Green Line Plaxton bodied Leyland Tiger on the 727.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Suits You Sir!

We marvel at the atmosphere and attention to detail in some of Jowitts best street studies, but like this recent view of Wolverhampton they were pretty mundane at the time. But I think Robert would like this as the tailoring advert for Slaters on the back of the National Express WM Volvo 2115 as here at least it seems to speak to the casually dressed pedestrians passing in the street which of course is what it is supposed to do.

RKH Setra in Giessen

Now carrying RKH these buses in Giessen still carried their railway red colours.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Shreswbury Park & Ride YJ60 LUL Arriva 2970

Some of the Arriva Optare Versa's at Shrewsbury are in a special livery for local Park and Ride services which not only look quite attractive at least they add a bit of variety.

Stevendon's Leyland PD2 FHG 158E

Returning to the old Burton depot was this gleaming recently acquired East Lancs bodied Leyland PD2.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

I'm OK Travel Volvo B10M and a Futura 7069 and 7063

Although I don't recognise the background as such I imagine this one was taken in Blackpool on a sunny day. By this time as can be witnessed by the high 7*** coach series fleet numbers the North East's best known Independent had been taken over by Northern General who by this time called itself Go-Northern if I am correct. Both these coach designs enjoyed success and a long production run, the DAF based Bova Futura and the one that gave the Leyland Leopard a run for it's money the winning combination of a sturdy looking Van Hool body on the Volvo B10M.

Friday, 1 July 2016

BVG Bus 2002: Carefully Does It!

Driver training in Berlin with BVG Mercedes 0405 2002 being taken off regular duties and far more gently than usual making a turn off the Kurfurstendamm.