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, 28 February 2017

Yorkshire Traction Leopard XHE 234 at Barnsley

I always loved the 100 Midland Red LS!8 Leyland Leopards with early 36ft Willowbrook and Weymann bodywork, and I was enthused enough to take photos of similar buses with other operators. Indeed it's stange really as I didn't take that many of the Midland Red examples. In Yorkshire a number of BET operators ran the including Hebble with AEC Reliances, East Yorkshire, and Yorkshire Traction along with County. It looked like YTC No.301 had recently come out of the paintshop in this view from about 1970 taken with my old Voitlander.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Ingleby's ex Southdown Leopard in York

Ingleby's operated this attractive liveried former Southdown Plaxton bodied Leyland Leopard which was seen in York bound for Pocklington to the East.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Mis-Spent Youth: A Head Full of Buses

Here is a shot I took at Alton a couple of years ago of a Hants and Dorset Lodekka. Even though the various BTC 'Tilling' operators were a bit boring operating the same rather conservative buses each operator had it's niceties. Hant and Dorset scored well as even in 1967 it had a fleet of interesting rebuilt elderly open-top deckers plus a host of single-deckers with rather quirky full-fronts added, then there was that little sun-visor above the cab window, and not forgetting a definite thumbs-up from enthusiasts colour coded fleet number plates showing it's depot, which in the case of 1961 FS6G No.1450 was the small garage at Woolston in Southampton. Now my wings have been clipped a bit whilst I do my stint on chemo I've been getting all my PSV Circle listed depot allocations together and to pass the dull afternoons have been going through my old spotter notebooks from the Sixties to see where I scored and what I missed. As I'm just doing this operator I'm a bit of an expert till I move on to the next one Wilts and Dorset and forget it all. I don't know why but it's amazing really as for some reason I missed all the gorgeous open-toppers which were stored in the big garage beneath Bournemouth Bus Station when I visited the town. No point fretting we can't go back but one place I never thought I had been spotting was here at Alton and I was delighted at that, but that was the trouble with hitch-hiking as a hurried and random visit can be quite forgettable especially when one has to get back before it gets dark. Yes even looking through old tatty notebooks can bring back memories and be revealing.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

PMT Paramount Leisure Tiger in Manchester

After it was sold off to it's management by the the NBC the ambitious and confident PMT startied marketing it's coaching activities as Paramount a word which also contained the letters PMT. Coincidentally a Plaxton Paramount 3500 bodied Leyland Tiger was seen here doing the National Express 541 to London in Manchester.

Friday, 24 February 2017

MCW Metropolitan on 53 in Whitehall

Till I did my scan I was wondering how I could have taken a classic LT view of Whitehall without a Routemaster in sight but of course there is one coming along. More interesting is with another MCW Metrolpolitan tucked in behind the DMS I wonder if that too was on the 53. What amazes me about London was there seemed to be diligent looking bus inspectors with pens and notepads at many a timing point studying a pocket watch yet buses on one route still managed to run in convoys of three like this with the most work-shy crew tucked in at the back not picking any people. That doesn't happen so much today as each bus in satellite tracked from a control room.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Bern 226: That Nasty Old Winter Sun

Bright sunlight can cause all sorts of problems particularly in winter but I see it more as a challenge than anything else for whenever possible I like to portray what's there for that is what we see and there is no right or wrong way to take a photo, jut some are better than others. By the end of the Nineties Bern had a large number of new modern articulated buses that replaced the old FBW's mainly from from the Sixties and coming up alongside No.226 was one of the then oldest and last of the boggie trams. I used to go to Switzerland for a week in about February and despite having the charming small capital Bern as my base I didn't get much chance to take photos as I was rushing for trains after breakfast and it was dark when I got back. However I had a friend who worked for the Post Office (PTT) at the offices and bus works and as well as visiting him I had a few hours to spare here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dennis Loline 462 EOT at Reading

After the MAP survey did a Doctor Beeching axe job on the NBC companies not only were rural routes cut but in some cases so many not too old buses were withdrawn operators like Alder Valley were only left with less interesting stock, VR's, Nationals, and Leopard coaches. When I visited the garage at Reading it's large yard was packed with a lot of the good stuff  awaiting disposal including this survivor an Alexander bodied Dennis Loline from Aldershot and District, These buses had been gone a year or two by 1981 but 462 EOT lasted a bit long as a yellow training vehicle. This photo might have been my goodbye to it but thankfully it has been saved and in the safe hands of preservationists who have restored it to it's former glory.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

No Business When There IS No Snow-Business!

One of the problems for communities in the Alps that rely on tourists who come to ski is there can be just too much snow or as we can see at Schiers where a Saurer post bus belonging to the local PTT contractor waits (PAH) there can be nothing and they get decent amounts here and nearby in Davos and Klosters. The skiers often get around the problem of no snow by changing their resorts or perhaps by being sensible like me and just taking a bus or rail trip without the need to get too cold. But I have been in this region when the snow was so deep it derailed the narrow-gauge train near Filisur was derailed for some time and it caused all the connecting parts to run late as well which is something very rare in Switzerland. But it was a terrible year for heavy snowfall and shortly after I left just over the border in Austria an avalanche swept a whole village away.

Monday, 20 February 2017

200 ECJ: One of the Gems at Edwards of Joys Green

I remember seeing this and taking a photograph of her an  AEC Reliance with then ultra-modern curved BET style screen and it must have somewhat put the rather plain Midland Red S14's to be found in Hereford Bus Station to shame. By the Eighties it was still to be found quite close to the Welsh border having moved from Yeoman's but now it had moved from The Welsh Marches to the Forest of Dean. I must say it still looked smart here in service with Edward's of Joys Green and I would say it had a Willowbrook body.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Happy Days former Yates Runcorn Leopard DTU 47S

When I was younger and yes buses were more interesting anyway I was guilty of ignoring a lot of the local vehicles just because they were familiar and if they did find themselves in front of the lens it was most likely I was trying to finish off the film. But later I was much more conscious of this and fortunately as I stood at my now long gone favorite spot at Goal Square in Stafford along came Happy Days Plaxton Supreme bodied Leopard DTU 47S which I believe started life with Yates of Runcorn.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Three Varieties of Orange in Manchester

Well it was about 1999 or 2000 here at Piccadilly Bus Station in Manchester as the former Greater Manchester North and south fleets became absorbed by their new owners from the major groups. The NC bodied Daimler Fleetline of GMN from Atherton Garage had been part of Lancashire United, whilst behind it is a similar bodied bus but this time it was an Atlantean of GMS which was now with Stagecoach who had enriched the fleet with their typical striped Alexander bodied Volvo Olympians which arrived new. Bringing up the rear was another NC bodied example this time I think a DAF of Wall's another operator whose smart fleet would soon to pass to Stagecoach as well.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Missed it: On Never Mind Another 1000 Coming Along

Very much of their time and after they had all been delivered in 1984 these MAN-Bussing and later MAN double deckers very much dominated the West Berlin BVG bus fleet. Deliveries started in 1974 and it accumulated well over a thousand of them (1090). But at least their rather bland appearance suited the similar post-war architecture around the Ku-dam. 2893 of 1977 was heading for Britz coming from the main Zoo Bahnhof terminus nearby and the 73 was one of any number of long bus routes one could enjoy in those days.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Bexleybus NC bodied Leyland Olympian E924 KYR

Looking back maybe I should have used my child's red rover ticket to visit more green country area garages as some of them could be accessed by a red central area bus. But the reality of it was it did take a few hours to reach these from Bloomsbury where our hotel was but I still remember taking this the No.96 to Dartford and it was an RT in those days.RF's. By the Nineties LT Buses had been broken up and broken up again and surprisingly Bexleybus was operating exactly the same buses in the same livery as in Eastbourne which I always found odd. No doubt one of you will tell us the story behind this coincidence but these NC bodied Leyland Olympians did look quite attractive in their blue and cream. However like many situations at the time it did not last long so it's fortunate whilst working that I parked up for a few minutes to take a couple of pictures. On the other hand as I used to deliver electricty meters to the LEB here they might have been on lunch and I went for a stroll. My memory must be escaping me lol but it was a few years ago!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Something Missing From The Lynx! WMT C66HOM

One of many West Midlands 1066 was one of the trial batch of Leyland Lynx buses tested alongside some Volvo Alexander P-Series B10M's. And yes had they chosen the Optare Delta like Claribel that would have been the better choice too. Once Leyland was a great British brand name famed arond the world for ruggedness and reliability but under government ownership as part of BL along with other setbacks little was spent on development and research on the bus side. I was against it as I'm afraid Brexit won't bring any of these once great names back or help to keep what's left we're stuffed I'm afraid because it won't work!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Mightly Leylands and Feeble Bristols

Bus enthusiasts tastes depend on where and when they they were brought up. I grew up alongside the mighty Midland Red and had plenty of exposure to other nearby BET fleets with their Leylans, AEC's, Atlanteans and Harringtons. So the Nationalised BTC empire with it's rather monotonous standardised fleet of ECW Bristols was not only a bit alien to me they were dull. But like anything else get a bit of exposure to something and the niceties start to show. So I have ended up liking some of them quite a bit and probably Southern/Western National who also owned Royal Blue is probably my favorite. Not only was this one of the Tilling concerns with huge operating areas it ran a more varied fleet than a lot of them including a whole load of SULA4's including coaches. On a bus trip last year I was telling my friends I had never been on a single Albion Nimbus and nor I had never been on the small four-cylinder Albion powered Bristol and sure enough five minutes later one phutting away merrily pulled up alongside us. I suppose I could have asked for a ride to Bristol but as well as taking an extra slow half-an-hour plodding embarrassingly down the M5 was hardly a breeze across Dartmoor.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Biel R&J Volvo Trolleybus

The Swiss town of Biel is situated right on the language border between the French and German speakers and for this reason on stations they used to give both names for so it was displayed as Biel-Bienne.  However I'm sure there are more German speakers here and it does feel more like the german part of Switzerland. Buswise it was not particularly noteworthy apart from having a trolleybus system and working on it was this R&J bodied Volvo of about 1990.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

OK motor Services EJR 791

Ok Motor Services of Evenwood was I expect the best known of the many interesting Independent's in the North East of England. Of interest is this Leyland Royal Tiger which was rebodied by Plaxton in the mid-Sixties to give an extended life.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Western Scottish Seddon Pennine V11 DSD 948V at Dumfries

I was told by the boss Dave at Top Travel that I am too much of an intellectual. Maybe I am as I'm wondering if all these roads lead to Dumfries or as seen here do they give one a way out. I suppose the answer depends on who you are and your circumstances. Probably more interesting was this Western Scottish Seddon Pennine V11 with Alexander T bodywork a combination not found in England and it was in the later Scottish Bus Group's version of Western's former trademark black and white coach livery as it stood beside the enquiry office in the town.

YTJ 627D: A former Leigh Renown and an LUT Guy

During the school hoildays in the Sixties as a family we often went to Manchester for the day did our own thing and met up again at about Four to go home before the rush hour. Once I had seen most of the Manchesrer buses I tended to go out on the buses to nearby towns like Bolton, Warrington and Wigan but somehow Leigh must have seemed a bit too small. So I have no older photos in he town than this one of 1980 but even though the LUT NC bodied Guy Arab looks as imposing as ever the former Corporation East Lancs bodied AEC renown looks like it's been put on the bargain shelf like many other buses in that era that doned 'imposed liveries' that didn't suit their pedigree and had their embellishments removed in the rush to out-shop them back onto the street. At least the Lancashire United Guy nor any of it's many sisters ever had to suffer that indignity when LUT too which was already partly owned eventually passed to Greater Manchester.

Monday, 6 February 2017

P27815: All Change at Chur

They talk about the end of the line but when it comes to railways that really happens at Chur for the normal gauge railway lines which go right across much of Europe finish here and it's just bus or narrow gauge from here southwards through the mountain passes towards Italy. The post buses used to terminate on the forecourt outside the station which which was a lot more picturesque than the new bus station but being right at the end of the platforms it makes transfers so much easier. The biggest fault I found with it was in bad weather like a blizzard the roof acts as a wind tunnel and it flies everywhere. By the time I took this only the odd Saurer remained with Die Poste here and it was very much Setra and the Neoplan to be found here like this doudle-decker taking skiers to the resort of Zizers.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Colchester Leylan Atlantean MVK 546R

As well as building up a fleet of it's ordered new Leyland Atlanteans, Colchester Corporation purchased used examples as well a practice common in the uncertain and financially stretched Eighties. This one which came down the east side from Tyne and Wear with it's Alexander curved glass front and big windows looked very different to the rather more restrained Massey and ECW bodies favoured here in the Essex County Town.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A New Derby Fleetline GTO 306V on delivery at Knutsford Services

In the past there always seemed to be a certain allure about a brand new bus something that seems lacking today. Perhaps I'm too old and jaded to notice them but I don't think it's that,  I guess not only do they have less brightwork to glitter today and of course wheels that start to look grubby the modern liveries are much more neutral never showing any obvious newness. When photographed at Knutsford Services on the M6 this Daimler Fleetline had travelled less than thirty miles from where it's body was built by Northern Counties at Wigan.