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 March 2017

UFC 422K: City of Oxford Daimler Fleetline

By the time I took this in the Nineties there was not much left that day of the old BET influenced City of Oxford except for the odd Northern Counties bodied Daimler Fleetline like this and an Alexander bodied example also running about in the city. COMS was the only NBC bus operator to not buy the ubiquitous Leyland National but on the down side it clung on to the less than subtle Poppy Red long after most of the others painted it over with a new fresh image often more imaginative image.

Ribble Duple Laser Tiger Heading through Picadilly on way to Airport on the 743

Some of these photos would have been better in colour but still wearing it's NBC striped local coach livery a Ribble Duple Laser bodied Leyland Tiger heads for Manchester Airport on what must have been an extension of the former X43 from Burnley and at one time to Ribble's only significant operation in Yorkshire at Skipton. In BET times the X43 used to terminate at Lower Moseley Street but then moved to Chorlton Street Bus Station. No longer anything to do with Ribble I haven't seen any X43's in the centre of Manchester so maybe it's been abandoned or terminates elsewhere. No I don't really know what goes on these days, I know it's a bit sad but when it comes to buses I prefer the past.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Town Lynx but not Town Lynx in Chester

Although it bears the same nice and logo this Town Lynx has nothing to do with Crosville who of course had their head office and main works here In Chester. I'm not terribly keen on the shade of green but at least it was nice and clean. Unlike GHA they might still be operating but poor old BHS has been run in to the ground and gone for good.

Former DSB 4273 4273 a former DSB

When the Copenhagen equivalent of our PTE  was formed HT took over all the larger operators in the suburbs and let the others continue under license if they didn't want to sell out. As well as private concerns DSB the Danish state railways also ran buses here and these one's got taken over too. Even though this happened in 1974 this 1970 Aabeneraa bodied Volvo B58-60 was still in it's old railway red in 1982 and still looked remarkably good. Numbered 4273 I expect it used to be 273 with DSB.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

AKU 165T: Operator's They Come and Go In a Flash

As a kid I read my copies of Buses Illustrated religiously and could even recite details of operators I didn't even know, for instance names tat always came up in Fleet News and I still think of Wilson of Carstairs, and Jones of Aberbeeg etc. But snce Deregulation not only have many many of those much loved operators gone many of those that started to fill in the gaps didn't even last long enough for me to learn their names. A good example is this Leyland National B loading in Carrs Lane Birmingham on a trip to Tamworth and as for the 96 didn't the cities first Atlanteans work that route from Washwood Heath Garage another detail imprinted on the memory that clings defiantly to the past.

Monday, 27 March 2017

A Different Way to See Buses. West Midlands BL53 EDV in Wolverhampton on the 126

I must admit I take a lot of photos of N.Exp West Midlands buses around Wolverhampton. It's easy to take the same views down the same favoured streets but I can always find something a bit different I like such as a shot against to light which gives the scene a more dramatic effect and as for the street furniture we can't get rid of it but in an instance like this it adds structure to the shot; indeed I know it's a bit sad but as far as photography is concerned I love it.. As with all bus photography it gets more interesting with time and since this was taken less than a year ago brand new buses have replaced these Alexander Enviro's on the 126 to Birmingham.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Fine Southern National Bristol L with a Duple Body

I think Southern Western/Western National along with their Royal Blue must be my favorite of the BTC companies. It had a huge operating area from the green fields and orchards of Somerset to the wild landscape of Dartmoor and Exmoor to the tin mines towards Lands End. But as well as a good vehicle variety I liked all the details like the big fleet number plates that echo GWR steam locomotives. Of course the company had a railway heritage but it's still a bit odd that the head office was in Exeter a town hardly served by the buses at least. A Bristol L and a elegant Duple body made a lovely combination and 1324 was seen at Brislington last year in 2016.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Fiat Bus in Trieste

Italian town buses were painted orange but the next time I went there they were a rather unimaginative orange and black.  As might be expected most were built by Fiat in a variety of sizes and this example was seen in the interesting coastal city of Trieste where the unimaginably long Russian Eastern Block empire reached it's end here in the Mediterranean sunshine as there was nowhere else to go.

The Royal Parade & The Plymouth Atlantean Ruled for Decades

One hears all sorts of tales of woe concerning early Atlanteans but not only did many operator's keep buying them some like Plymouth bought nothing else till the Leyland National came into vogue. After buying the basic early style MCW bodied buses for a number of years a more interesting bodywork variety crept in and none of them were ugly, and I thought this style of quite traditional East Lancs body was particularly attractive with the neatly added curved front. By the time these last buses were delivered in the late Eighties like ATK 155W the Atlantean had in it's new guise as an AN68 evolved into a good reliable bus and in the same way the Tiger was a disappointment following the rugged Leopard the same could be said about the underfunded Olympian. Atlanteans ruled here but the three similarly bodied Olympians tried were soon dispensed with.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Bern Switzerland: Glorious days like this.....

Glorious days  like this remind one of all the other glorious days like this. The small Swiss capital city of Bern can be cold and gloomy in winter but like other historic towns there when the winter sun shone it could be almost magical and of course helped on too by the sight of smart rumbling along trams like 726 which I guess dated from a year or two either side of 1960, perhaps even 1962. I had detailed list but I've mislaid it but that would have been no good as I just remembered it was only Swiss trolleybuses lol.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

AFM 111G.Crosville RELH at Oswestry on the Ellesmere Run

I'm not sure if we are all the same but I have favourite buses, maybe it's the one of a batch that even in old age looked particularly smart, or that Leopard or Leyland PD3 with the even more distinctive exhausr note. But often it was buses I used to encounter regularly as I drove around the countryside. At one time I used to do some agricultural chemical deliveries for RHM at Fradley and that took me to Lincoln and back and then on to Wrexham . A bus I often encountered was this long demoted ECW Bristol RELH  London express coach now working from Oswestry garage which as the destination suggests could usually be seen on the country roads around the lakeside village of Ellesmere.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Da Blau Bus of Holte at Lyngby

HT was the Copenhagen PTE and as well as operating buses to the fringes of the conurbation allowed under license a fair number of existing smaller operators to continue. The Danes often called their bus company by the colours and not surprisingly this was Blau Bus. Just to make things a bit confusing another one with blue buses also ran into Lyngby in the northern suburbs where there was a bus/rail interchange. This Volvo B10M had a rather ugly Carlson/VBK body whereas the other blue buses were more familiar DAB-Leylands.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

WNW 165S: West Yorkshire PTE Atlantean in the snow

I remember from my driving days they used to get a lot more snow in the Wypte area than thy did in Lancashire where it all turned to rain. Often if I had a few minutes I would stop to grab a couple of photos like this one taken on the road between Halifax and Leeds A light dusting of snow and a bit of weak sunshire always made a good picture and I also rather liked these Roe bodied Atlanteans but of course the had Fleetlines too for the less Leyland f this type orientated fleets like Halifax and Huddersfield.

CX58 FZJ: Arriva VDL Wright in Liverpool

I'm not quite sure what Arriva's livery policy is but despite most vehicles these days being in the two shades of 'aquamarine' some later arrivals still were delivered in the original colour scheme like this Wright bodied VDL in Liverpool. But it all adds to the variety if that's what you want to call it, and without the grill painted over it still looked quite smart despite being eight years old in 2016.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Arriva DAF Alexander 400 in Wolverhampton

Arriva doesn't run many double-deckers in my area of the Midlands so it will be sad to see the odd one or two Alexander bodied DAF's go when the company closes it's Wednesfield garage in April. I travelled on this bus when it was doing the 530 in competition with Banga Bus and it seemed to go like a rocket. Unfortunately the Arriva buses not only tended to hurry they often reached the destination almost empty as nobody told them to pick up passengers whereas the Banga drivers knew their regulars and would wait for them to cross the road etc and even drop people off closer to home if they were infirm.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

New Acquisitions: Doncaster, Western Welsh, Royal Blue

I keep telling myself I'm going to cut back on buying diecasts, something that should be helped but the fact that I have most of the ones I want. However there is always one that hadn't yet made it on to my wanted radar. The Doncaster Roe Karrier W trolleybus certainly was as I most like models with a connection and I remember in very young pre-enthusiast days seeing the Doncaster fleet as we headed through the town on a family to Scarborough and Whitby in about 1960. I've a feeling the OOC AEC Reliance in Western Welsh blue is something of a rarity and I did an impulsive purchase. The Royal Blue Bristol MW with rather uninspirig ECW bodywork is a new casting from Oxford Diecast and I had to grab it as well, a lovely model it is too just look at the fine spacing of the window pillars. I bought another bus for £2.80 a YTC Tiger Cub and a coffee table book on BET Buses and the expedition cost me me fifty quid!

BKT 151T: Maidstone & District at Gillingham

When I used to deliver electricity meters to the various boards from a bus point of view Gillingham was perhaps the best as the test station was just over the level crossing by the station. They didn't open till Eight so as you can see from the clock I was there in nice time but you can only guess at what time I must have left Stafford. But I was lucky as I was able to combine my hobby with work when I felt like it. Maidstone and District had a large fleet of coaches at this garage for it's Invicitaway commuter services to London including Duple bodied Leyland Leopard  2151 as yet to start work.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Doris You'd Better Put Kettle On and Fill it to the Brim

It's unfortunate the way often coaches arrive at a watering hole all at the same time resulting in long queues for the loos and a hurried cup of tea or even a choice between the two. To be honest that probably didn't happen as they always seemed to stop for too long for my liking especially coming back when one just wants to get home. The mid-nineties was quite an interesting time as there were any number of redundant NBC coaches to be found like these at Oxford Services and not just that they have an air of mystery about them as 'cherished numbers' hid all sorts of sins. As well as  two Vanguard coaches, there is the Happy Days Van-Hool Scania I was on going to Bournemouth, a smart Woods Duple Laser Volvo B10M and right in the distance a Plaxton Supreme bodied Tiger of Premier Albanian either CBM 12X or 13X

Monday, 6 March 2017

Bassetts at Stafford County Hospital

Bassetts former Robinson's Duple bodied Leopard VTB 972M leaves Stafford County Hospital. It showed Private on the blind and to be honest I cannot remember if it's regular route which strung together bit's of the old local PMT rural network called in here too but I expect it did.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Mdland Red D13 in West Midlands PTE Blue and Cream

I shudder when I think of all the wonderful buses and coaches that should have been saved including not just individual vehicles but whole types and that applies particularly to BMMO where there is not a single S13, Willowbrook C3 or AD2. But the preservation movement came along in time to save a great number of buses from the Sixties including another Midland Red type the D13 a Dailmer Fleetline with bodies with BMMO features. I've taken photos all over the place but I think this was a first time for Sutton Coldfield where we stopped on our return from Wythall.

Friday, 3 March 2017

East-Lancs bodied Panthers at Eastbourne HHC906J

Traditionally Eastbourne Corporation had been a nice mix of smart AEC and Leyland buses with mostly East Lancs bodies. By the Eighties there were still plenty of East Lancs bodied Leylands and this being the age of 'opo' they were suitable Atlanteans and ideal for the elderly low-entrance rear-engined Panthers like this By this time the AEC buses had all gone but Leyland didn't have it all to themselves as the Dennis Dominator made an appearance here with nine examples before some Olympian coaches arrived..

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A Rossendale Red Rose Rambler DDK 24W

Red Rose Rambler might not sound quite as catchy as The Rolling Stones 'Midnight Rambler' but I would certainly like to toddle back in time and have a ride around this part of Lancashire on a East Lancs bodied Leyland Atlantean. Many later East Lancs bodies became rather ugly badly proportioned boxes on wheels but having evolved from the Ralph Bennett Bolton buses of the Sixties this basic design remained something of a classic for me. Formerly Rawtenstall Corporation who would have thought although much changed and now of course Rossendale it would become one of the few survivors from the sadly disbanded family of Municipals who not only gave the local streets their own identity and character they usually gave such a good cheap reliable service for so many years right from the early tramway days.