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, 12 December 2017

Are You a Seddon RU? Yes Darlington had some like this

Standardisation with a very basic livery was very much the order of the day within the NBC Empire so it was very dull compared to what came before it, but those Municipals that didn't get drawn into the PTE's continued to provide a bit more interest. The Corporations traditionally used to usually operate mostly double-deckers but  with the advent of driver only buses they saw a rapid decline during the Seventies. This left Darlington to see in the Eighties with a just a few elderly  Roe bodied Daimler half-cabs, but the now mostly single-deck fleet  was varied and interesting and it included these not too common Pennine bodied Seddon RU buses. This photo was taken in 1980.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Arriva Left Out In The Cold

Arriva's aquamarine bus livery has been with us so many years one might have thought when it came time to change it they would come up with something even if not exciting at least a bit better. It is hardly inspiring but maybe as happened at Cambus who started off with just light blue they might realise it's not very eye catching and add something stronger to set it off. It was very cold in Stafford and buses like Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart  2371 were running around with snow clinging to their tops even though they had been out all day despite dropping into pot-holes and bouncing over speed-bumps.

Ribble in Heywood BNB 244T

Places in Cheshire like Alderley Edge and Knutsford might have been affordable to  wealthy stockbrokers and the top footballers but to the north of Manchester was Heywood which was Just far enough away outside to make it popular with the cast of Coronation Street etc. where they should have felt very much at home as it had that friendly Lancashire feel even to seeing the odd Ribble bus on the 399. I might be wrong but I think this service went to Rochdale from Bolton but when I was there in the Eighties it was being operated with these Duple bodied Leopards like No.1244 looking quite attractive in one of NBC's local 'blind effect'  liveries introduced prior to Deregulation when it would all be sold off.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

In Manchester at least The Commonplace: First Volvo Wright MX09 GYH

It's much busier than it used to be but I'm glad not all of central Manchester has been redeveloped like this gritty area of small businesses around Shudhill and Withy Grove. There used to be an open-air second-hand record stall down here too in my day where I picked up some rarities. Buses too seem to becoming a rarity in many parts of Britain especially on a Sunday but not in the big Metropolitan Boroughs like Greater Manchester and here a First Wright bodied Volvo double-decker tries to edge it's way passed an illegally parked car with it's hazards on. Not such a rarity!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Huddersfield Daimler CVG6 HVH 472D at the Gladstone Pottery

I had to have a ride on this East-Lancs bodied Daimler CVG6 at the Gladstone Museum POPS running day last October as I have the Corgi OOC model of it. Many of the municipals took a great deal of pride in their fleet such as here at Huddersfield, it's a pity though that on my model of it they got the colour wrong as instead of bright red theirs in more like a marmalade-orange.

Midland Red S22 MHA 901F at Stafford

Here we have a Midland Red BMMO S22 at the reaffic lights on Gaol Road in Stafford. It was a day very much like this one with dense shadow and thin sunlight which is one of the worst combinations for black and white photographs unless one picks exactly the right spot. 5901 wasn't at Stafford garage for long being allocated here between May 79 and May 80. It went onto Leamington to do another four months before withdrawal but travelled quite a bit throughout the system spending most of it's working life from July 1968 at Worcester till January 1979 where it did a short four-month spell at Hinckley before coming here. It was later preserved.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Taking a National Holiday in Chester

Most Duple designs looked quite different from their rival Plaxton and this Southdown Laser bodied Tiger makes a good contract alongside another Leyland but this time with the more common Plaxton Paramount belonging to London Country. Both were in NBC  National Holidays and seen whilst on tour in Chester. I must admit I like a bit of brightwork trim and I prefered these earlier Lasers to the later less cheerful tidied up version. In the early days of the NBC it was horrible seeing the beautiful traditional coaches of Maidstone and District, Ribble and Midland Red etc. being outshopped in this uninspiring white garb but I think it was largely in our heads as it was far less noticeable on later coaches that came painted white from new.