CRG163 in service history with Crosville Motor Services
CRG163 was first registered on the 6th of March 1970 and was delivered to Crosville Motor Services in a batch of four coaches; EFM160H to EFM164H. CRG163 (EFM163H) is the last known survivor from her batch.
Crosville’s headquarters was in Chester, operating bus services from it’s bus depots across Cheshire, Merseyside north and mid Wales. Crosville operated local registered bus services, coach trips as well as long distance express coach services to London and other major UK destinations.CRG163 and sister vehicles CRG160 to CRG164 announced as new additions to Crosville’s fleet within it’s internal publication to staff - ‘Crosville United’ - number 75, Spring 1970.Crosville cream and black coaching livery
When CRG163 entered service with Crosville she commenced operation on the prestigious X61 coach service between Liverpool and London, based at the company’s Liverpool Edge Lane depot. The service reference was adopted as X61 as the route taken was along the M6 and M1 motorways. At this time CRG163 carried the cream and black coaching livery of the time with four side illuminated panels placed along both sides of the vehicle denoting ‘Crosville - Coach - Liverpool - London.CRG163 - operating on the X1 service, London bound when new in the coaching cream and black livery.
CRG163 also operated the London X1 service in a variant of the cream and black livery which consisted of a simpler livery with only one side panel on display above the front wheel either side displaying the lower case ‘Crosville’ fleet name.
These coaches were truly magnificent, luxury coaches of their day and were also used by Crosville on it’s coaching and private hire services.One of the many posters created by Crosville to promote it’s luxury coachesCRG163 at Victoria Coach Station, London in the second variant of the cream & black livery.
One of Crosville’s many leaflets promoting the Liverpool to London motorway services1969 - 197001 October 1969 to 31 May 1970 timetable for services X1, X18 and X61. As Mike Lambden comments: ‘The night services tended to be far busier than days. The route was set by the traffic commissioners as coach services were not allowed then to compete directly with trains hence the stop for Birmingham in Erdington rather than the city centre.’
Back in the day, CRG163 would operate the above services with sister coaches.CRG163 in a variant of the coaching cream and black livery at Crewe Bus Station in 1971. The photo has been kindly provided by Mr John Buchan with thanks.Crosville United, No’ 82 - Autumn 1972. Sister vehicle CRG162.‘NATIONAL’ coach services - the all white 1970’s livery
In 1972 CRG163 adopted the white livery of the National UK coach network with the brand image of N A T I O N A L displayed on both sides of the vehicle through a mix of red and blue lettering. During this period CRG163 continued to operate main line coach services across the UK and moved eventually to her new home of Crosville’s Amlwch depot on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales.Crosville United No’80, Spring 1972.Photo provided kindly by Mr Mike Street - CRG163 is seen at Cardiff Bus Station about to depart on service X71 to Liverpool on the 29th of December, 1972.The official ‘NATIONAL’ branding used completed with the ‘double N’ logo as carried by CRG163 from circa 1973 to 1979CRG163 alongside sister vehicle CRG162 at Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1973 on service X1, London bound. With many thanks to Mr John Buchan for the permission to share his photograph on our website.CRG163 at Hyde Park Corner, London operating the X1 service from Liverpool, circa 1974.Crosville fleet list dating from 1974. Page includes CRG103 (preserved by Carl Berry); CRG106 (preserved by Steve Graham); CRG111 (preserved by Roger Downs) and CRG163,CRG163 at Oxford early/mid 1970’sCRG163 at London Victoria Coach Station mid 1970’s.CRG163 parked at the back of Crosville‘s Edge Lane depot, Liverpool in the mid 1970’s. Many thanks to Duncan Roberts for supplying the image.Photo of CRG163 courtesy of Geoff SmithCRG163 parked up whilst operating on service 955 to Liverpool. This photo has been kindly provided by Graham Warren having found the photo within his late father’s collection. Graham’s father - George Warren once worked at Crosville’s Liverpool Edge Lane depot and frequently drove CRG163 in service back in the day. Graham comments on the many happy memories he has travelling with his father behind the wheel of CRG163.
By this time CRG 163’s proud grey and black embossed metal fleet plates had been removed and replaced by standard grey fleet stickers placed under the front windscreen.A photo kindly supplied by Graham Warren of his late father George whilst working at Crosville’s Liverpool Edge Lane depot. In memory of Mr George Warren.CRG163 at Crosville’s Edge Lane depot, April 1976.CRG163 parked up at Crosville’s Edge Lane depot, LiverpoolCRG 163 in parked at Crosville’s Liverpool Edge Lane Depot. The photo was taken and kindly supplied by Don McKeown. Don comments: ‘obviously on the occasion of a CEC visit. The destination shows my local service (I lived in Norden) and was obviously specially posed!’.CRG163 on service 853, returning home to Liverpool - photo courtesy of Geoff SmithCRG163 parked on the apron of Crosville’s then depot at Amlwch.CRG163 parked at Llandudno Junction having operated the 865 from Liverpool.
CRG163 operated on long distance coach services for the company across the UK before being downgraded in 1979 to a dual purpose vehicle.CRG163 downgraded to ERG163
In 1979 CRG163 was downgraded by the company to a dual purpose vehicle to be used on coach and local bus services alike adopting the dual purpose fleet classification number of ERG163 and the standard company dual purpose livery of white and green.Crosville Edge Lane depot, Liverpool 1979 fleet list. With thanks to Mr John Lee (Crosville manager) and Graham Warren. Confirming the downgrading of CRG163 to ERG (dual purpose) status in July 1979 to be reallocated to Anglesey (AN)ERG163 peering out of Crosville’s Amlwch depot
Based at Crosville’s Amlwch north west Wales depot on the Isle of Anglesey and reclassified as ERG163 (E
= Dual purpose - coach/local bus services; R
= Bristol RE; G
= Gardner engine) ERG 163 would be driven by Bob Moelfre (as known locally); Dewi Roberts; Richard Lewis and others.ERG163 passing Bangor Railway Station on local service N61 to Cemaes Bay - photo circa 1982.ERG163 parked outside Crosville’s Amlwch depot. Photo again courtesy of Geoff Smith with thanks.ERG110 and ERG163 parked outside Crosville’s Amlwch depot. Such a nice black and white atmospheric image of both vehicles, again courtesy of Geoff Smith.Photo kindly provided by Graham Senior. The image is of ERG110 and ERG163 at Crosville’s Amlwch depot - 17 April 1982. It’s so interesting to capture the story behind the image. Graham comments:
This photo was taken on a glorious Saturday 17 April 1982, and the reason for the presence of ERG110 was that she had been hired by "The Crosville Enthusiasts' Club (1967)", for a depot trip (originating at Chester) encompassing Llanrwst, Bangor and the three Anglesey depots. As Max Boyce would have said, "I know, 'cos I was there!". Seeing the pictures on your splendid website brought back the happy memory, and I've dug out my (very similar) shot of the occasion, to that of Geoff Smith which was filed under ERG110.
By now the Crosville fleet panel above the front wheels would be painted green with the ‘Crosville’ fleet name applied by sticker on the roof line each side accompanied by the National Bus Company logo of the double ‘N’. Once again her fleet number was displayed in grey sticker form with a driver ticket machine and cash tray added. Standard vehicles operating local bus services would normally adopt an all over ‘leaf’ green livery with a white centre relief band, however as ERG had coach seats this classification was given.ERG163 leaving Amlwch, Bangor bound on the N62 with Richard Lewis, Amlwch depot behind the wheel. Photo courtesy of Don McKeown.
ERG163 as now classified would continue to operate on a host of long and shorter distance services based at Crosville’s then Amlwch depot operating the Saturday X10 service between Cemaes Bay and Liverpool as well as more local services such as the N62 between Amlwch and Bangor.ERG163 at Liverpool Edge Lane depot in September 1980.Advertised services N61 & N62 as operated by ERG163 - summer 1981.ERG163 at Menai Bridge on the N61 to Amlwch on a wet day in December 1982.ERG 163 parked up inside Crosville’s Amlwch depot - August 1982 having returned home on the X10 from Liverpool.ERG163 at Mynydd Mechell, Anglesey with John ‘Pensarn’ Williams from Crosville’s Amlwch depot at the wheel as confirmed by Richard Lewis and Glyn Jones. Richard fondly commented how he remembers John driving in those days in his blue tie. Sadly John passed away a few years ago. This photograph is therefore dedicated to John Pensarn in his memory.ERG163 at Mynydd Mechell, December 1983 with John ‘Pensarn’ Williams at the wheel from Amlwch depot.ERG163 parked up at Liverpool Skelhorne Street, opposite Lime Street having operated the X10 from Cemaes Bay.A black and white image of ERG163 parked at Liverpool Skelhorne Street opposite Lime Street, likely to have operated the X10 service from Cemaes Bay. Photo courtesy of Geoff SmithThe X10 timetable as operated by ERG163 which commenced operation in 1982.ERG 163 heading for Liverpool on the X10 service from Cemaes Bay, Anglesey
The X10 service would be driven by Bob Moelfre; Richard ‘Richie’ Lewis; Dewi Roberts and others based at the time at Crosville’s Amlwch depot.ERG163 parked up at Skelhorne Street coach station having worked the X10 from Cemaes Bay, Anglesey - August 1983 (with grateful thanks to Mr Graham Senior for permission to reproduce his photo here and others elsewhere on this website)ERG163 outside Amlwch depot
ERG163 pulling out of the parking area next to the old Amlwch depot.Scan from Crosville’s official fleet list from 1 February 1981. ERG163 is allocated to Amlwch depotERG161 at Menai Bridge, Bangor bound with ERG163 in the background.Photo kindly provided by Mr Stephen Monaghan with grateful thanks. As commented by Stephen: New and the old meet in Bangor in May 1983’. DOG118 arriving Bangor Clock bus station passing ERG163 which has operated into Bangor on the N62 service.ERG163 Crosville Withdrawal
Eventually ERG163 succumbed to withdrawal from service in 1984. It’s future was very much uncertain as it waited its fate on the Crosville disposal line at Chester.ERG163 parked up on Crosville’s vehicle disposal line - it’s future very much uncertain.Into preservation
Following CRG163’s withdrawal by Crosville in the 1984 it entered preservation initially with Gordon Bate and then from 2002 with Richard Jones. CRG163 undertook a rigorous restoration process with Richard between 2002 and 2004 with grateful support from his father, late mother and others before being unveiled in June 2004 in her restored NATIONAL white livery.Preserved CRG163 heading towards Bangor having driven across the Menai Suspension Bridge from the Isle of Anglesey, as done so many times back in the day.
More information and photographs of CRG163 in preservation are available on the page ‘CRG163 INTO PRESERVATION’ on this website. You can also click HERE
If you have any photos or related information about CRG163 or any information on the parts presently required then please e-mail me, Richard Jones at email@example.com
. Many thanks in advance.