Richard looks back at the people behind CRG/ERG163
I’ve owned CRG163 since the 9th of June, 2002; this will be 22 years this coming June 2024). My ownership of CRG163 has been longer than that of Crosville.
Over these years I have undertaken extensive research into the vehicle’s history. Not only has this gravitated around the coach and bus routes it would have operated back in the day with Crosville and stabling depots, but more importantly the people who have had a connection with the vehicle spanning 54 years.
I have been very fortunate to have met and become friends with fantastic people over the years. This has ranged from retired/former Crosville staff of the company I have had the privilege to work with at the time and those who I have met afterwards; families of Crosville staff that have unfortunately passed away; those that have never worked for Crosville but have had a passion for the company and its history; and fellow historic vehicle preservationists. I’ve made friends with wonderful people far and near during my research and ownership.
My aim from the outset when taking on the project of restoring and preserving CRG163 has not only involved providing my family and I the pleasure of owning such a fine vehicle, but also the pleasure it has also given to others. I’ve been able to reunite the vehicle with former drivers such as (by now unfortunately) the late Bob ‘Moelfre’ Roberts from Crosville’s Amlwch depot that would frequently drive CRG163 when the vehicle was classed as ERG163 and based at the company’s Amlwch depot between 1979 and 1984. Bob would drive ERG163 on the X10 scheduled express service between Cemaes and Liverpool in the early 1980’s. I‘ve also had the privilege of meeting Mr Jack Cowap, who was a coach driver for Crosville at its Liverpool Edge Lane depot and would drive CRG163 when based there on the prestigious Liverpool - London services in the early 1970’s. Both gentlemen were reacquainted with CRG/ERG163 in August 2004.
Mr Jack Cowap was reunited with CRG163 when the vehicle provided a surprise appearance on a Crosville Enthusiasts Club (CEC) outing to North Wales. The arrangements were made with another good friend and CEC editor at the time, the late Mr Gwyn Taylor-Williams (pictured centre below) with Richard Hughes on the right of the photograph. Gwyn had retired from his education career but had travelled on Crosville buses from his youth growing up in Nasareth, near Penygroes and had followed the Crosville company ever since. CRG163 was waiting in hiding at the Conwy Industrial Estate as the tour arrived on former Crosville EOG210, now owned by P&O Lloyd, and conveyed everyone to Bangor via the former Crosville depot at Bangor. Bob Moelfre was also with us from the outset on the day, rightfully occupying the nearside front seat on the vehicle.
The photograph below was taken in 2004 in Porthmadog with Mr Glyn Jones, retired Crosville Divisional Engineering Manager for Wales back in the day and myself in front of preserved CRG163.
We cannot either forget the poignant day we had back in December 2008 with our good friend John Wyn Griffiths, or John ‘Llanrug’ as we knew him back in Crosville days and had worked for Crosville at its Caernarfon depot. Unfortunately by 2008 John was terminally ill. We therefore decided to take John, family and friends on a day out with preserved CRG163 on old local Crosville bus routes that would have been operated by the company’s Caernarfon depot back in the day. These routes would have been driven by John when he was a driver. John would also have driven long distance coach services for the company in his time with Crosville’s CRG class of coach. We had a fantastic day which also provided John with the opportunity to have a drive of CRG around Caernarfon’s Cibyn Industrial Estate in the same way as undertaken with Bob Moelfre back in 2004. Sadly John passed away weeks later unfortunately from illness.
This website is not only dedicated to CRG163, but also the fantastic people who worked for Crosville and had a connected with the vehicle.
Sadly some have passed away by now, but this website acts as a mark of respect as we remember them all. I‘ve always said without valuable, professional and dedicated staff an organisation is nothing.
The following entries on this page are recollections and memories from those within the Crosville family and those with an interest in the company having travelled on it’s many services and with a connection to CRG/ERG163 and/or sister vehicles. I hope you enjoy reading the entries as much as I have enjoyed collaborating with all that have contributed thus far. It has been a personal privilege.
I would like to sincerely thank everyone that have contributed to this page and wider website thus far. If anyone wishes to contribute further, with recollections of CRG/ERG163 and/or Crosville please do get in touch by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
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This page will grow over time as more memories are added.