Nocturnal road run / Crosville Pwllheli

Tonight we had our first proper road run with CRG163 and that being nocturnal.

This was the first nocturnal road for CRG163 in many years and the first for me to undertake with my youngest son.

We parked on both sides of the old Crosville depot site out of respect for the staff that once worked there which is now occupied by B&M.

The neutral gear light looked brilliant at night.

CRG163 stops briefly outside what used to be the site of Crosville’s Pwllheli depot to pay its respects to all the staff that worked there.  The site is now occupied by a B&M store.

Another view of CRG163 outside the old Crosville depot site.

CRG163 stops again briefly on the other side of what was once a Crosville depot.

A closer image of CRG163 outside the old Crosville depot site now occupied by a B&M store.
CRG163 parked at the bus stop on Y Maes (Square) in Pwllheli.

An atmospheric image of CRG163’s cab at night.

The neutral gear light looking good at night.

Another image of the neutral gear light on CRG163 tonight.

Videos of the nocturnal road run

Crosville Motor Services - Pwllheli depot

Crosville opened it’s new depot doors at Pwllheli in 1934, proudly serving the region for many years to come.

On 13 February 1986 the then Secretary of State for Transport, Nicholas Ridley demanded that the four largest NBC companies be split in the spirit of competition as they provided too greate a threat on deregulation to other operators.  This had a major impact on Crosville as it was forced to be split into two separate companies.

Crosville Motor Services would continue in England whilst Crosville Wales was established in Wales on 20 May 1986 from the renamed Devon and General Omnibus And Touring Company, becoming operational on 10 August 1986.  All Crosville depots in Wales including Pwllheli would pass to this new company.

The Transport Act 1985 which would be introduced on 26 October 1986, heralded a total upheaval of the bus industry outside London as it would introduce a free competitive bus market and subsequent privatisation of all state owned bus companies including Crosville.

In Gwynedd the local authority was quick to grasp deregulation by the introduction of Bws Gwynedd.  This was a brand introduced to convey a unified and co-ordinated bus network in the county no matter the operator.  All registered local bus services operating in the county would carry the Bws Gwynedd red front.  As a precursor to deregulation Bws Gwynedd was initially initiated in the Dwyfor area of the county which included Crosville’s Pwllheli depot in April of the same year through prior agreement with Crosville.

Following privatisation of state owned bus companies such as Crosville a trend emerged of companies disposing of assets and property in order to generate funds.  In the case of Crosville Wales’ Pwllheli depot, this sadly closed its doors in 1992, with the company moving its operations to the nearby industrial estate.  Once disposed, the old depot site would be demolished to make way for a supermarket which was often the case with other similar sites.  The site today is occupied by a B&M store.

We therefore remember and pay our respects to all of the staff that once worked from Crosville’s Pwllheli depot which has included CRG163 stopping briefly tonight at the old site.

The following images are of Crosville’s Pwllheli depot and bus stands from back in the day.  The bus stands were situated a stone throw away from the depot.

Crosville’s Pwllheli depot,  Cardiff Road.

1950’s Pwllheli as the bus stands are built.

Photo taken on 1 June 1958 by Geoff Charles.  Crosville’s depot can be seen in the background from a busy image of Pwllheli Y Maes (Square) on market day.  The Crosville information/travel office of the time can also be seen to the right of the image.

Crosville staff from Pwllheli and Porthmadog depots in the 1960’s at the Tower Pwllheli.

On a busy Wednesday afternoon, with many drivers occupied on Excursions from Butlins Camp, Ralph Rowlands, depot Superintendent pitches in by driving a school duplicate service with Bristol LH SLL622 seen here on the stand at Pwllheli Maes.  Photo J R Lee.

Crosville Bristol VRT DVG530 can bee seen here parked on the forecourt of the company’s Pwllheli depot on Friday, 12 July 1985, pre-deregulation.  My grateful thanks to Stephen Monaghan for the photograph.

Crosville Bristol LH SLL640 is seen parked on the forecourt of      Crosville’s Pwllheli depot.  My grateful thanks to Malcolm Cowtan for many of the following photographs.

The changing face of Crosville at the bus stands in Pwllheli as the Leyland National carries it dual purpose livery driven by the late Evan Herbert, whilst HDL917 now carries the new red front of Bws Gwynedd.

Daimler Fleetline HDL916 is seen here at the Pwllheli bus stands with the late Evan Herbert at the wheel.

A couple of Crosville Daimler Fleetlines, fleet code HDL, parked on the forecourt of Crosville’s Pwllheli depot.

Crosville Daimler Fleetline HDL917, ex Southdown, is seen here at the Pwllheli bus stands carrying the Crosville NBC livery but with the Bws Gwynedd red front applied.

A rear end image of Bristol VRT DVG569 at Pwllheli’s bus stands still carrying Crosville’s NBC livery but with the Bws Gwynedd red front applied.

A collection of vehicles parked on the forecourt of Crosville’s Pwllheli depot clearly depicting the changing face of the company.

The rear end of Crosville Leyland National SNL661 can be seen whilst DOG187 on the left is in the new Crosville Wales livery with a visiting Trent Leyland Olympian parked in front of the depot.

MSL106 parked at Pwllheli bus stands.  Following deregulation mini buses flooded the bus market across the UK.

Crosville Wales Leyland National SNL650 at Pwllheli bus stands about to depart on route 3 to Porthmadog.

John ‘Garn’ Jones with MMM59 on the forecourt of Pwllheli depot.

John ‘Garn’ Jones of Crosville and Crosville Wales Pwllheli depot.  It wad a privilege working alongside John and many others at the company.

From the nocturnal run with CRG163 (above), this is me thirty odd years ago to the left of the image behind the wheel of Crosville Wales MMM57 having left Pwllheli depot and entering the bus stands in order to operate route 18 to Abersoch.

Pwllheli and Bangor depot ‘Black Hand Gang’ which was the term used for the mechanics.  It was a privilege working with such brilliant people. 

Following deregulation and privatisation of the bus industry in the UK outside London Crosville’s operations in Wales would be operated by Crosville Cymru/Wales.  SNL571 can be seen parked outside Pwllheli depot on a nice sunny day sporting the famous Bws Gwynedd red front.

A sad image of Crosville Wales’ Pwllheli depot standing empty following the company vacating the premises.  The site would soon become a new Kwik Save store sadly.  With grateful thanks to Mr Tom Lynn for allowing these images to be used.

Another sad image of an empty Pwllheli depot with the doors now closed permanently.  With grateful thanks to Mr Tom Lynn for allowing this image to be used.