Combined key facts for Crosville Motor Services / Crosville Wales / CRG163 / Bristol RE from 1906 onwards. Liverpool and Amlwch depots have been included in relation to their connection with CRG163.

 

1906

The Crosville Motor Company is formed by George Crosland Taylor and his French business associate George de Ville in order to assemble and sell French designed cars and marine engines with company premises at Crane Wharf, Chester.

27/10/1906
 

1908

Car making activities however cease in 1908, with the company focussing its activities on agency work and repairs.

01/01/1908
 

1910

Due to its increasing fleet size, Crosville adopts a new fleet numbering system which involves naming buses with such names as ‘The Alma’ and ‘Busy Bee’. In all the company would develop four methods of fleet vehicle recognition over the years.

01/01/1910
 

1911

On the 2nd of February, 1911 the company starts its first bus service, operating between Ellesmere Port and Chester having been advised to diversify its business into passenger transport. Once established a few years later the bus service was extended to New Ferry with a second new bus service introduced between Chester and Kelsall.

02/02/1911
 

1913

Crosville begins to expand its operations into mid Cheshire, predominantly around Crewe in December 1913 when the council at Crewe approved licences for services in the area. This included acquiring the established business of Ward Brothers in the area. The company’s fleet livery at this time was grey. Wartime restricted expansion until 1919 when Crosville introduced a Chester circular service as well as from New Ferry to Meols, with other destinations also established from Chester.

01/12/1913
 

1915

Around 1915 Crosville introduces its second fleet recognition method which simply involves numbering vehicles such as ‘1’; ’2’ and so fourth between 1 and 1000. Crosville being superstitious never used the number ‘13’ but used ‘AC’ instead. This method of recognition continues until 1934.

01/01/1915
 

1922

In the early years of the company it had always been an ambition to access the lucrative bus market of Liverpool. Indeed the company was looking for ways to enter the city. Identification had been made by the Crosland Taylors that Warrington and Widness would be possible access points to the city. In June 1922 the company commenced the operation of three new routes from Widnes that would serve Speke, Garston and Warrington with an outstation at Widnes. This was subsequently closed when the new depot at Warrington (Chester New Road) was opened in 1923.

01/06/1924
 

1924

Crosville continued to expand into the Wirral and into north Wales with the introduction of a circular service including Mold and Flint, again acquiring existing bus operators. The company continued to expand across north Wales with further acquisitions taking place of local bus operators such as Owens of Caernarfon and Cynfi Motors of Deiniolen with new depots being opened in Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1924. Services were rapidly extended to the Llyn Peninsula as well as Aberystwyth and Aberaeron establishing new depots along the way.

01/01/1924
 

1927

In 1927 the company purchased land in Liverpool at the junction of Church Road and Edge Lane measuring 3,350 sq. yd. Here what became to be known as the company’s Edge Lane depot would be built and brought into use in June 1928. The depot was extended with additional adjoining land purchased in 1937 with maintenance facilities being extended in 1942.

01/01/1927
 

1928

Popularity for excursions and long distance travel by charabanc or coach had also attracted the attention of Crosville, experimenting with a few weekend excursions to London in 1928.

01/01/1928
 

1929

The weekend excursions to London established In 1928 proved popular. As a result in 1929 Crosville introduced it’s first regular daily service between Liverpool and London, the four Leyland Tiger buses, registration FM5222- FM52225, fleet numbers 175 - 178; each with 25 coach seats fitted. Routes to Chester and North Wales were introduced from Liverpool in the 1930s.

01/01/1929
 

1929

In February 1929 company ownership changes when the London, Midland and Scottish Railways Company (LMS) purchases Crosville Motor Company Limited due to it losing passengers to road traffic. The company was purchased outright for £398,750.00.

01/02/1929
 

1929

The Crosville Motor Company is placed into voluntary liquidation in November 1929 and a new company trading as LMS (Crosville) was introduced. Claude Crosland Taylor becomes the manager of the new business who was the son of the original company founder.

01/11/1929
 

1930

In 1930 further company changes take place from an agreement made between the railway companies and the Tilling and British Automobile Traction (T&BAT) Group . It was to acquire 50% of the shareholdings of each company under the group’s control. In return the railway companies sold 50% of their shareholdings in acquired businesses to the T&BAT. In some cases new companies were formed, however in relation to LMS (Crosville), Crosville Motor Services Ltd., emerged on the 15th of May, 1930, with LMS having only owned Crosville outright for just nine months. Claude Crosland Taylor was retained as the new company’s General Manager, retaining the family - company connection.

15/05/1930
 

1930

By 1930 Crosville had consolidated it’s operations in north and mid Wales as well as on the Wirral and Cheshire.

01/06/1930
 

1931

In 1931 Crosville establishes services between Merseyside and north Wales through an arrangement with Maxways and the Wirral Transport Company, succumbing to Crosville in 1934.

01/02/1931
 

1934

Around 1934 Crosville introduces its third method of fleet recognition through an alpha-digit numeric system. Simply a letter was assigned to the type of vehicle such as ‘C’ for a Leyland Lion LT1. Some vehicles used two characters as the fleet grew followed by the assigned number. The number did not correspond to the registration of the vehicle. This method continues until 1958.

01/01/1934
 

1935

Crosville open their new depot at Amlwch on the Isle of Anglesey in 1935.

01/01/1935
 

1936

As new depots were built by the company so too were new friendships and communities which would become known as the Crosville family. Staff who worked for the company were extremely proud to do so which is evident from photos of the time. Example photos are within of the Crosville family from the Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog depots. The Caernarfon photo was taken in 1936. All staff can be seen proudly and professionally wearing their uniforms with depot management and office staff also appropriately attired.

01/01/1936
 

1939

Expansion of the company was hindered in 1939 due to World War Two, forcing cuts to services and dropping completely non-essential work. However there was growth in some services where additional buses were needed to support industries and demand including a shift towards double deckers. This trend continued in peacetime.

01/09/1939
 

1942

On the 3rd of December 1942, Crosville Motor Services became a subsidiary of the Tilling Group having previously been a part of the British Electrical Traction (BET). By 1945 Tilling green had replaced the maroon livery previously adopted by LMS on all company vehicles. Bristol vehicles as owned by Tilling became the favoured order of the day through the company‘s vehicle purchasing policy.

03/12/1942
 

1945

As the company continued to expand, management changes also took place. On the 31st of March 1945 Claude Crosland Taylor died at the young age of 45. He was the son of the late George Crosland Taylor and company founder and had headed the company since 1923 following the death of his father whilst company ownership was with the railways. Following Claude’s death his brother James was appointed the company‘s general manager, continuing the family connection with the company.

31/03/1945
 

1945

By the end of World War Two, Crosville found itself in a very health position. Over 50% additional passengers were now being carried with revenue almost 90% in excess of that of pre-war. As a result the company was able to reinvest in property which would rise in value. Post war service provision grew once more as additional resources became available such as driving staff and vehicles.

02/09/1948
 

1948

On the 1st of January 1948 the Transport Act 1947 came into effect. Simply under the terms of the Act, the railway network, long-distance road haulage and various other types of transport were nationalised and came under the administration of the British Transport Commission (BTC) which acquired the Tilling Group shareholding. At the same time the Railway Executive took control of the four mainline railway companies with their shareholding in Crosville passing over to BTC.

01/01/1948
 

1950

Staff recruitment became difficult in the 1950’s for Crosville and other companies which led to staff shortage as bus work at the time was relatively low paid. One man operation was however introduced during the following decade which would reduce labour costs away from the traditional driver and conductor model.

01/01/1950
 

1958

Crosville introduces its fourth and final fleet recognition through an alpha-numeric system comprising of three letters denoting the vehicle type then between one and three numbers replicating the vehicle registration number. The numbers used were not always replicated.

01/01/1958
 

1960

During the 1960’s Crosville adopted a contraction policy that involved withdrawing from unprofitable routes whilst the company was able to expand in other areas when markets supported this.

01/01/1960
 

1962

Bristol Commercial Vehicle commences the production of the Bristol RE in 1962.

Learn More01/01/1962
 

1963

REX.002 followed in April 1963 and would be the RELH, C47F seat high floor coach chassis. This vehicle would be registered 521 ABL, delivered to Thames Valley Traction’s South Midland in the maroon and cream livery between Oxford and London. It would have the stepped wait rail (bright work) a feature carried from the Bristol MW. A second pre production model/prototype of the Bristol RE RELH was given the number REX.003 built in July 1963. This would be a coach body built by ECW and used as a test bed by Bristol Commercial Vehicle (BCV) until February 1967 when brought up to service standard, fitted with a Gardner engine.

01/04/1963
 

1963

Fifteen years later under the Transport Act 1962, the government dissolved the British Transport Commission and created the British Railway Board to take over railway duties from 1 January 1963 and the Transport Holding Company (THC) to take over bus operations from the same date.

01/01/1963
 

1965

The Cymru Coastliner limited stop service was introduced by the company in 1965 and operated hourly between Caernarfon and Chester. The service commenced its operation with Bristol RE’s, Bristol FLF double deck buses with luxury seating. In the early days of the Coastliner, vehicles such as CRG163 would also be used with route branding provided through specially designed radiator grill plates that would fit onto the front grille of the vehicle through special fittings. The below plate is an exmaple of such branding plates used.

01/01/1965
 

1967

In November 1967 British Electric Traction (BET) unexpectedly offered to sell its bus operations to the government. BET, who had been the only major private bus operating group, received £35 million for its 25 provincial bus companies and 11,300 vehicles.

01/11/1967
 

1969

From the 1st of January 1969 a significant change took place to the UK bus industry with the introduction of the National Bus Company (NBC). This involved the merger of the Transport Holdings Company (THC) and the British Transport Commission (BET) organisations into a single National Bus Company (NBC) following the White Paper recommendations forming a part of the Transport Act 1968.

01/01/1969
 

1970

On 06 March 1970, CRG163 is first registered by Crosville Motor Services in the smart and beautiful cream & black coaching livery with four illuminated side panels each side of the vehicle. CRG163 would be based at the company’s Liverpool Edge Lane depot, allocated to the company’s prestigious Liverpool - London services.

Learn More06/03/1970
 

1971

In October/November 1971, CRG163 would be repainted into the 2nd more simpler cream & black coaching livery. The four side illuminated side panels would be removed and replaced by one longer pane above the front wheel arch on both sides of the vehicle.

01/10/1971
 

1971

The Runcorn Busway was introduced in February 1971 and was the world’s first rapid transport system, being conceived in the Runcorn New Town Masterplan in 1966. The busway is a totally separate road network available for bus use only unlike bus priority lanes or guided busways. By 1980 all 14 miles (22 kilometres) of the busway was operational, designed in such a way that the majority of residents were no more than a five minute walk from a bus stop. Dedicated raised busways provide access to services at the busways main station situated at Runcorn Shopping Centre.

01/02/1971
 

1972

From 1972, the sales of Bristol RE’s to the National Bus Company (NBC), which had taken over both THC and BET began to dry up. This was due to the introduction of the Leyland National. The Bristol RE remained in production from 1976, but only for the Northern Irish state owned bus companies Ulsterbus and Citybus and for the Christchurch Transport Board, New Zealand which continued until 1983.

01/01/1972
 

1972

Following the appointment of Frederick Wood as chairman in 1972, NBC introduced a corporate identity. This was launched on the 10th of April 1972. This included the famous double ‘N’ symbol devised by Norman Wilson who was a leading Manchester graphic designer of the 1970s.

10/04/1972
 

1972

In December 1972, CRG163 is repainted into the National white livery. For a short period CRG163 would carry the short lived 3” green fleet name within the illuminated panel each side before being replaced with the more familiar red upper case Crosville fleet name.

01/12/1972
 

1973

In 1973 Crosville’s half cab open top double decker DLG811 (vehicle registration XFM223) was used in the film titled ‘Holiday on the Buses’ which was filmed at Pontins Prestatyn and other location including Rhyl.

01/02/1973
 

1974

In November 1974, CRG163 receives its second repaint into National white livery.

01/11/1974
 

1976

By this time the X1, X2, X18 and X61 services have been renumbered 850, 851, 853, 854 and 855 and absorbed into the wide National Express coach network and numbering system.

26/09/1976
 

1977

In March 1977, CRG163 receives its third and final repaint into National white livery. At the same time CRG163’s traditional metal fleet plates are removed and replaced by the standard National Bus Company (NBC) corporate grey fleet stickers.

01/03/1977
 

1979

In April 1979, CRG163 is reallocated to Crosville’s Amlwch depot on the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. By August of the same year CRG163 is repainted into NBC dual purpose livery of green and white and reclassified as ERG163. As ERG163 the vehicle would operate on a range of services from local bus to longer distance services such as the Saturday X10 service between Cemaes Bay and Liverpool.

01/04/1979
 

1979

On the 1st of June 1979, service 700 was introduced between Bangor and Cardiff via Brecon, Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Porthmadog and Caernarfon branded as TrawsCambria, operated jointly with Western Welsh.

01/06/1979
 

1979

Crosville also developed it’s own express network of coach services branded as ‘Town Lynx’ introduced on the 3rd of December, 1979.

03/12/1979
 

1980

The Map Analysis Project is commissioned by the National Bus Company. This was an exercise that would look in detail at existing bus networks through data gathering undertaken by surveys of existing passengers, performance of services and costs being incurred.

06/10/1980
 

1980

On the 6th of October the Transport Act 1980 was introduced ending the licensing regulation imposed on express coach routes and tours over 30 miles.

06/10/1980
 

1982

Production of the Bristol RE comes to an end.

01/01/1982
 

1983

The Eurolynx International concept was the development by Crosville of European continental weekend coach trips beyond the UK to Amsterdam and Paris.

01/01/1983
 

1984

On 13 April 1984, ERG163 is withdrawn from active service by Crosville for disposal with ERG163’s future looking very uncertain. However the vehicle is sold to a Mr Gordon Bate from the Manchester area for preservation. Mr Bate would also save other Crosville vehicles in the same way. Mr Bate repaints ERG163 into the vehicle’s second cream & black coaching livery variant from 1971 and applies new NBC style fleet number stickers, reclassifying ERG163 as CRG163 once more.

13/04/1984
 

1985

In the 1980’s Crosville’s engineers led the way in converting the Leyland National’s power unit from it‘s standard Leyland 510 engine to the Gardner 6HLXB in a drive to improve economies on fuel consumption. Whilst the Leyland’s fuel consumption rate per gallon was approximately 6 miles, the Gardner would afford closer to 10 miles, dependant on the way the vehicle was driven; route terrain and other factors such as rural and urban operation around congestion and stop and starts. The conversion was covered in the COMMERCIAL MOTOR publication, w/e March 30, 1985.

30/03/1986
 

1985

On the 3rd of August 1985, Crosville’s Edge Lane depot is closed with the company‘s entire operation relocated to Love Lane depot from Sunday the 4th of August. The site was once occupied by Tate and Lyle and was situated at the end of Love Lane.

03/08/1985
 

1985

Crosville’s new Liverpool depot opens at Love Lane.

04/08/1985
 

1986

On the 13th of February 1986, the then Secretary of State for Transport, Nicholas Ridley demanded that the four largest NBC companies be further split in the spirit of competition as they provided too great a competitive threat on deregulation to other operators. This has a major impact on Crosville as it is forced to be split.

13/02/1986
 

1986

Ahead of deregulation the new Crosville Wales Ltd., is created from the renaming of ‘The Devon General Omnibus And Touring Company on the 20th of May 1986, with the new company becoming fully operational from the 10th of August 1986.

10/08/1986
 

1986

Bws Gwynedd was the brand name given by Gwynedd County Council to the emerging deregulated bus network in the county of Gwynedd in 1986 with its famous red front and yellow line which segregated the red from the colours of the operating bus company.

01/04/1986
 

1986

Launch of the new Crosville Wales identity at Penrhyn Castle on 4 September 1986.

04/09/1986
 

1986

One of the biggest upheavals to impact the bus industry in the UK in modern times was the introduction of the Transport Act 1985 on the 26th of October 1986.

26/10/1986
 

1986

The mini bus revolution comes following deregulation. The age of the mini bus was based upon replacing existing big bus operation as well as introducing new services to housing estates and places not previously served.

26/10/1986
 

1987

Crosville closes its Love Lane depot in Liverpool following a difficult period of labour relations. 270 job losses take place, 230 of which were drivers. This sadly ended Crosville’s 60 year presence in Liverpool.

31/01/1987
 

1987

Crosville Wales Ltd., is purchased through a management buy-out from the National Bus Company.

22/12/1987
 

1988

Crosville Motor Services is sold to ATL (Western) Ltd. of Rotherham with 1,169 staff and 470 vehicles. Coincidentally 470 vehicles were also allocated to the new Crosville Wales company on the split, which was sold three months earlier. Crosville’s new owner was ATL (Western) Ltd. of Rotherham and parent company of Carlton PSV (Sales) Ltd. It had also purchased National Travel (East) Ltd as well as Yelloway of Rochdale. ATL soon ran into difficulties from the inexperience of running bus companies, in particularly around maintenance. Yelloway’s operating licence was subsequently cancelled with Crosville taking over it’s operations from a depot in Rochdale.

25/03/1988
 

1988

In October 1988 Crosville Wales’ management sells to National Express.

01/10/1988
 

1989

Less than a year later Crosville Motor Services was sold again, this time to the Drawlane Group on the 18th of February, 1989. It was announced that Crosville would return again to it’s previous flagship status, however sadly this never happened. Heswall depot was closed on the 4th of September, 1988 with vehicle fleet being reallocated to Rock Ferry depot. West Kirby bus station also succumbed to closure on the 10th of April, 1989 as well as the depot itself not long afterwards. Drawlane also owned North Western and Midland Red North and as such saw an opportunity in September 1989 to rationalise operations between it’s neighbouring subsidiaries. Crosville had already been weakened under ATL ownership, and was to be further weakened through the upcoming rationalisation. This resulted in Crosville depots and staff being split and transferred to other companies as follows: - The Crewe operation transferred to Midland Red North - Manchester and Rochdale operations went to Bee-Line - East Cheshire operations went to C-Line - Runcorn and Warrington depots were transferred to North Western with Northwich following in January 1990.

18/02/1989
 

1989

In June 1989 National Express Holdings acquire Amberline Ltd. This was the renamed Amberline of Speake which was formed in the mid 1970’s. At the time Amberline had 120 odd staff with a fleet size of 55 vehicles. The fleet was made up of mini buses; double deckers; coaches and a number of double deck Metroliners. The company was already operating services on behalf of National Express through contract; private hire and local bus services. Subsequently Crosville Wales vehicles were drafted into Merseyside to bolster the ailing company with Crosville Wales’ new dragon logo replaced with a similar Liver bird design. Vehicles used by Amberline on local bus services would adopt the Crosville Wales green and white. Losses also took place in local authority contracts as well as a decision by Amberline to terminate some contracts. As a result of Crosville Wales becoming responsible for Amberline this placed further financial pressure on the former, itself a fledgling company struggling to survive in the brave new world of bus deregulation and privatisation.

01/06/1989
 

1990

Crosville’s remaining depots at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Rock Ferry were subsequently sold to PMT Ltd., of Stoke-on-Trent on the 2nd of February 1990. PMT also purchased the rights to use the Crosville name. PMT Ltd. (company number 02291753) was created on 12 December 1986 when it was purchased by its management and employees through a buyout from the National Bus Company. This is not to me confused with the original Potteries Motor Traction company (company number 00057968) incorporated on 28 June, 1898.

02/02/1990
 

1990

The original Crosville company was left with only six vehicles for disposal. As the rights to use the Crosville name had been sold to PMT the original Crosville Motor Services Ltd., was renamed North British Bus Ltd., from 30 March 1990.

30/03/1990
 

1990

PMT (Stoke) Limited, (company number 00057968) the original Potteries Motor Traction company incorporated on 28 June 1898, a dormant company by now, is re-registered as Crosville Limited on 15 August 1990, to protect the Crosville name, having purchased the rights to use the name on the 2nd of February 1990. Crosville Limited still exists today, albeit as a dormant, non trading company within the First Bus Group.

15/08/1990
 

1990

In October 1990 Crosville Wales’ Amlwch depot closes for the very last time to make way for a new Kwik Save store that opened on the site in 1992. Crosville Wales as it was by then continued its presence in Amlwch but operating from a vehicle parking area situated on the nearby industrial estate. This was unfortunately the fate of other depots in the region during this period including Caernarfon in 1991 followed by Pwllheli in 1992.

01/10/1990
 

1991

In June 1991 the National Express Group sells to the Drawlane Transport Group for £10.25m. The deal includes subsidiaries Crosville Wales, Eurolines (UK), Amberline, Tayside Travel Services, Roadmaster Travel Services, Carlton PSV and the trading units of Crusader Group Travel, Travellers World and National Express Holidays.

01/06/1991
 

1992

British Bus is founded in November 1992 when the Drawlane Transport Group decides to split its bus interests from its National Express ownership in the lead up to the stock market listing of National Express. British Bus would own 21 bus companies, including Crosville Wales.

01/11/1992
 

1992

National Express is floated on the London Stock Exchange on the 1st of December 1992 for a price of 165p per share.

01/12/1992
 

1993

The assets of the Drawlane Transport Group plc is taken over by British Bus plc in early 1993 following the floatation of National Express in 1992.

01/01/1993
 

1995

The final throws of the Cymru Coastliner service saw the service operated by Leyland Tiger/ Plaxton coaches in the standard Crosville Cymru bus livery but with special vinyls applied. Sadly the Cymru Coastliner was withdrawn completely in 1995 due to reduced farebox revenue and service rationalisation just before it reached its 30 years in operation.

01/06/1995
 

1995

In June 1995 PMT Ltd., is sold to Badgerline which in turn would be merged with the GRT Group, forming First Bus. This is then further reorganised to First Staffordshire & South Cheshire (covering the original Potteries Motor Traction operations) and First Chester & The Wirral (covering north Cheshire and Wirral operations) but remaining a part of First Potteries until 2010. On 12 November 2012 First Chester & The Wirral was sold to Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire which had also purchased Ribble Motor Services in 1988. First Potteries Limited (company number 02291753) is still active within the First Bus Group and is actually the re-registered PMT Limited, which took place on 09 August 2001 with Companies House.

01/06/1995
 

1996

In August 1996 Cowie purchases British Bus. It had been proposed to float British Bus on the stock exchange but this was cancelled with the business sold to the Cowie Group. Crosville Wales is also sold as a part of British Bus.

01/08/1996
 

1997

In 1997 Cowie adopts a policy that would introduce a corporate identity for all companies owned. The name would be Arriva. The first vehicle at Crosville Wales to appear in the new Arriva branding and livery would be Mercedes Benz MMM240, in December of the same year.

01/01/1997
 

1998

Crosville Wales Ltd., is officially renamed Arriva Cymru Ltd., on the 2nd of April, 1998 with Companies House brining the beginning of the end of the Crosville name in Wales. Full fleet branding into the corporate identity would be accelerated.

02/08/1998
 

2001

Possibly the last recorded vehicle to carry the Crosville Wales fleet brand and livery in live service in Wales was EOG212, seen by Andy Hamer at Caego depot on 25 July 2001. Andy commented that EOG212 clung on in very faded Crosville Wales livery, still carrying the livery and fleet names with a small white Arriva logo/name on the first nearside window.

25/07/2001
 

2002

On 09 June 2002, CRG163 is sold to Richard Lloyd Jones for further preservation following numerous phone calls and meetings. By now CRG163 was down at heel, requiring further restoration and significant investment.

Learn More09/06/2003
 

2002

From the 10th of June 2002 onwards active restoration of CRG163 begins taking two years to complete. Hundreds of miles are travelled across the UK in the search for parts. The furthest location being the Scotch Corner in sourcing six hubs (wheels).

Learn More10/06/2003
 

2002

On 08 November 2002, registered company Frontline Enterprises Limited (company number 2718097) is re-registered Crosville Bus Limited. On the actual written resolution accompanying the certification of registration of name change it states for and on behalf of Stevensons of Uttoxeter Limited. Crosville Bus Limited, a dormant company is however dissolved on 13 April 2013. Stevensons of Uttoxeter was purchased in June 1994 by British Bus and operated it in conjunction with Midland Red North, which by today is part of Arriva Midlands.

Learn More08/11/2003
 

2004

On 01 May 2004, CRG163 is publicly unveiled for the first time following restoration at the Llandudno Transport Festival. By now CRG163 has been restored and repainted into the National white livery the vehicle carried between 1972 and 1979. CRG163 would also proudly carry new bespoke traditional metal fleet plates and as carried when new.

Learn More01/05/2004
 

2004

CRG163 attends an event at Parc Glynllifon which includes preserved, historic vehicles.

Learn More09/05/2004
 

2004

CRG163 attends the Henblas Vintage Rally on the Isle of Anglesey.

Learn More16/05/2004
 

2004

CRG163 surprises the Crosville Enthusiasts Club 1967 North Wales tour by appearing at Conwy through a surprise arrangement with the late Gwyn Taylor-Williams, conveying members to Bangor. It was an absolutely amazing day as Mr Jack Cowap was on board, 88 years old and former driver of CRG163 when based at Crosville’s Edge Lane depot operating the Liverpool - London service. Also on the same journey was another valuable passenger in the form of Bob Moelfre (Robert Roberts). Bob once worked at Crosville’s Amlwch depot and drive many miles with CRG163 when as ERG163 on the X10 from Cemaes Bay to Liverpool. Bob even drove restored CRG163 around the Cibyn Industrial Estate on the same afternoon. What an absolute magic moment!

Learn More12/06/2004
 

2004

CRG163 attends the Oswestry Show stopping in Bala on the way home for an evening meal at ‘Y Badell Aur’ Chip Shop.

Learn More20/06/2004
 

2004

Newly restored CRG163 becomes a bit of a celebrity by being featured on the front page of the Bus & Coach Preservation magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 with a five page internal spread. This included a full photo shoot of the vehicle between Bangor and Menai Bridge with the main cover photo taken of CRG163 driving through the famous arches of the Menai Suspension Bridge displaying X10 Bangor on the destination screen. Coincidentally the X10 never operated to Bangor but operated from Cemaes Bay to Liverpool and vice versa. Bangor was added as the destination for the photo shoot as on the day the final destination was Bangor. X10 was added on the destination screen out of respect for Crosville’s Amlwch staff. This destination of X10 Bangor would be used for the EFE model launched in September 2006.

Learn More01/07/2004
 

2004

CRG163 attends the Malpas Yesteryear Vintage Rally near Wrecsam.

Learn More12/09/2004
 

2004

On 03 October 2004, restored CRG163 returns home to Merseyside by attending the Wirral Bus & Tram Show in Birkenhead. Following the show CRG163 visits the Woodside Ferry Terminal, followed by an impromptu trip across to Liverpool Lime Street Station where CRG163 and as ERG163 would operate in active service with Crosville. On the way home to North Wales CRG163 stops outside Crosville’s former Rock Ferry depot in Birkenhead.

Learn More03/10/2004
 

2005

CRG163 operates a free shuttle bus service from the Porthmadog Park bus station to the Leisure Centre car park in the same time town in support of a model railway exhibition taking place at the Glaslyn Leisure Centre.

Learn More16/07/2005
 

2005

CRG163 has a road run from Porthmadog to Pwllheli.

Learn More30/07/2005
 

2005

CRG163 takes part again in the Wirral Bus & Tram Show before stopping once again at the location once used for long distance coach services at Woodside, Birkenhead.

Learn More01/10/2005
 

2006

CRG163 takes part in the Crosville 100 event to commemorate 100 since Crosville began back in 1906. The event consisted of all vehicles parked at the Rhyl Arena forming a static exhibition before a road run of all vehicles present from Rhyl to the Llandudno Transport Festival following the former 409 bus route operated by Crosville.

Learn More30/04/2006
 

2006

EFE launches its first 1:76 scale model of the ECW bodied Bristol RELH Series 2 Mark 1 coach with CRG 163 being used for this purpose. The model is unveiled and represents CRG 163 in preservation with X10 Bangor on the model’s destination screen. The model number is 32202.

Learn More01/09/2006
 

2007

Restored CRG163 returns to its former home of Amlwch and pays homage to Crosville’s former depot in the town and all it’s staff. Again it proudly displays ‘X10’ on it’s destination out of respect which was the express service once operated from the depot back in the day from Cemaes Bay to Liverpool on Saturdays

Learn More12/06/2020
 

2008

This was an emotional day without doubt as John ‘Llanrug’ Griffith, family and friends had a ride out with CRG 163 on former Crosville routes in the Caernarfon area. John was a former driver of Crosville’s Caernarfon depot who sadly passed away from illness a few weeks later. However we all had a fantastic day with CRG 163 including John’s drive around the Caernarfon Cibyn Industrial Estate. Subsequently following John’s passing the photo of him peering out of CRG 163’s cab window was framed and presented to John’s wife as a memento of the day.

Learn More07/12/2008
 

2009

CRG163 attends her final show and this at the Llandudno Transport Festival where it all began five years earlier in 2004, before bowing out of the bus preservation scene for quite some time due to changes in life circumstances and priorities around family and work. Parking and engineering support has also become an issue. CRG 163 is moved for storage.

Learn More03/05/2009
 

2009

CRG163 would attend numerous bus shows and events between 2004 and 2009 not captured as yet on this page of the website.

Learn More01/11/2010
 

2010

CRG163 is forced to move from its current location as parking is no longer available.

Learn More06/11/2010
 

2013

North British Bus Ltd., is dissolved on the 8th of April, 2013 having been incorporated on the 30th of May 1930 having previously operated as the original Crosville Motor Services Limited between the 30th of May 1930 and the 30th of March 1990.

08/04/2013
 

2014

CRG163 is moved again with mechanical work undertaken in preparation for MOT. Work is however stopped as well as access to the vehicle sadly becoming impossible.

01/03/2014
 

2018

CRG163 finally becomes accessible and is moved again to new storage. Access remains very limited.

02/09/2018
 

2020

A new private Facebook group is launched on all things CRG163 for family and friends.

11/01/2020
 

2020

CRG 163 is moved again in order to access engineering support and facilitate further restoration.

12/01/2020
 

2020

The world is engulfed by a world wide emergency in the form of the Covid19 pandemic. National UK lockdowns come into force in an attempt to curb the pandemic. No further work on CRG163 takes place.

01/04/2020
 

2021

The world begins to emerge from the Covid19 pandemic and so does the continuation of the further restoration of CRG163. New parts for CRG 163 are quickly ordered which includes replacement fog lights and trafficators (front side indicators) following unknown damage.

12/06/2020
 

2021

A new bespoke website on all things CRG163 is launched. This website will grow considerably over time and will chart CRG163’s developments going forward.

30/06/2020
 

2022

CRG 163’s second restoration gathers pace and includes sandblasting, treatment and painting of all hubs; new tyres all round; new woodwork for the vehicle’s nearside lockers and vehicle frame; rebuilt radiator and other work.

22/01/2022
 

2022

CRG163 is included in official publicity photographs by National Express as it celebrates 50 years in operation.

29/03/2022
 

2022

A new book is published titled ‘National Express - The Journey of an Iconic Brand’, featuring an image of CRG163 in preservation taken by the owner at the beginning of October, 2005 at Woodside, Birkenhead.

Learn More10/05/2022
 

2022

CRG163’s EFE 1:76 scale model appears in the Bus & Coach Preservation magazine.

Learn More07/12/2022
 

2023

CRG 163 is moved again to a new location and presently awaits inspection and preparation for its voluntary MOT.

16/04/2023