What is CRG163?

CRG163 is a preserved historic 47 seat coach, vehicle registration EFM 163H, which was originally registered on the 6th of March 1970 by the Crosville Motor Services Limited bus and coach company.

The Crosville Motor Services Limited bus company had It’s headquarters 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 consists of the superb Bristol RELH chassis and is fitted with a Series 2, Mark 1, Eastern Coach Works (ECW) coach body. RELH stands for R = Rear; E = Engine; L = Long; H - High.  The vehicle is fitted with the impressive Gardner 6HLX 10.45 litre engine.

Vehicles entering the Crosville fleet would be allocated an alpha numeric fleet number. For further details about Crosville’s fleet allocation system click on the following link which takes you to the appropriate page on this website: Crosville Fleet Numbering.

From Crosville’s fleet numbering system, vehicle EFM163H was allocated the alpha numeric fleet number CRG163, standing for C = Coach; R = Bristol RE; G = Gardner engine.  The 163 numeric element of the fleet number was from the vehicle’s actual registration number.  This wasn’t always the case with Crosville.

Initially CRG163’s fleet number would be displayed on the vehicle by embossed metal plates situated on the vehicle’s front grill; above the front nearside wheel; under the driver’s cab window and on the boot. A smaller plaque would also be displayed on the vehicle’s internal destination door above the windscreen. All Crosville vehicles would be treated as such until metal plates were replaced in the late 1970’s by grey stickers. When restored between 2002 and 2004 new metal fleet plates were produced for CRG163 in order to restore her back to coach status as would have been the case back in the day with Crosville.

A scan of the cover of ’Crosville United’, no’ 57 from 1964 - cover and page 5.  Page 5 describes the introduction of such fine vehicles as the CRG’s in 1963 with a descriptive of their specification.  The image shows brand new CRG495 & CRG496 parked at Pier Head, Liverpool.  My grateful thanks to my good friends Elwyn and Elsbeth Thomas, once Crosville staff/summer employment for providing me with many Crosville United publications.

CRG163 history summary

In essence CRG163’s 50 year old existence can be summed up as follows:

  • 1970 - new to Crosville Motor Services Limited - registered 6th March 1970
  • 1970 to 1979 - operating main line coach work, vehicle fleet classification with Crosville as CRG163 based at the company’s Edge Lane, Liverpool depot
  • 1979 to 1984 - August 1979 the vehicle is downgraded to dual purpose status by Crosville and would then operate on local bus and coach work with the company.  The vehicle’s fleet number is designated to ERG163 with new fleet stickers applied. The alpha code being replaced from ‘C‘ to ‘E‘ to represent the vehicle‘s new dual purpose status.  It would then be based predominantly at the company’s Amlwch depot, Isle of Anglesey, North West Wales
  • 1984 - 13 April 1984 the vehicle is withdrawn from active service by Crosville
  • 1984 to 2002 - vehicle enters bus preservation with Gordon Bate
  • 2002 to present - vehicle purchased by Richard Lloyd Jones for further restoration and preservation

CRG163 history timeline with further details

50 year anniversary

On 06 March, 2020 CRG163 celebrated its 50 year anniversary since the date of its first registration of 06 March 1970. It was therefore a special year for CRG163 and very apt as we enter the next chapter. Unfortunately any restoration progress or celebrations were hindered by the pandemic emergency.

50 year anniversary

On 10 April 2022 the famous NBC logo celebrated 50 years since it’s first introduction on 10 April 1972.

CRG163 - next chapter

In 2020 CRG163 enters its next chapter of further restoratiin. New photos and more will appear on this website as it continues to grow in charting CRG163’s on-going journey.

Covid19 impact

Unfortunately in March 2020 a worldwide emergency emerged in the form of the Covid19 pandemic which impacted on everything. In order to reduce transmission rates various UK and Wales lockdowns and guidance were introduced from March 2020 onwards. This unfortunately halted any restoration progress on CRG163 until restrictions were lifted.

Contact details

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 post@crg163.com .  Many thanks in advance.

Please note 

There are some photos on this website where copyright is unknown.  If these photos are yours then please let me know by e-mailing post@crg163.com so that they can either be removed immediately or copyrighted to your name accordingly.  Thank you.

All photographs have been watermarked on this website and should not be reproduced elsewhere without prior consent. Unfortunately some private photos previously shared on line have been copied without permission and have subsequently appeared for sale by third parties on e-bay.


  • The black and white photo of CRG163 in her original cream and black livery is unknown unfortunately. If anyone knows rhw owner please provide so that credits can be provided.
  • The photo of ERG163 in it’s green and white dual purpose livery departing from Amlwch is being reproduced with thanks to the photographer, our good friend Don McKeown.
  • The third photo is of CRG163 in her first phase of preservation with Richard Jones as restored in her 1970’s NATIONAL livery.

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