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1919—the start of the service

1919 was at the start of a considerable expansion of British bus services. The First World War saw personnel ready-trained to drive and a surplus of post-war vehicles available for re-bodying as buses. This coincided with changes to the economy and a general increase in the need for travel. In 1908, prior to Crosville, the London & North Western Railway had begun motor bus operations from Mold, including to Loggerheads, extending to Llanferres in the following year. Crosville had yet to reach Ruthin. The War Office commandeered buses for the First World War, with most non-essential bus services suspended. The Llanferres extension ceased in 1914 and the service to Loggerheads a year later. Crosville Motor Services and Ruthin’s politicians nevertheless had their sights on a Ruthin to Mold service but for the intervention of the war. In 1918, Ruthin’s mayor was “strongly of the opinion that motor traction had come to stay”. There were great celebrations when in July 1919—probably the 10th—the new Crosville bus service began. The first timetable for Ruthin - Mold from July 1919 shows two return journeys on Mondays to Fridays, from Ruthin Castle Hotel at 1035 and 1600 (soon to become 1715), with an additional one on Saturdays at 2030 and Ruthin fair days (the first Tuesday of each month). Crosville added an additional journey from May 1921. Reflecting the early vehicle technology available & no doubt the condition of the roads, the end-to-end journey time was 70 minutes, although that from Mold to Ruthin took an extra five minutes. In 1919, the single bus fare from Ruthin to Mold was 2/2d (2 shilling and 2 old pence, which is about 11 new pence). By 1929, the return fare had actually reduced to 1/6d (or 8p). The Ruthin to Mold service started even before the 1921 service from Mold to Chester. The Ruthin terminus was outside the Castle Hotel, St Peter’s Square. Crosville used the Victoria Hotel in Mold at 25 Chester Street (currently a dentist), where by 1919 Crosville had opened a branch and office. It had the telephone number Mold 23. We have found no pictures of the actual bus used for the first service. Correspondence suggests that the first buses were obtained from coach builders who had constructed and fitted brand new bodies on chassis of older buses used before the First World War. It is highly likely, therefore, that the chassis was a Daimler and the body was either by Eaton or London Improved. The image right of a similar vehicle is from the Crosville Motor Services collection. Following the start of the service, it was in October 1919 that Crosville notified Flintshire County Council that it wanted to cancel for the winter months one of the journeys to Loggerheads, with a slight change to another journey.  Crosville confirmed that the majority of the Loggerheads (and Ruthin) journeys would nevertheless run throughout the winter period.
Denbighshire County Council. QUARTERLY MEETING. Mr. W. G. Dodd (Llangollen) presided at the Quarterly Meeting of the Denbighshire County Council, held at Denbigh, on Friday MOLD - RUTHIN BUS SERVICE   The Council decided unanimously to enter into an agreement with the Crosville Motor Company allowing the latter to run a motorbus service from Mold to the Loggerheads and on to Ruthin in the summer months. It is stipulated in the agreement that the weight of each omnibus is not to exceed 7 tons laden, and that 2d per mile covered be paid to the County Council by the company Reported in the Llangollen Advertiser, Friday May 15th 1919
An early L & N W R bus at Mold railway station
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Victoria  Hotel Used with permission of the Flintshire Record Office Used with permission of the Flintshire Record Office
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