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1920s and 1930s—early growth

In 1919, there was some debate as to whether the service to Ruthin would be seasonal only. Crosville’s managing director stated, “We shall do our level best to provide a service right through” which, in fact, it did. The level of usage clearly justified retaining it beyond the summer months. In those days, Denbighshire & Flintshire County Councils charged the bus company to use the roads in their counties. This document, left, from Crosville indicated how many journeys the company made in the summer months of 1920. It was divided up by the journeys to Ruthin, to Loggerheads and to Llanferres. Someone has helpfully undertaken a calculation in pencil on the document. The charge was 3d (just over 1 new pence) per mile. The charge is for three miles for each journey from Mold to the Denbighshire county boundary which is near Loggerheads. The three-month charge in Flintshire was nearly £79. Denbighshire also made a charge and this in 1919 was initially 2d per mile. In the summer of 1923, although Ruthin services still terminated in Mold at the Victoria Hotel, Crosville opened a purpose-built garage at Ponterwyl in the town, which lasted till its closure in 1999 at which point buses transferred to a new site at Manor Lane, Hawarden. The Ponterwyl site is currently occupied by Homebase.  By 1926, Crosville had allocated the numbers 7A and 7B to the Ruthin - Mold service, although it took some years for the buses themselves to show service numbers alongside the final destinations. In 1926, the number of weekday departures had increased to six in each direction. Crosville added two Sunday journeys. It was in this year that the previously grey buses were progressively painted red, then maroon. Also in 1926, Crosville purchased land at Loggerheads on the Ruthin - Mold route whereupon it built its tea rooms to help attract passengers. Loggerheads continued as a popular destination by bus till the end of the 1960s, after which the private motor car became progressively more important. Crosville’s ownership of and association with Loggerheads lasted for almost 50 years. It was in 1974 that Crosville sold its Loggerheads interest to the newly established Clwyd County Council. Direct daily bus services from Birkenhead to Mold, Loggerheads and Ruthin began in 1924 at a fare  to Ruthin of 6/- or 30p and to Loggerheads of 4/- (20p). There were two daily journeys in summer and one in winter. There was also a daily summer charabanc service from Birkenhead to Loggerheads only, using a saloon with retractable canvas roof. Also from 1926, there was a service from Warrington & Frodsham to Loggerheads and one from Liverpool, Speke and the Runcorn Transport Bridge. It is likely that these were converted to coach tours during the mid-1930s. It was only in October 1928 that Crosville buses had reached the village of Llanarmon yn Iâl. From about the same time, the family firms of Peters based in the village and George Edwards of Bwlchgwyn began operating motor buses to Mold in competition but only on Mold market days. Edwards had ceased by the mid 1930s and Peters in 1970. During the decade, Crosville buses in use on the Ruthin - Mold service were single deck Daimlers and Leylands. During the decade, there was a change from solid to pneumatic tyres and the driving position moved from behind the engine to alongside it, helping to maximise passenger seating capacity. By 1929, most Mold - Ruthin journeys continued to Denbigh, although in 1931 some of these were truncated again to run only between Mold and Ruthin. There were significant additional peak summer journeys between Ruthin and Mold, with 11 on weekdays, 13 on Saturdays and 10 on Sundays. The first reference to bus services from Eryrys was in 1930, when Crosville operated three journeys on Mondays to Fridays and four on Saturdays. There were minor changes but the basic pattern of service for Eryrys continued for over 40 years. Meanwhile, by 1936, Crosville added a separate route to Maeshafn, with up to four return journeys on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. From 1935, there were double the number of journeys from Birkenhead to Loggerheads and Ruthin, at four per day (summer) and two (winter). This was reduced to one journey at the outbreak of the Second World War. After the war, this oscillated between one and four departures but settled at one per day till the Birkenhead to Ellesmere Port section was withdrawn as late as 1984. The bus journey time between Ruthin and Mold had now reduced to 45 minutes. This compares to today’s times of 24 minutes (direct); 37 minutes (via Llanarmon yn Iâl); and 46 minutes (via Llanarmon, Graianrhyd, Eryrys and Maeshafn).  In 1936, the service was renumbered 125, though again this was only shown in timetables and not on buses. The Mold terminus had moved from the Victoria Hotel to near the town’s railway station. One year later, the Ruthin terminus moved from the Castle Hotel to Market Street.  During the 1930's, Crosville operated a more mixed fleet of vehicle types. Saloons were still used on the Ruthin - Mold service, the most popular type in Crosville ownership at the end of the decade was the Leyland Tiger. There emerged a preference for bodywork by Eastern Coach Works, a type long associated with Crosville till the early 1980s. Throughout the decade, there was a change from petrol to oil (i.e. diesel) driven buses. 
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A Leyland GH7LW with dual doors and 40 seats as used by Crosville in the late 1920s
Leyland Lion PLSC1 with 32 seat body used by Crosville from 1927 until the 1940s
Leyland Lion PLSC3 with a Burlingham 34 seat body, which joined Crosville in 1939
Leyland Lion LT2 with 35 seat body, new to Crosville in 1931
Leyland Lion LT7 with Burlingham Utilities 34 seat body,        new to Crosville in 1935
Leyland Tiger TS7 new in 1936 and seeing service till 1960
© 1919-2019 Denbighshire County Council
Used with permission of the Flintshire Record Office