Crosville bus depot site, Beach Road
The Crosville Social Club stands on the opposite side of Beach Road from the site of the Crosville bus depot. The depot provided employment and buses for many generations of Bangor residents from 1931 to 2006.
In the Second World War, the Daimler Motor Company moved some of its production of aero-parts to Bangor from its headquarters in Coventry. It occupied the Crosville garage and a newly built factory at Glanadda, which the Ministry of Aircraft Production had acquired. This ministry had been set up in May 1940 in response to production problems as the Battle of Britain loomed. Production was relocated to “safe” areas of Britain as German air raids caused increasing disruption and damage to aircraft factories in southern and central England.
Over 1,000 people were employed in the Bangor factories, making propeller shafts for Rolls-Royce aero engines and radial aero-engines for the Bristol Aeroplane Company which were used in planes such as the Fairey Swordfish and Halifax bomber. Daimler’s administrative staff turned the drawing room of Penrhyn Castle, now a National Trust stately home, into office space. Many local women were employed there.
The Crosville Motor Company was established in 1906 in Chester. It acquired local bus companies across North Wales in the inter-war years, including Bangor Blue (see Footnotes). It later became part of the state-owned National Bus Company. The photo on the right shows a bus Crosville Bangor crew in the 1950s or early 1960s. The conductor, on the left, is Ken Lewis, who was born in Bangor and played football for Bangor City, Walsall, Boston and Scunthorpe United at various times.
In 1987 Crosville Wales was bought by its managers, after the English and Welsh parts of Crosville were split for privatisation. Crosville Wales was later acquired by Cowie Group, which became Arriva in the late 1990s. In 2006 the depot was replaced by a £1m new facility on Llandygai Industrial Estate. The bus company was nationalised again in 2010 when Arriva was acquired by Deutsche Bahn, the rail company owned by the German government.
The photo below shows the Bangor depot in the 1980s.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum
Postcode: LL57 1AB
Footnotes: Bangor Blue bus staff in 1927