Dundee City Tramways



Owner Dundee Corporation
Took over 1st June 1899 (Dundee & District Tramway Company [horse; steam])
Operator Dundee Corporation
First electric route 12th July 1900
Taken over 1914 (Dundee, Broughty Ferry and District Tramways Co Ltd) - a mile of track connecting to the DBF&DT at Belsize Road
Took over 15th May 1931 (Dundee, Broughty Ferry and District Tramways Co Ltd)
Closed 20th October 1956
Length 15.15 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description (Pattern 1) Title ('Dundee City Tramways') surrounding arms (shield with a vase and three lilies, surmounted by three lilies and crest motto: 'Dei Donum' [Gift of God]), with wyvern supporters, all above motto: 'Prudentia et Candore' (With thought and purity)
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [116/85]

Button description (Pattern 2) Arms (shield with a vase and three lilies, surmounted by a mural crown, helmet, lily and crest motto 'Dei Donum' [Gift of God]), with spread-winged dragon supporters, all above motto: 'Prudentia et Candore' (With thought and purity)
Materials known Nickel; chrome
Button Line reference [None]

Comment The motto 'Prudentia et Candore' was only granted to the City of Dundee in 1932, which suggests that the Pattern 1 button post dates this, and that an earlier pattern of button without the motto may exist. However, given the use of wyverns rather than dragons (see below for explanation), this button may well have been issued much earlier than 1932, with the motto being 'unofficial'. Indeed, the absence of the helmet and mantling seen on the later Pattern 2 button (granted in 1935) again suggests an earlier rather than a later date for the Pattern 1 button. The Pattern 2 button was used by the Transport Department and there is some circumstantial evidence to suggest that it was also issued to tramways staff, hence its inclusion.

The supporters are usually shown as wyverns on early 20th Century coats of arms of Dundee (as in the Pattern 1 button), whereas they should in fact be dragons (four legs instead of two - as in the Pattern 2 button). The crest shows three lilies, which is also a later change from the original single lily. The dragons supposedly refer to a beast which ate the nine maidens of Strathmartine, whilst the lilies refer to St Mary, to whom David - Earl of Huntingdon - dedicated a church after praying to her and subsequently being saved from death in a storm off Dundee.