Hartlepool Electric Tramways



Owner General Electric Tramways Company Ltd (owned by the Electric Construction Company of Wolverhampton)
Took over 1895 lines of the defunct Hartlepools Steam Tramways Company
Opened 19th May 1896 (electric)
Operator General Electric Tramways Company Ltd
Taken over January 1899 (company acquired by the Hartlepool Electric Tramways Company Ltd - a subsidiary of the British Electric Traction Company Ltd)
Taken over 31st August 1912 (West Hartlepool Corporation - lines within corporation boundary)
Operator (owner) West Hartlepool Corporation (lines within corporation boundary)
Operator (lessee) West Hartlepool Corporation (lines outside corporation boundary)
Purchased 1925 (Hartlepool Corporation - lines within corporation boundary)
Closed 25th March 1927
Length 6.98 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins


Button description (Pattern 1) Wheel, magnet and electrical flashes
Materials known Brass; nickel; chrome; black
Button Line reference [113/16]

Button description (Pattern 2) Shield divided into three (bird above a hound with two anchors, above a sailing ship), surmounted by a stag with cross emerging from a crown, all above motto (in ribbon) ‘E Mare Ex Industria’ (From the sea comes industry)
Materials known Brass; chrome
Button Line reference [None]

Comments Photographs showing staff working Hartlepool's electric tramway are extremely rare (see link) so it is only possible to surmise what buttons were used. During the GETCo era, it would appear that formal uniforms were not issued, and thus that marked buttons never existed. Although I have no confirmatory photographic evidence, it is a foregone conclusion that staff working the trmaway in British Electric Traction Company days (1899 to 1912), would have been issued with the standard BET 'Magnet and Wheel' button (Pattern 1). Following municipalisation, it is assumed that staff wore the standard West Hartlepool coat of arms button (Pattern 2), as no marked tramway buttons are known to exist.

Hartlepool Electric Tramways had a complicated operational history, with West Hartlepool Corporation taking over the running of the whole system from BET, but only buying the lines within the corporation boundary - the remainder being leased. Fifteen years later, BET sold the leased lines to the Corporation of Hartlepool, which continued to lease these lines to West Hartlepool.