Leeds City Tramways



Owner Leeds Corporation
Opened 3rd August 1889 (steam) - newly built Roundhay Road line
Temporary operator Leeds Tramways Company
First electric service 29th October 1891 - newly converted Roundhay Road line (the first overhead electric tramway in Europe)
Operator (concession)
W S Graff-Baker, agent for the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, later the British Thomson-Houston Company
Taken over (operation) 31st October 1893 (Thomson-Houston Electric Company) - Roundhay Electric Tramway concession
Took over
2nd February 1894 (Leeds Tramways Company [steam; horse]) - company-owned lines and all assets
Operator Leeds Corporation (all steam and horse services)
Last BTHCo-operated electric service
31st July 1896 (following the formal withdrawal of BTHCo from the Roundhay Road lease)
First corporation-operated electric service 2nd August 1897
Last horse service 13th October 1901
Last steam service 1st April 1902
Took over (operation) 16th May 1906 (newly built Horsforth UDC-owned lines)
Took over (operation) 4th June 1908 (newly built Pudsey Corporation-owned lines)
Took over (operation) 5th July 1911 (newly built Morley Corporation-owned lines)
Closed 7th November 1959
Length 72.05 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description (1891-1896; Roundhay Electric Tramway) Pattern of button unknown

Button description (1894-1959; Pattern 1)
Arms (shield with stars above a golden fleece, surmounted by an owl) with owl supporters above motto band, but without motto
Materials used Brass; nickel; chrome; black horn
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (1894-1959; Pattern 2) Owl atop a torse
Materials used Nickel; chrome
Button Line reference [None]

Comment Uniforms were definitely issued to staff operating the Roundhay Electric Tramway concession, who were presumably employees of the Thomson-Houston Company. Unfortunately, no examples are known to have survived, so it is currently unclear whether they were plain or marked in any way.

Leeds City Tramway uniforms bore a general Leeds Corporation button (Pattern 1 - large; Pattern 2 - small). Curiously, although the band for the motto is included on the large buttons (Pattern 1), the actual motto — 'Pro Rege et Lege' (For King and Law) — is omitted.

For those interested, a torse is a twisted roll of fabric that was wound around the top of the helm and crest to hold the mantle in place.