Leicester City Tramways / Corporation Tramways
Owner Leicester Corporation
Took over 1st July 1901 (Leicester Tramways [horse])
Operator Leicester Corporation
First electric route 18th May 1904
Closed 9th November 1949
Length 22.74 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins
Button description (Pattern 1) Title (‘Leicester Corporation') surrounding arms (shield with cinquefoil, surmounted by a wyvern on a torse)
Materials known Gilt
Button Line reference [None]
Button description (Pattern 2) Title (‘Leicester City Tramways’) surrounding arms (shield with cinquefoil, surmounted by a wyvern on a torse)
Materials known Nickel; chrome; black horn
Button Line reference [113/38]
Comment It is interesting to note that Leicester was only granted city status in 1919, though strictly speaking, this was actually a ‘restoration’, as Leicester had once been a city in Saxon times. Tramcars only carried the legend ‘Leicester City Tramways’ after this date, previously carrying the title ‘Leicester Corporation Tramways'. In view of this, it seems highly likely that the Pattern 2 button was only issued from 1919 onwards, and that prior to this date another button was used, but without the designation 'City'; in the absence of marked tramway buttons, this was in all probability the Pattern 1 button shown above.
The supporters to the arms, which were used on tramway cap badges - and later ’transport-era’ buttons - were not officially granted until 1929, though they could of course have been used by the city prior to this.
For those interested, a cinquefoil is a 5-petalled flower and 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.