Birmingham and Midland Tramways / Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee



Owner Birmingham and Western Districts Tramways Co Ltd (constructor)
Opened 6th July 1885 (steam)
Operator Birmingham and Midland Tramways Ltd
Taken over (operation) 20th May 1893 (Mr B Crowther) - Spon Lane and Bromford Lane services in West Bromwich (horse)
Taken over August 1899 (British Electric Traction Company Ltd)
Taken over (track) 1902 (West Bromwich Corporation) - all track within municipal boundary; subsequently leased back for a period of 21 years
Taken over (track) 1902 (Oldbury UDC) - lines within municipal boundary; leased back for 35 years
Taken over (track) 1903 (Smethwick UDC) - lines within municipal boundary; leased back for 21 years
First electric route November 1903 (worked by cars of the BETCo-owned South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company Limited)
Took over 1st July 1904 (City of Birmingham Tramways Co Ltd; Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Co Ltd; Kinver Light Railway; South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company Limited; Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Ltd) all controlled by BETCo and administered by the newly formed Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee
Name changed 13th August 1912 (to the Birmingham and District Power and Traction Co Ltd)
Took over 1917 (Kidderminster and District Electric Light and Traction Co Ltd)
Taken over (operation) 1st April 1928 (Birmingham Corporation) - main line to Dudley
Name changed 1929 (to the Birmingham and District Investments Trusts Ltd)
Ceased operation 1st October 1930 (on handover of the Darlaston and Wednesbury lines of the SST to Walsall Corporation)
Ceased ownership 1939 (on closure of the Birmingham to Dudley line, leased to Birmingham Corporation since 1928)
Length 12.87 miles (B&MT)
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description (Pattern 1) Title (‘Birmingham & Midland Tramways LD) around rim, with open centre
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (Pattern 2) Wheel, magnet and electrical flashes
Materials known Brass; chrome; black horn
Button Line reference [113/16]

Comment The Pattern 1 button was probably worn by steam tram conductors from 1885 through to around 1890, when the company appears to have ceased to issue uniforms and cap with cap badges. The British Electric Traction Company (owner from 1899) had a common approach to all its subsidiaries (with the exception of its London operations), so staff working the electric services (from 1903 onwards) would have worn the standard BETCo 'Magnet and Wheel' button.

The history of BETCo-owned tramways in the Black Country is a complex one. BETCo essentially started by purchasing shares in Birmingham and Midland Tramways Ltd (steam) and then rapidly expanded their influence by gaining control of several other key tramways. On 1st July 1904, BETCo transferred its shares in these other companies to the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Co Ltd, a company which it directly controlled. The six systems were from then on operated by the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee, which comprised board members of the individual concerns:

- Birmingham and Midland Tramways (via the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Co Ltd)
- City of Birmingham Tramways (via the City of Birmingham Tramways Co Ltd)
- Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Tramways (via the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Co Ltd)
- Kidderminster and Stourport Electric Tramway (via Kidderminster and District Electric Light and Traction Co Ltd) - from October 1915
- Kinver Light Railway (owned by the DSDET)
- South Staffordshire Tramways (via the South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company Limited)
- Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways (via Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Ltd)

The B&MTJC worked both in conjunction, as well as in competition with, its many local authorities, many of whom had their own ambitions. This was ultimately to cause the downfall of the Committee, with its last lines being handed over to Walsall Corporation in 1930.