Barrow-in-Furness Tramways



Owner Barrow-in-Furness Tramways Co Ltd
Opened 11th July 1885 (steam)
Operator Barrow-in-Furness Tramways Co Ltd
Entered liquidation 25th February 1896
Taken over 23rd December 1899 (British Electric Traction Company Limited - BETCo)
Operator BETCo
Last steam service 13th July 1903
First electric service 6th February 1904
Took over (operation) 4th August 1911 - corporation-owned and constructed extension to Biggar Bank
Operator (lessee) BETCo
Taken over 1st January 1920 (Barrow-in-Furness Corporation)
Operator Barrow-in-Furness Corporation
Closed 5th April 1932
Length 6.39 miles
Gauge 4ft 0ins

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

Button description (Pattern 1)
Arms (shield with diagonal band containing an arrow and a bee, flanked by a stag and a serpent, all below a steamship; surmounted by a tower on a torse with a ram's head) all above the motto: 'Semper Sursum' (Ever onward)
Materials known Brass; nickel
Button Line reference [None]

Comment It is currently unclear whether uniforms were issued during the earliest years of the steam tramway, though if they were, marked buttons have not survived. By the mid-1890s, informal attire was definitely being worn so official buttons, as such, would not have existed (see link).

Staff working the electric services (between 1904 and 1920) wore the standard ‘Pattern 1’ British Electric Traction Company button.

Following the municipal take over, and in the absence of specific 'tramway' or indeed 'transport' pattern buttons, it would appear that Barrow-in-Furness Corporation probably used a general untitled coat of arms button (Pattern 2) for all its transport services, including the tramways, though I currently have no proof of this.

A 'torse' was a twisted roll of fabric that was wound around the top of the helm and crest to hold the mantle in place.