Plymouth Corporation Tramways



Owner Plymouth Corporation
Took over 28th September 1892 (Plymouth Tramways Company, owners of the Plymouth, Devonport and District Tramways [horse])
Operator Plymouth Corporation
First electric route 22nd September 1899
Took over (track) 1901 (Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramways [electric] - lines within the corporation boundary)
Operator (lessee) Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramways Company
Took over 20th October 1915 (Devonport and District Tramways [electric]), a subsidiary of the British Electric Traction Company Limited, following absorption of Devonport into Plymouth Corporation
Took over 1st July 1922 (Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Tramways following expiry of their lease)
Closed 29th September 1945
Length 17.57 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description (Pattern 1) Title ('Plymouth Corporation Tramways') in circlet, surrounding arms (shield with saltire and four towers, surmounted by a crown with four flags/pennants) supported by lions, all above a boat and waves
Materials known Brass
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (Pattern 2) Arms (shield with saltire and four towers, surmounted by a crown with four flags/pennants) supported by lions, all above a boat and waves
Materials known Brass; chrome
Button Line reference [None]

Comments
The shield device used on both the above buttons is taken from the original arms of Plymouth (early 17th Century), though the precise origin of the rest of the arms is much less clear. Whilst a crown and anchor crest, and lion supporters, were officially granted to Plymouth Council in 1931 - to reflect the absorption of Devonport and East Stonehouse (in 1915) and the elevation to city status (in 1928) - the new crest in fact differs markedly from that depicted on the buttons. One explanation may be that the arms on the buttons are in fact an invention used by the corporation.

The Pattern 1 button is clearly marked as 'tramway', and was most probably superseded by the Pattern 2 button some time after the mid 1920s when Plymouth Corporation Tramways changed its title (though not the tramcars) to Plymouth Corporation Tramways and Transport Department.