Rhondda Tramways



Owner Rhondda Urban District Council
Took over 31st October 1904 (lines of the defunct Pontypridd and Rhondda Valley Tramway Co [horse] within the council boundaries)
Opened 11th July 1908 (electric)
Operator (lessee) Rhondda Tramways Company Limited (a subsidiary of the National Electric Construction Co Ltd, known as the NEC)
Closed 1st February 1934
Length 20.92 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description
Pattern of button currently unknown

Comments
Photographs of Rhondda Tramways Company staff are rare, and those that have survived give no indication as to the buttons worn (see link); however, given that the owners of the company (the NEC) appear not to have issued marked buttons to staff of any of its other five subsidiary companies (see below), it seems highly likely that it did likewise with the RTCo. I have however provided examples of two buttons opposite, one of which - Example 2 - was definitely issued by the RTCo, but almost certainly after its change of name in June 1934, to the Rhondda Transport Company Limited, i.e. after the demise of the tramway. The fact that this pattern of button is only known in chrome, a material that did not come into widespread usage until the mid 1930s (see link), supports this chronology. The other button - Example 1 - has only recently come to light, and I have no evidence whatsoever that it is connected to the Rhondda Tramways Company; the fact that it is of two-piece construction (a blazer button) would strongly suggest it is not a tramway button.

The Pontypridd and Rhondda Valley Tramway was purchased by British Electric Traction in 1898, but when local authority (Rhondda and Pontypridd Urban District Councils) agreement to extend and electrify the system was not forthcoming, BET eventually split the system and sold it to the respective councils.

The NEC also owned and/or operated the City of Oxford Tramways (1907-1914), Dewsbury, Ossett & Soothill Nether Tramways (1908-1931), Mexborough & Swinton Tramways (1907-1929), Musselburgh and District Tramways (1904-1932) and Torquay Tramways (1907-1934).