Newcastle and Gosforth Tramways
Owner Newcastle and Gosforth Tramways and Carriage Company
Opened 1878 (horse; later steam)
Took over (lessee) All lines owned and constructed by Newcastle Corporation
Operator Newcastle and Gosforth Tramways and Carriage Company
Taken over 13th April 1901 - Newcastle Corporation Tramways (all horse car services ceased on this date).
Length 12.19 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins
Button description Title (‘Newcastle Tramway Company’) surrounding arms (shield with 3 towers, surmounted by tower with lion), with seahorse supporters, all above motto: ‘Fortita Defendit Triumphans’ (Triumphing by brave defence)
Materials known Brass (2-piece construction)
Button Line reference [None]
Comment This button is something of a mystery as I am not aware of any company of this name; however, given that the buttons carry the arms of the City of Newcastle, the company must have been closely linked to Newcastle Corporation. As far as tramways are concerned, there is no exception to the rule that official arms were only used on municipally-owned systems. The potential difficulties of using municipally owned arms are nicely illustrated by the case of the Edinburgh Street Tramways Company, who invented their own arms, loosely based on those of the City of Edinburgh, but different enough to avoid any legal complications! As all examples of this button (known to me) have clearly been worn for some considerable time, I suspect that they were actually issued to staff of the Newcastle and Gosforth Tramways and Carriage Company Limited, who were in effect working (on a lease basis) for Newcastle Corporation. However, in the absence of firm evidence, this must remain mere speculation.