Manchester Corporation Tramways

Owner Manchester Corporation
17th May 1877 (horse)
Operator Manchester Carriage Company (via lessees, Messrs Busby and Turton)
Merger (operator) 1880 ('MCC' merged with the Manchester Suburban Tramways Company to form the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company Limited)
Took over (track) 1885 and 1890 (owned by various Local Boards), following expansion of the municipal boundaries
Lease transferred 25th June 1890 (from Busby and Turton to the 'MC&TCoLtd')
Took over (operation) 1901 to 30th March 1903 - lines owned by the Corporation, numerous local urban district councils, and the 'MC&TCoLtd' (also the track and equipment)
First electric route 6th June 1901
Took over (operation) 1st June 1902 (newly electrified lines of the former MC&TCoLtd owned by Stockport Corporation)
Took over (operation) 24th December 1902 (newly built Manchester New Road line owned by Middleton Corporation)
Took over (operation) 21st September 1903 (newly built Middleton Junction line owned by Middleton Corporation)
Took over (operation) 30th October 1905 - Westinghouse Circle line of Trafford Park Tramways (operated as a through service together with Salford Corporation Tramways)
Took over (operation) 2nd July 1921 (1.29 miles within the boundary of Denton UDC and 0.83 miles within the boundary of Audenshaw UDC - lines formerly operated by Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Electric Tramways)
Took over (operation) 15th June 1925 (lines of the former Middleton Electric Traction Company purchased by Middleton Corporation) - initially worked as a joint committee consisting of the municipal authorities involved
Took over (operation) 9th August 1925 (Rochdale to Manchester - via Middleton - route, owned by Rochdale, Middleton and Manchester and worked jointly with Rochdale Corporation Tramways)
Took over (operation) 19th May 1928 (newly built Hollin Lane to Heywood line, owned by Heywood and Middleton Corporations) - worked jointly with Bury Corporation Tramways
Name changed 1st November 1929 (to Manchester Corporation Transport Department)
Took over (operation) 12th May 1945 (lines to Hyde previously worked by Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfeld Tramways)
Closed 10th January 1949
Length 119.23 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description Title ('Manchester Corporation Tramways') in circlet, surrounding arms (shield with diagonal bands below ship, surmounted by a globe) with lion and antelope supporters, all above motto 'Concilio Et Labore' (Wisdom and Effort)
Materials known Brass
Button Line reference [114/46]

Comment The initial lease for the first horse tramway (The Pendleton and Kersal Tramway), later known as ‘The Manchester and Salford Tramways’, was granted to Messrs Busby and Turton jointly by the corporations of Salford and Manchester. Shortly before the line was opened, a deal was struck (by Busby and Turton) to transfer all their tramway assets and interests to the Manchester Carriage Company. This arrangement was reached without the knowledge of the two corporations - who strenuously objected - and led to an endless series of disputes, a situation that persisted for 13 years. Throughout this period, the de facto operator of the corporation lines was the Manchester Carriage Company (and its successor, the Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company Limited), either directly (for newer lines) or indirectly via Busby and Turton (for the original lines)!

Numerous photographs of ‘MCC’ and ‘MC&TCoLtd’ staff indicate that no uniform was worn. Staff appear to be well-turned out, but in a mixture of jackets and hats (eg, flat caps; bowlers etc); it therefore seems extremely unlikely that marked buttons ever existed for these companies.