Reading Corporation Tramways
Owner Reading Corporation
Took over 1st November 1901 (Reading Tramways Company [horse])
Operator Reading Corporation
First electric route 22nd July 1903
Closed 20th May 1939
Length 7.45 miles
Gauge 4ft 0ins
Button description Arms (shield with five heads - the middle one crowned - surmounted by three escallop shells) surrounded by garlands
Materials known Brass; nickel; chrome
Button Line reference [None]
Comment In the absence of specific 'tramway' or indeed 'transport' pattern buttons, it would appear that Reading Corporation used this general untitled coat of arms pattern button for all its transport services - including the tramways - possibly from its inception in 1901. Given that the original town arms had the letters 'RE' on them and these were only restored to the borough arms in 1953 - along with a grant of crest and supporters - it seems reasonable to assume that this pattern of button was issued during the first half of the twentieth century, presumably being replaced some time after 1953.
The crowned head is reputed to be that of Edward the Martyr who was murdered by his stepmother Queen Elfrida; she subsequently founded a religious house at Reading as recompense for her misdeeds. The escallop shells are a reference to the pilgrims who came to Reading Abbey and who wore them as a badge of pilgrimage.
Link Visit Rob William's site - 'Bus Zone' - for more information on Reading Corporation Transport.