Hartlepool Electric Tramways

Owner General Electric Tramways Company Ltd (owned by the Electric Construction Company of Wolverhampton)
Took over 1895 lines of the defunct Hartlepools Steam Tramways Company
Opened 19th May 1896 (electric)
Operator General Electric Tramways Company Ltd
Taken over January 1899 (company acquired by the Hartlepool Electric Tramways Company Ltd - a subsidiary of the British Electric Traction Company Ltd)
Operator HETCo
Taken over (ownership)
25th September 1911 (West Hartlepool Corporation - Foggy Furze and Park lines)
Operator (lessee) HETCo
Taken over 31st August 1912 (West Hartlepool Corporation - remaining lines within the corporation boundary)
Operator West Hartlepool Corporation (lines within corporation boundary)
Operator (lessee) West Hartlepool Corporation (GETCo lines within Hartlepool)
Purchased 3rd August 1925 (Hartlepool Corporation - lines within corporation boundary)
Operator (lessee) West Hartlepool Corporation
Name changed November 1926 to West Hartlepool Corporation Transport
Closed 25th March 1927
Length 6.98 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description (1896 to 1899) Pattern of button currently unknown

Button description 1899 to 1912) Wheel, magnet and electrical flashes
Materials used Brass; black
Button Line reference [113/16]

Button description (1912 to 1927) The municipal device (a shield bearing a bird, a hart between two anchors, and a ship) with a stag crest, surrounded by the motto: ‘E MARE EX INDUSTRIA’
Materials used Brass
Button Line reference [None]

Comments During the GETCo era, it would appear that formal uniforms were not issued (see link), and that marked buttons therefore never existed. Although I currently have no confirmatory photographic evidence, it is a foregone conclusion that staff working the tramway in British Electric Traction Company days (1899 to 1912), would have been issued with the standard BETCo 'Magnet and Wheel' button. Following municipalisation, staff wore the standard West Hartlepool coat of arms button.

Hartlepool Electric Tramways had a complicated operational history, with West Hartlepool Corporation taking over the running of the whole system from BETCo, but only buying the lines within the corporation boundary - the remainder being leased. Fifteen years later, BETCo sold the leased lines to the Corporation of Hartlepool, which continued to lease these lines to West Hartlepool.