Newcastle Horse Tramways

Owner William Turton and Daniel Busby
Opened 5th December 1878 (horse; later steam)
Took over (lease) 5th December 1878 to 1883 (all lines owned and built by Newcastle Corporation)
First steam service spring 1880
Last steam service spring 1881
Took over (operation) 1st February 1881 (company-owned and built Gosforth line, within the South Gosforth Local Board area)
Name changed January 1885 (Newcastle Tramway Company) - a company formed by Turton and Busby to run the services
Taken over 4th September 1889 (Newcastle and Gosforth Tramway and Carriage Company) - a new company of which William Turton was a director, and to which all the leases were transferred
Taken over Late 1893 (majority stake acquired by Messrs Kerr and Smith)
Leases terminated 13th April 1901 (all horse car services ceased on this date)
Length 12.19 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description (1885-1888)
Title (‘NEWCASTLE TRAMWAY COMPANY’) within a border, surrounding the arms of Newcastle (a shield with 3 towers) with a tower and lion crest, and seahorse supporters, all above motto: ‘FORTITA DEFENDIT TRIUMPHANS’.
Materials known Brass (1-piece construction)
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (Mid-1890s to 1901) Pattern of button currently unknown

Comment Several well-worn examples of the first button have survived, suggesting that they were perhaps worn beyond the three/four years of the company's existence (1885-1888), though photographic evidence from the early 1890s clearly shows that uniforms were no longer being worn. There is in fact considerable doubt as to whether the aforementioned company ever formally existed, other than as an unofficial construct of William Turton and Daniel Busby. Although its successor, the Newcastle and Gosforth Tramway and Carriage Company, certainly issued uniforms to its tramcar staff, at least in later years (see link), no examples have survived, strongly suggesting that they were unmarked.