Rochdale Corporation Tramways

Owner Rochdale Corporation
Opened 22nd May 1902 (electric)
Operator Rochdale Corporation
Took over 26th February 1904 (lines of the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Tramways Co Ltd within the borough boundaries [steam])
Operator BR&OSTCo (pending conversion to electric traction)
Last BR&STCo service 12th October 1904 (probably)
Purchased 13th October 1904 (assets of the BR&OSTCo, allocated to Rochdale Corporation and Wardle Urban District Council)
Took over (operation) 13th October 1904 (Littleborough route formerly worked by the BR&OSTCo [steam])
Last steam service 11th May 1905
Took over (operation) 20th December 1905 - line from Heywood boundary (Heywood Cemetery) to Heywood Town Centre, owned by Heywood Corporation
Took over 16th June 1925 (lines of the former Middleton Electric Traction Company within Rochdale boundary) - initially worked as a joint committee consisting of the municipal authorities involved (Chadderton UDC [immediately sold to Oldham], Middleton and Rochdale Corporations)
Took over (operation) 9th August 1925 (Rochdale to Manchester via Middleton route, owned by Rochdale, Middleton and Manchester and worked jointly with Manchester Corporation Tramways)
Name changed November 1929 (to Rochdale Corporation Transport)
Closed 12th November 1932
Length 29.92 miles (18.44 miles owned by Rochdale Corporation, 1.78 miles by Milnrow UDC, 2.84 miles by Littleborough UDC, 3.93 miles by Whitworth UDC, 1.58 miles by Bacup Corporation and 1.35 miles by Heywood Corporation).
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description Title (‘ROCHDALE CORPORATION TRAMWAYS’) surrounding the municipal arms (a shield bearing a woolpack, cotton tree branches and five martlets) with a fleece crest, all above the motto: ‘CREDE SIGNO’
Materials known Brass
Button Line reference [114/58]

For those who have never heard of a 'martlet' - ornithologists included - the only place you'll ever see one is on a coat of arms. It's actually an heraldic bird that is always shown without any feet, due to its supposed derivation from the swift, which in earlier times was believed to have no feet (always flying)! A 'millrind' is the iron centre of a mill stone.

As the name of the 'Tramways Committee' was changed to the 'Transport Committee' in November 1929, there is a possibility that tramcar crews may have been issued with uniforms bearing 'Rochdale Corporation Transport' buttons. However, given that no photos have survived which show tramwaymen wearing the new and prominent 'Rochdale Corporation Transport' cap badge, it seems likely that conductors and motormen continued to wear the old style of uniform until they were transferred over to work on the buses.