Dundee City Tramways



Owner Dundee Corporation
Took over 1st June 1899 (Dundee & District Tramway Company [horse; steam])
Operator Dundee Corporation
First electric route 12th July 1900
Last horse service 13th June 1901
Last steam service 14th May 1902
Taken over 1914 (Dundee, Broughty Ferry and District Tramways Co Ltd) - a mile of track connecting to the DBF&DT at Belsize Road
Took over 15th May 1931 (Dundee, Broughty Ferry and District Tramways Co Ltd)
Name changed August 1928 (to Dundee City Transport)
Closed 20th October 1956
Length 15.15 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description (Pattern 1) Title ('DUNDEE CITY TRAMWAYS’) surrounding the assumed municipal arms (a shield bearing a vase and three lilies), with a crest of three lilies and crest motto ('DEI DONUM'), with wyvern supporters, all above the motto: 'PRUDENTIA ET CANDORE'
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [116/85]

Button description (Pattern 2) The municipal arms (a shield bearing a vase and three lilies) with a lily crest and crest motto ('DEI DONUM'), with spread-winged dragon supporters, all above the motto: 'PRUDENTIA ET CANDORE'
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [None]

Comment The arms were only officially granted to the City of Dundee in 1932, which would perhaps hint at the existence of an earlier pattern of button without the arms; however, the arms were recorded as far back as the 17th century, so were in general use for centuries, and certainly during the years the tramway was in operation. The Pattern 2 button, which includes a helmet and mantling was used by the Transport Department, and was almost certainly employed on all new uniforms, including those worn by tramway staff, from c1932 onwards.

The supporters are usually shown as wyverns on early 20th Century coats of arms of Dundee (as in the Pattern 1 button), whereas they should in fact be dragons (four legs instead of two - as in the Pattern 2 button). The crest shows three lilies, which is also a later change from the original single lily. The dragons supposedly refer to a beast which ate the nine maidens of Strathmartine, whilst the lilies refer to St Mary, to whom David - Earl of Huntingdon - dedicated a church after praying to her and subsequently being saved from death in a storm off Dundee.