Ilford Council / Corporation Tramways

Owner Ilford Urban District Council
14th March 1903 (electric)
Operator Ilford Urban District Council
Taken over (operation) 12th April 1905 (East Ham Corporation Tramways) - line between the East Ham boundary at Cranbrook Bridge and Ilford Broadway, under a lease arrangement
Took over (operation) 7th June 1905 (Barking Town UDC Tramways) - newly constructed line from Longbridge Rd to Loxford Bridge (both within Barking), under a lease arrangement
Taken over (operation) 1st October 1907 (Barking Town UDC Tramways) - Longbridge Rd to Loxford Bridge line
Amended (operation) 10th March 1909 - Cranbrook Bridge to Ilford Broadway lease amended to allow joint working by EHCT and West Ham Corporation Tramways
Amended (operation) 11th August 1910 - Cranbrook Bridge to Ilford Broadway lease amended to include London County Council Tramways
Took over (operation) 1st June 1914 (Barking Town UDC Tramways) - Broadway, Barking Station to Loxford Bridge line under a lease arrangement
Owner's name changed 21st October 1926 to Ilford Borough Council
Taken over 1st July 1933 (London Passenger Transport Board) - including lines leased from other authorities
Length 6.66 miles
Gauge 4ft 8½ins

Button description (Pattern 1)
Title (‘ILFORD URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL’) within a raised rim, surrounding a monogram of interwoven initials, 'IUDC'
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (Pattern 2) The municipal arms (a shield bearing a fish, a river and seven crowns) with a stag crest and forester and abbess supporters), all above the motto: 'IN UNITY PROGRESS', all within a raised rim
Materials known Brass
Button Line reference [None]

Comment Photographic evidence (see link) clearly demonstrates that staff of Ilford Council Tramways wore the Pattern 1 button depicted above. Tramcars initially carried the arms of Essex, which by the time of the Great War, had evolved into a completely bogus armorial device - no doubt invented by the proud burghers of Ilford. This was superseded by bone fide arms in 1926 (granted on October 17th) following Ilford's elevation to borough status; it is currently unclear whether staff were issued with the new 'borough' button (Pattern 2), though it does seem likely given that tramcars were repainted with the new device.

The tree symbolises the famous (at least locally) Fairlop Oak in Hainault Forest, whilst the seven crowns refer to the district of Seven Kings where the seven Saxon kings (heptarchy) are reputed to have met.