Portsmouth Corporation Tramways



Owner Portsmouth Corporation
Took over 1st January 1901 (Portsmouth Street Tramways [horse], excepting the lines of the former Gosport Street Tramways Company)
Operator Portsmouth Corporation
First electric route 24th September 1901
Last horse tram May 1903
Name changed 14th July 1936 (to City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department)
Closed 10th November 1936
Length 17.7 miles
Gauge 4ft 7¾ins

Button description Title (‘PORTSMOUTH CORPORATION TRAMWAYS’) within a raised rim, surrounding the municipal arms (a shield bearing a golden star above a crescent)
Materials known Brass; chrome
Button Line reference [114/54]

Comments The vast majority of buttons are Variant 1, however, a second variant exists, at least in the small size, on which the rim is considerably thicker and the star and crescent are noticeably finer (Variant 2); this was for use on chin straps. The crescent and star have been in the city's arms for over 800 years, and reputedly stem from the granting of the city's charter by Richard I, who allegedly won them in battle in the Third Crusade.

Given that the corporation only changed the name of the municipal transport undertaking to 'City of Portsmouth Passenger Transport Department' on the 14th July 1936, it is highly unlikely that tramcar staff would have been issued with new uniforms bearing 'transport' insignia in the remaining four months of the tramway's life.

The unusual gauge was to allow for the running of railway wagons over the system.