Southend-on-Sea Corporation Tramways

Owner Southend-on-Sea Corporation
Opened 19th July 1901 (electric)
Operator Southend-on-Sea Corporation
Closed 8th April 1942
Length 9.22 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description (Pattern 1) Title (‘Borough of Southend-on-Sea’) in circlet surrounding a sailing ship
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [None]

Button description (Pattern 2) Title (‘Southend-on-Sea Corporation Transport’) in circlet surrounding arms (shield with an anchor, vase, grid iron and trefoil, surmounted by a mast head emerging from a mural crown) with fisherman and monk supporters, all above motto: ‘Per Mare Per Ecclesiam’ (Through the sea through the church)
Materials known Nickel; chrome
Button Line reference [None]

Comment As the official arms, crest and motto of Southend-on-Sea were only granted to the County Borough Council on 1st January 1915 it would seem likely that tramway staff were issued the standard Pattern 1 button prior to this date. Although the full title and arms were subsequently used on 'transport' department buttons (Pattern 2), no examples of similar tramway buttons are known to exist, so it seems reasonably likely that tramway staff were issued with 'transport' buttons after 1915. Supporting evidence for the above comes from the National Tramway Museum collection which was recently (2007) given a small collection of uniform items - from an ex- Southend tramway employee - that included both types of buttons.