Vale of Clyde Tramway

Unfortunately, photographs taken during the years when the system was operated by the Vale of Clyde Tramway Company (1874-1893) appear not to have survived; however, given that the company also operated a geographically unconnected horse tramway line (the Greenock and Port Glasgow Tramways), where informal attire was worn (see link), it seems highly likely that staff operating the Vale of Clyde Tramway were not issued with uniforms either. During the tenure of the Glasgow Tramways and Omnibus Company Ltd (1873-74 and 1893-96), staff would have worn the uniforms of that company (see link).

Although the VofCTCo ran steam-hauled services for around 16 years, only a single photograph appears to have survived showing a tramwayman (a conductor) and even this is blurred; it does however suggest that informal attire was worn, at least during the period when the photograph was taken (between 1877 and 1881). Drivers probably wore railway footplate-like attire (cotton jackets and trousers), as this was very much the norm for steam tram operation in the UK.

For a short history of the VofCTCo, see: 'The Glasgow Horse Tramways' by Struan Jno T Robertson; Scottish Tramway and Transport Society (2000).


Steam tram drivers and conductors
Vale of Clyde Tramways Steam and Trailer No 10
One of only a handful of surviving photographs of a VOCTCo steam tram (a Hughes locomotive) and trailer (No 10), and the only one known to show a crew member. The conductor is standing on the rear platform, and although blurred, magnification suggests that only informal attire was worn. Photograph taken between 1877 and 1881. Author's Collection.

Vale of Clyde Tramways Horse Tram No 10
Glasgow and Ibrox Tramways Horsecar No 2 on the left (probably) at Paisley Road Tool, with Vale of Clyde Tramways Company Steam Trailer Car Number 10 on the right — photograph purportedly taken in the late 1880s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.

Cale of Clyde Tramways Company horse tram conductor.
A blow-up of the above photograph showing a man who may or may not be a VofCTCo conductor; either way, it is impossible to say what he is wearing.