Wolverhampton Tramways Company

In common with the majority of horse tramways in the UK, uniforms were never issued to tramcar staff during the company's tenure (1878 to 1900). Although attire was therefore informal, it does however appear that the company expected certain standards to be met, as photos clearly show that drivers were particularly smartly turned out, in heavy-duty trousers, jackets and waistcoats, along with white shirts, ties, and bowler hats. The conductors' attire was only slightly less smart — they were still expected to wear heavy-duty attire (trousers, jackets, waistcoats) with shirts and ties, but were clearly allowed to wear headgear other than bowler hats (flat caps in later years).

The second photo below clearly shows that drivers were issued with a round metal licence, which was suspended by a leather strap.

Surviving photographs would tend to suggest that inspectors were not employed, though this is far from certain.

For more information on the tramways of Wolverhampton, see 'A History of Wolverhampton Transport, Volume I, 1833-1930; S Webb and P Addenbrooke (Birmingham Transport Historical Group).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Wolverhampton Tramways Company Tram No 24
Conductor H Icke and driver J Brueton pose with Tramcar No 24 at the Newbridge terminus in Tettenhall — photo undated, but certainly taken between 1892 (when this tramcar was delivered) and 1900 (when the company was taken over by the corporation). With thanks to 'A History of Wolverhampton Transport' (by Stanley Webb and Paul Addenbrooke) for the names of the two men depicted. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.

Wolverhampton Tramways Company horse tram driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing Driver Brueton's smart attire, as well as superficial details of his licence.

Wolverhampton Tramways Company horse tram conductor
Another blow-up of the top photo, this time showing Conductor Icke, who appears not to be wearing a licence.

Wolverhampton Tramways Company
A staff photo taken outside one of the company's three depots, probably the main one in Darlington Street - photo undated, but given the presence of two top-hatted gentlemen, and the pristine condition of the tram, certainly taken to commemorate some significant event, possibly the purchase of four new horsecars in 1892. The bowler-hatted gents are almost certainly drivers, whilst their flat-capped counterparts are more than likely conductors. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.