Derby Corporation Tramways
Following its takeover of the Derby Tramways Company in 1899, the corporation issued staff working the horsecar services with kepi-style caps, which bore a script-lettering grade badge - either ‘Conductor’ or ‘Driver’ - above which individual system initials ('D C T') were sometimes worn; it is currently unclear whether the badges were brass or nickel. The earliest photos show that staff continued to wear the distinctive long overcoats (with dark collars) of the Tramways Company, though whether a uniform was worn underneath or not, is currently unclear. Later photos reveal that horsecar staff were eventually issued with the same double-breasted jackets and military-style caps as their colleagues working the new electric trams (see later). Horsecar crews were also issued with double-breasted greatcoats with two rows of five buttons and high fold-over collars; the latter bore some kind of municipal badge, possibly the Derby 'buck in the park' shield.
Electric tramcar crews were issued with double-breasted jackets with two rows of four nickel buttons (bearing the full system title and municipal device - see link) and lapels; the latter bore individual letters on both sides - ‘D C T’ - presumably in nickel to match the buttons. Caps were military in style with a glossy peak and tensioned crown (top); this bore a standard, 'off-the-shelf', script-lettering grade badge (either ‘Driver or ‘Conductor’), above which a stylised municipal shield badge was worn. One photo, probably taken around the time of the Great War, shows a conductor wearing an oval armband on the left-arm of his jacket; this may have been a municipal licence of some description, though if so, its use seems to have been relatively short-lived.
At some point (probably around the time of the Great War), the style of the jackets was subtly altered, and though still double-breasted, the top set were buttoned through the lapels (see photos below); the jackets appear to have initially borne four rows of buttons, though this appears to have been relatively short-lived, being superseded by a similar style with five rows. The 'Driver' grade badges appear to have been superseded by the 'Motorman' variety around the same time. Further changes were made in the last few years of the system, with the left-hand collar now carrying a staff number, and a switch from individual systems initials to a one-piece 'DCT' badge. Caps also appear to have been changed around this time, still military in style, but with a woven top, a type that was also used by Leicester City Tramways (see link).
Tramcar crews were also issued with long, double-breasted greatcoats with two rows of five buttons and high, fold-over collars; the latter carried the standard 'buck in the park' municipal shield badge on both sides.
In the early years of municipal ownership, inspectors were issued with single-breasted jackets with hidden buttons (or an hook and eye affair) and upright collars; the latter carried the initials ‘D C T’ in embroidered block letters on both sides. The jacket and pockets were finished off by edging in a different (silk-like) material, which was also applied to the trousers in the form of a stripe. Caps were in the kepi style and bore a large oval cloth badge containing embroidered script initials, ‘D C T’, above ‘INSPECTOR’ in block letters.The pattern of uniform worn by inspectors in later years is currently unknown.
It is currently unclear whether Derby, as was the case with the majority of UK tramway systems, employed female staff during the Great War to replace men lost to the armed services.
For more information on Derby Corporation Tramways, see: 'Derby Trams and Buses by Alan G Doig and Maxwell Craven; Trent Valley Publications (1986).
Horse Tram drivers and conductors
An unidentified horse tram and crew pose outside the Normanton Hotel in Normanton Rd - photo probably taken very shortly after the corporation take-over of 1899. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crew, both of whom are wearing the old Derby Tramways Company greatcoats, but with new corporation-issued kepi-style caps.
A studio portrait of conductor Harrison Fletcher - photo undated, but probably taken around 1904. It is likely that Mr Harrison was a conductor on the horse trams at this time (these only ceased running in 1907), as he is wearing a kepi-style cap, whereas photos of electric tramcar crews taken in the same period, show them wearing military-style caps and double-breasted jackets. The collar badges are possible the stylised Derby shield shown below. Photo with kind permission of the North East Midland Photographic Record at ‘Picture the Past’.
General pattern script-lettering grade badges of the type issued to staff working the DCT's horse tram services. It is currently unknown whether these were issued in brass or nickel.
Derby Corporation stylised shield badge, with the so-called 'buck in the park' - brass. This was possibly the badge worn on the collars of horsecar crew greatcoats.
An ex-Glasgow horsecar stands on Ashbourne Rd - photo undated, but probably taken in 1903 or 1904. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crew. The conductor is wearing informal attire, including a flat cap, whereas the driver is wearing a corporation-issued greatcoat and a kepi-style cap.
Another photo taken at the same location as the previous image - undated, but probably taken after 1904 as the conductor is wearing a double-breasted jacket of the same type issued to electric car crews. Both men are also wearing military-style caps rather than kepis. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
Driver and conductor on the platform of Tramcar No 22 (ex-Glasgow) in Ashbourne Rd - photo undated, but certainly taken sometime between 1904 and 1907. The driver's left-hand collar bears 'D C T' system initials. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
A posed photo of Tramcar No 22, once again on Ashbourne Rd at the junction of Surrey St (seemingly a favoured photographic location) - probably taken in the last few months or weeks before closure (1st June 1907). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
A blow-up of the above showing the conductor, in double-breasted jacket and military-style cap.
Motormen and conductors
The crew of Tramcar No 3, decorated for the occasion, pose for the cameraman on the opening day of the new electric services (27th July 1904); both men are wearing double-breasted jackets with lapels, and military-style caps bearing a Derby municipal 'shield' badge and a grade badge ('Driver' and 'Conductor'). Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
Derby Corporation cap badge - nickel. This was worn from the inauguration of electric services right through to their withdrawal. Note the absence of stag supporters to the shield, the granting of which post dates the demise of the tramway.
Standard 'off-the-shelf' script-lettering cap badges of the type worn by Derby Corporation Tramways electric tramcar staff from 1904 to around the Great War - nickel.
Derby Corporation Tramways motorman, William Henry Tomlinson - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of electrification. Mr Tomlinson had been a horse tram driver. His collars bear individual 'D C T' initials on both sides. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
DCT staff assembled for an official depot photo - undated, but probably taken to mark the inauguration of electric services. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
A blow-up of the above photo showing four drivers and two conductors.
Motorman and conductor pictured in 1904 with Tramcar No 12 at Abingdon Rd depot. Photo with kind permission of Derby City Council at ‘Picture the Past’.
A depot shot of Tramcar No 21 and crew - photo undated, but probably mid-to-late Edwardian. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
The crew of Tramcar No 16 - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the Great War. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, who is clearly wearing an armband on his left sleeve.
The crew of Tramcar No 2 pose rather stiffly for the camera - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the Great War. The motorman is clearly wearing an armband, though there is no sign of one on his colleague's jacket. Photo courtesy of the Stephen Howarth collection.
'Borough of Derby Driver No 106' armband - nickel. It is unclear what this armband was used for (i.e. buses, trams or Hackney carriages), though there is a possibility that it is of the general type seen in the two photos above. Photo courtesy of Stephen Howarth.
Harrison Fletcher, now a motorman (date unknown, but probably around the time of the Great War); he was certainly a motorman by 1908, as a photo exists of him in that year at the controls of a Derby tram. By this time, a switch had clearly been made from 'Driver' grade badges to their 'Motorman' equivalent. Photo with kind permission of the North East Midland Photographic Record at ‘Picture the Past’.
Standard 'off-the-shelf' script-lettering cap badges of the type worn by Derby Corporation Tramways electric tramcar staff from around the time of the Great War through to closure (1934) - nickel.
A poor quality photo of Tramcar No 46, but one which shows a crew in greatcoats - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the Great War. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
Conductor and motorman with Tramcar No 17 at a location which remains to be identified - unusually, the photo is precisely dated: 9th September 1922.
A studio portrait of a conductor and motorman - date unknown, but probably taken in the late 1920s. The motorman is wearing a Derby municipal shield cap badge above his grade badge, whilst the conductor is not, though it may be hidden by the rain cover. Author's collection.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the motorman (Employee No 30), who is clearly wearing a cap with a woven crown (top). This style of cap was also used by the nearby Leicester system (see link).
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the conductor. The 'DCT' collar badge had by this time become a one-piece construction rather than individual letters.
One-piece DCT collar badge - nickel.
Derby Corporation Tramways conductor with Tramcar No 58 - probably at Derby Midland Station, on 17th March 1934.
Studio portrait of a Derby Corporation Tramways inspector - photo undated, but almost certainly taken in the very early years of corporation ownership. Although there is nothing on the photo to specifically identify it as ‘Derby’, the uniform and badge are the same as those seen in other Derby photos, and the badge is identical to one which was definitely being worn in the Derby Corporation Transport era. With thanks to Stephen Howarth for the identification.
A blow-up of the above photo showing details of the cap and collar insignia.
A blow-up of the Edwardian staff photo above showing two of the inspectors.