Derby Corporation Tramways

Summary
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 initially 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); they bore a standard, 'off-the-shelf', script-lettering grade badge (either ‘Driver or ‘Conductor’), above which a stylised municipal shield badge was worn.

For a short period, possibly just prior to the Great War, conductors and motormen were required to wear oval metal armbands - presumably municipal licences - and probably of nickel or alloy. In the case of conductors, these bore the grade - 'CONDUCTOR' - and a number (in the middle), surrounded by 'BOROUGH OF DERBY TRAMWAYS'. The motorman's counterpart probably bore the grade 'Driver', though confirmation must await the discovery of new photographic evidence or a surviving example.

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 of buttons were now usually 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appear to have initially borne four rows of buttons, though this appears to have been relatively short-lived, being superseded by a similar style with five rows. The 'Driver' grade badges were superseded by the 'Motorman' variety around the same time.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 system 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.

In common with the vast majority of UK tramway systems, Derby employed female staff during the Great War to replace men lost to the armed services. These ladies were issued with tailored, single-breasted jackets with five buttons, a waist belt with button fastening, two breast and two hip-level pockets (with button closures), epaulettes and high fold-over collars; unlike the male jackets, the latter did not carry any insignia. Headgear took the form of a soft-topped cap with a glossy peak, and these bore the same cap badges as worn by the men, i.e. a script-lettering grade badge and the standard municipal shield badge.

For more information on Derby Corporation Tramways, see: 'Derby Trams and Buses by Alan G Doig and Maxwell Craven; Trent Valley Publications (1986).

Images

Horse Tram drivers and conductors
Derby Corporation Horse tram Normanton Hotel
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.


Derby Corporation Trmaways horse tram conductor and driver
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways horse tram conductor
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 probably the stylised Derby shield shown below. Photo with kind permission of the North East Midland Photographic Record at ‘Picture the Past’.


Cerby Corporation tramways cap badgD
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 Tramways brass collar badge
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.


Derby Corporation Horse tram in Ashbourne Road
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.


Derby Corporation horse tram crew
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.


Dery Corporation Tramways horse tram in Surrey St
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.


Derby Corporation Trmawys Horse Tram No 22 and crew
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.


Derby Corporation horse tram 1907
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.


Derby Corporation horse tram conductor 1907
A blow-up of the above showing the conductor, in double-breasted jacket and military-style cap.


Motormen and conductors
Derby Corporation Tramways Tramcar No 3 and crew on the opening day
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 Tramways cap badge
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.


Derby CorporationTramways script-lettering cap badges
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 driver William Henry Tomlinson
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways staff photo Edwardian
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways tramcar staff
A blow-up of the above photo showing four drivers and two conductors.


Derby Corporation Tramways tram No 12 and crew
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’.


Derby Corporation Tramways Tram No 21 and crew
A depot shot of Tramcar No 21 and crew - photo undated, but probably mid-to-late Edwardian. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Derby Corporation Tramways tram conductor
A fine studio portrait of a DCT conductor, wearing an armband which is rarely seen in other photographs, suggesting that it was only worn for a short period - photo undated, but from the tall shirt collar, probably taken between 1910 and the Great War. Author's Collection.


Derby Corporation Tramways conductor licence
A blow-up of the armband above, revealing it to read: 'Borough of Derby Tramways - Conductor 29'.


Derby Corporation Tramways Tram No 16 and crew
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways conductor
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, who is clearly wearing an armband on his left sleeve.


Derby Corporation Tramways Tramcar No 2 and crew
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways tramd river motorman
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’.


Derby Corporation Tramways cap badges
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways Tram No 46 and crew
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.


Derby Corporation Trmaways Tram No 17 and crew
Conductor and motorman with Tramcar No 17 at a location which remains to be identified - unusually, the photo is precisely dated: 9th September 1922. Author's Collection


Derby Corporation Tramways tram crew
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways motorman No 30
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).


Derby Corporation Tramways conductor
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.


Derby Corporation Tramways collar badge
One-piece DCT collar badge - nickel.


Derby Corporation Tramways tram conductor
Derby Corporation Tramways conductor with Tramcar No 58 - probably at Derby Midland Station, on 17th March 1934. Author's Collection.


Senior staff
Derby Corporation Tramways tram inspector
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. Author's Collection.


Derby Corporation Tramways tram inspector
A blow-up of the above photo showing details of the cap and collar insignia.


Derby Corporation Tramways inspectors
A blow-up of the Edwardian staff photo above showing two of the inspectors.



Female staff
Derby Corporation Tramways Great War tram conductress
A very rare image of a Great War DCT conductress, in fact, the only one I've ever seen. Her cashbag carries a plate bearing 'D C T No 15', which was presumably a number allocated to the bag rather than the subject's employee number. Photo courtesy of the Geoff Caulton Collection.