Gloucester Corporation Tramways

Summary
Although Gloucester Corporation formally took over the assets of the City of Gloucester Tramways Company on 30th September 1902, it initially allowed the company to continue working the services until the end of the year. From 1st January 1903 however, the Corporation took over operation, working the horse trams for some 14 months before the last of them was withdrawn as electrification progressed towards completion. Photographs which unequivocally stem from this period of Corporation operation have yet to surface, so it is currently impossible to state whether uniforms were worn; however, and on the balance of probability, it is likely that the Corporation was content for staff to continue wearing the unmarked uniforms they had worn under the company's jurisdiction (see link).

Staff working the new electric services were issued with smart new uniforms: motormen wore double-breasted, cross-over style tunics with two rows of five nickel buttons (bearing the city's coat of arms - see link) narrowing from top to bottom, and with upright collars; the latter bore insignia of some kind, most probably an employee number on the left-hand side and system initials on the right-hand side, though these cannot be made out with certainty on surviving photographs. Conductors wore single-breasted jackets with five buttons, two breast pockets (with button closures), epaulettes and upright collars; the latter presumably bore the same insignia as the motormen's collars. Caps were initially in the kepi style and bore script-lettering grade badges - either 'Motorman' or 'Conductor' - above which an unmarked Gloucester municipal arms badge was worn (see below); it is currently unclesr whether the badges were brass or nickel, as buttons exist in both materials.

The style of uniforms, and the distinction between motormen and conductors, does not appear to have altered at all during the entire lifetime of the tramway, the only change being to a more modern, upright, military-style of cap, probably in the mid-to-late Edwardian era. These new caps continued to carry the same badges as worn previously. Tramcar staff were also issued with long double-breasted overcoats with two rows of five buttons, high fold-over collars and epaulettes; the latter were fastened at the neck end with a button, and possibly bore an employee number. The collars were left unadorned.

Detailed photographs of inspectors are yet to surface, so it is unclear what uniform they wore, though odd images suggest that it may have taken the form of a double-breasted naval-style jacket with lapels bearing embroidered script-lettering, almost certainly 'Inspector'. Caps were the same as those worn by tramcar staff - these presumably bore a badge, but precisely what form this took is unknown.

Gloucester Corporation Tramways - like many other tramway operators - presumably employed women during the Great War to replace male staff lost to the armed services. Photographs of these ladies, if indeed they were employed, have yet to come to light, so it is currently impossible to say what uniforms they were issued with.

Images

Motormen and conductors
Gloucester Corporation Tramways Tram No 7 and driver
An unusual 'side on' profile of the motorman of Tramcar No 7, showing his double-breasted cross-over tunic and kepi-style cap - photo undated, but probably early-to-mid Edwardian. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Gloucester Corporation Tramways Tram No 30 and driver
Another less than high quality photograph, but one which clearly shows a motorman - at the controls of Tramcar No 30 - wearing a double-breasted, cross-over style tunic - photo undated, but probably taken in the late Edwardian era. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Gloucester Corporation Tramways Tram No 12 and driver
A blurred photograph of Tramcar No 12, but one which nevertheless shows a conductor in single-breasted jacket with breast pockets and epaulettes - photo undated, but probably taken in the mid 1920s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Gloucester Corporation Tramways Tram No 10 and crew
The crew of Tram No 10 pose for the camera of Dr H Nicol - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.


Glouceter Corporation Tramways conductor
A blow up of the above photo showing the conductor, whose script-lettering 'Conductor' and municipal coat of arms cap badges can clearly be seen.


Gloucester Corporation Tramways cap badge
Gloucester Corporation Tramways municipal 'coat of arms' cap badge - nickel.


Glouceter Corporation Tramways motorman
A blow up of the first photo above showing the motorman, whose script-lettering 'Motorman' and municipal coat of arms cap badges can clearly be seen.


Gloucester Corporation Tramways cap badges
Standard 'off-the-shelf' script-lettering cap badges of the type worn by Gloucester Corporation Tramways staff - nickel.