Doncaster Corporation Tramways

Summary
From the commencement of services in 1902, both motormen and conductors were issued with single-breasted jackets with six buttons (probably bearing the Doncaster lion - see link) with four pockets (with button closures) and high collars. Several photos appear to show that the latter were unadorned, though one photograph has survived where the individuals depicted are clearly wearing collar insignia, probably a one-piece 'DCT' initials badge. Caps were in the kepi-style and carried a one-piece 'DCT' initials cap badge. At some point, probably in the mid-Edwardian era, the kepi-style caps were replaced with more modern military-style caps, which bore a large municipal cap badge comprising a lion sejant (on its haunches) holding a staff with pennant showing the letters ‘DON’, all within a wreath; the badge, as well as the buttons, were almost certainly brass. The sole change made to the uniform from that point, up until closure of the system was the use of individual 'D C T' collar initials, though the wearing of these appears to have been sporadic at best.

Tramcar crews were also issued with smart, double-breasted overcoats with two rows of five buttons and high, fold-over collars; these garments appear to have been completely devoid of badges.

Inspectors wore single-breasted jackets with black buttons (possibly covered in material), a slit breast pocket and upright collars; the latter probably bore the grade - 'Inspector' - in embroidered script lettering, though these cannot be made out with certainty on surviving photographs. Somewhat unusually, the cap and the cap badge appear to have been identical to that worn by tramcar crews. Inspectors were also issued with double-breasted overcoats with high, fold-over collars, again devoid of insignia.

In common with the vast majority of tramways, Doncaster employed female staff during the Great War - both as conductresses and motorwomen - to replace male employees lost to the armed services. These ladies were issued with tailored, single-breasted jackets with five buttons, two breast pockets (with button closures), epaulettes (with button fastening), upright collars, and a long matching skirt; neither the collars nor the epaulettes appear to have borne badges of any kind. Headgear took the form of a baggy peaked cap, though a single photograph has survived (see below) where the subject is wearing a smart military-style cap with a wide crown (top), suggesting that the style was changed at some point; both style bore the standard municipal cap badge. Female employees were also issued with long, tailored overcoats with high, fold-over collars; these garments bore a single row of five buttons, offset to the bearer's left hand side.

For a pictorial history of Doncaster Corporation Tramways, see 'Doncaster's Electric Transport 1902-1963' by Peter Tuffey (self published), and 'Tramway Memories of Old Doncaster' by Richard J Buckley (Bond Publications).

Images

Motormen and conductors
Doncaster Corporation Tramways Tram No 19 and crew
The crew of Tramcar No 19 pose for the cameraman at the Hexthorpe terminus - photo undated, but probably taken in the early Edwardian era, soon after opening. Both men are wearing single-breasted jackets (seemingly without insignia of any kind), along with kepi-style caps. The latter appear to bear a one-piece 'block-lettering badge, probably 'DCT'. Author's collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Oxford Street Terminus
Conductor Thomas Jenkinson and Motorman Jack Haggitt with a pristine-looking example of one of Doncaster's open-topped tramcars, at the short-lived Oxford St terminus - photo undated, but almost certainly taken in late 1903 or 1904. In contrast to the photo above, the tunic collars appear to be carrying badges of some kind. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Tram No 21 1911
Tramcar No 21, heavily decorated, is pictured on the circular track at the Racecourse on Coronation Day 1911. John Law collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways motorman
A blow-up of the above tram showing the motorman. By this time, the caps had clearly been changed to a more modern military style, with a new municipal cap badge (see below).


Doncaster Corporation Tramways cap badge
Doncaster Corporation Tramways cap badge - brass - as worn from around the mid Edwardian era until closure. Stephen Howarth collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Tram No 9 at the Hyde Park Road terminus
Conductor, inspector and motorman with Tramcar No 2 at the Hyde Park Road terminus - photo undated, but probably taken some time between 1911 and the outbreak of the Great War. Author's collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways conductor
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor - the distinctive shape of his municipal cap badge is just about discernable. Other than the buttons, the overcoat appears to be devoid of insignia.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways tram driver Horace Briggs.
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the motorman, Horace Briggs.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Tram No 6 at Balby
The crew of Tramcar No 6 at Balby, originally an open-topped vehicle, but here with top cover fitted - photo undated, but probably taken between 1910 and the outbreak of Great War. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways crew
Motorman and conductor with an unidentified tramcar - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Once again, the subjects' collars appear to be without badges of any kind. Stephen Howarth Collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Tram No 46 and crew Warmsworth
The crew of Tramcar No 46 pose for the camera at the Warmsworth terminus - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Doncaster Corporation Transport cap badge
Doncaster Corporation Transport cap badge - chrome. The use of chroming as a badge material only became widespread in the late 1930s (see link), which along with the motto (granted in 1927), make it highly unlikely that this pattern of badge was ever issued to tramway staff; furthermore, there is no photographic evidence whatsoever to support its use.

Senior staff
Doncaster Corporation Tramways Inspector
A blow-up of the photo of Tramcar No 2 above showing the inspector. The cap badge appears to be identical - at least in form - to those worn by tramcar crewmen.


Female staff
Doncaster Corporation Trmawys No 14 at Bentley
A Great War view of a rather delapidated-looking Tramcar No 14, at the Bentley terminus. Author's collection.


Doncaster Corporation Trmaways Great War crew
A blow-up of the above photograph showing the three tramway employees.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Trma No 27 and Great War female crew
Conductress and motorwoman pose with a spectacularly battered Tramcar No 27 at Oswin Avenue in 1917. Author's collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Great War female crew with Tram No 34
Another all-female Great War crew, this time captured at the Warmsworth terminus in 1917. John Law collection.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Great War conductress and driver - Bentley
Conductress and motorman with Tramcar No 24, captured at the passing loop not far from the Bentley terminus - photo undated, but certainly taken during the Great War or shortly afterwards. Photo by Luke Bagshaw, courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Doncaster Corporation Tramways Great War tram conductress
A studio portrait of Great War Doncaster Corporation Tramways conductress. Unlike the photos above, the subject is wearing a military-style cap with a wide crown (top). Author's collection.