Derby Tramways Company

Summary
Derby Tramways Company commenced its horse tram services in April 1880, and continued them through to November 1899, when it sold out to Derby Corporation.

Relatively few photos exist that show tramway staff prior to the corporation take over, but those that do indicate that staff wore a variety of heavy duty informal attire (jacket and trousers), along with the ubiquitous bowler hat. Although the use of informal attire was common practice amongst horse tramway operators, where the Derby Tramways Company differed was in issuing a standard greatcoat, or at least requiring its staff to purchase them from a named supplier. These garments had distinctive collars of a darker material than the coat, but carried no insignia of any kind. Care must however be taken in extrapolating from what is after all a very small evidence base.

Photographs of inspectors have not survived, and indeed, the company may never have employed them.

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

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Derby Tramways Company horse trama nd crew
A DTCo horsecar and crew on London Rd Bridge en route to Deadmans Lane — the photo is undated, but as it shows one of the original horse cars, it may be quite early. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Derby Tramways Company horse tramc rew
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crewmen, looking very dapper, and clearly wearing informal attire, but with standard greatcoats, which had distinctive collars of a darker material than the coat itself.


Dery Tramways Company horse tram
A DTCo horse tram, possibly No 11, on the move — photo undated, but probably taken in the mid-to-late 1890s. Both figures appear to be wearing informal attire, though the driver really cannot be made out properly. The man is certainly not the conductor, as he would have ridden inside or on the rear platform. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.