Glossop Tramways

Summary
Glossop Tramways were owned by the Urban Electric Supply Company Limited (UESCoLtd), an entity which operated the system directly rather than through a subsidiary company. The tramway opened in 1903 and closed barely 24 years later on Christmas Eve 1927.

Staff were initially issued with double-breasted, 'lancer-style' tunics with two rows of five buttons and upright collars; the latter carried an employee number on the bearer's left-hand side and ‘UESCo’ on the right hand side, in individual metal numerals/letters; the badges were probably brass to match the buttons (see link). Curiously, although staff of the UESCoLtd's only other system (Camborne and Redruth Tramways) had similar insignia, that system's badges bore a number ('No') prefix before the employee number, and a 'LTD' suffix after the company initials (see link). Caps were military in style with a glossy peak and tensioned crowns (tops); they bore script-lettering grade badges, either Motorman or Conductor, which were presumably brass to match the buttons.

At some point, probably in the mid-Edwardian era, a change was made to a 'heavy duty', single-breasted design of jacket with five buttons, two hip-level pockets and high, fold-over collars; the latter probably carried the same insignia as previously, though curiously, a single staff photo has survived that shows the jackets without insignia of any kind. The jackets were changed again not long afterwards (probably in the late Edwardian era) to a new design, still single-breasted, but with two breast pockets, upright collars and epaulettes; the latter were closed with a button fastening and were left plain, i.e., without badges of any description. An employee number continued to be worn on the bearer's left-hand collar, and 'UESCo' on the right.

Motormen (and possibly conductors too) were also issued with double-breasted greatcoats; these bore plain black buttons and were seemingly devoid of insignia.

It is currently unclear if Glossop employed inspectors, or whether the sole system superintendent sufficed. Two photographs have however survived that show a senior member of staff, one of which unequivocally depicts Superintendent Emmett. Both photos show individuals wearing double-breasted jackets with a single breast pocket and lapels; no insignia of any kind appears to have been worn on these jackets. Caps were identical to those worn by tramcar staff, seemingly without a badge of any kind.

Somewhat surprisingly for such a small provincial system, a number of excellent photographs of conductresses have survived. These ladies were employed during the Great War to replace male staff lost to the armed services. All three photographs (see below) show the subjects wearing long, tailored, single-breasted coats with five buttons, a waist belt and high fold-over collars; the latter carried an employee number on the left-hand side and individual 'U E S Co' initials on the right-hand side. The ladies were issued with felt bonnets and baggy caps, presumably for summer and winter wear, respectively; although the bonnet carried a hat band, neither it nor the baggy cap bore a badge of any kind.

Much of the background information on the photos below has been gleaned from 'Glossop Tramways' by Barry M Marsden; Foxline Publishing (1991).

Images

Motormen and conductors
Glossop Tramways staff photo - Dinting Depot 1903
A staff photo taken at Dinting Depot in 1903, almost certainly on, or shortly before, the opening day. The tramcar staff are wearing white rain covers on their caps, indicating that it was summer. The man at the controls is the Superintendent, Mr Emmett, whilst on his right, the General Manager, Charles Knowles, holds the upright stanchion. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Glossop Tramways staff 1903
A blow up of the above photo showing the collar insignia, 'U E S Co' (bearer's right-hand side) and the employee number (left-hand side). Cap badges are of the standard, off-the-shelf, script-lettering, grade variety.


Glossop Tramways cap badges
General pattern script-lettering cap badges — Motorman and Conductor — of the type used by Glossop Tramways. The badges were probably brass to match the buttons (see link).


Glossop Tramways opening day
Conductor and motorman pose with a decorated tramcar — hired by a Mr Sellars, the owner of a drapery business in the town — on the opening day, 21st August 1903. Curiously, neither man is wearing a rain cover, which suggests that the dating may be incorrect.


Glossop Tramways Tram No 3 in 1903
Another shot taken, which was definitely taken on the opening day, this time of Tramcar No 3 at the Old Glossop terminus. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Glossop Tramways Tram No 3 in 1903
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor and motorman; the former was apparently called 'Masher' Howard.


Glossop Tramways staff photo
Staff photo — undated, but probably taken in the mid-Edwardian era. There had clearly been a change of jacket style since the opening, though curiously, all the jackets are completely devoid of insignia; a possible explanation is that they had just been issued and new badges had yet to arrive, or alternatively, the old ones affixed. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Glossop Tramways Tram No 1 and crew
Another photograph taken at the Old Glossop terminus, this time of Tramcar No 1 — although the photograph is undated, the photographer (J W Ingham of Glossop) only appears to have been active in 1912/13. For some reason, the motorman's jacket collars are missing the usual insignia. Photo courtesy of Karen Burns.


Glossop Tram conductor 1912 1913
A blow-up of the above photo showing details of the conductor's uniform; he is Employee No 15. By this time, the uniform had clearly changed to a more traditional single-breasted design with epaulettes and upright collars; the latter carried the same insignia as previous designs, employee number on the bearer's left-hand side and system initials on the right.


Glossop Tramways Tram No 3 and crew
The crew of a rather run-down looking Tramcar No 3 at the Old Glossop terminus — photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the Great War. Photo and background information courtesy of the Barry Marsden Collection.


Glossop Tramways Tram No 8 and driver John Byrom
Motorman John Byrom poses with Tramcar No 8 at the Charlestown Road terminus — photo undated, but certainly taken before the end of the Great War, when this route was closed. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Senior staff
Glossop Tramways superintendant Emmett
A blow-up of the 1903 staff photo above showing the superintendent. It is unclear whether the cap carried a badge or not.


Glossop Tramways superintendant
A blow-up of the Edwardian staff photo above showing an inspector or the superintendent. Again, it is unclear whether the cap carried a badge or not.


Female staff
Glossop Tramways Tram No 6 and Great War conductress
A motorman and conductress pose with Hadfield Tram No 6 outside the Queens Arms pub at the Old Glossop terminus — photo undated, but almost certainly taken during the Great War. Photo courtesy of Glossop Heritage Trust, with thanks to Mike Brown.


Glossop Tramways Great War conductress
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductress — Employee No 32. The cap badge is almost certainly a regimental sweetheart badge (possibly The Royal Flying Corps), the wearing of which was common practice during the Great War.


Glossop Tramways Great War conductress and motorman Aaron Howard
A conductress and Motorman Aaron Howard pose for the cameraman with Glossop & Whitfield Tram No 7 — photo undated, but almost certainly taken during the Great War. Photo courtesy of Glossop Heritage Trust, with thanks to Mike Brown.


Glossop Tramways Great War conductress Alice Lee
Conductress Alice Lee (Employee No 27), captured in 1916. Alice Lee was the wife of Motorman Henry Lee, who at the time the photo was taken, was serving abroad with the armed forces. The collar badges are easily made out. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.