Dunfermline and District Tramways

Summary
The Dunfermline and District Tramways Company (a subsidiary of Balfour-Beatty) operated electric tram services for just over 27 years, from the opening of the system in 1909 through to its closure in 1937.

Conductors were issued with single-breasted jackets with five buttons, two breast pockets (with button closures), epaulettes and upright collars; motormen on the other hand wore double-breasted 'lancer-style' tunics with two rows of five buttons (narrowing from top to bottom). Both styles included epaulettes and upright collars; although the latter do not appear to have borne any insignia, it is possible that the epaulettes did (this is however unclear). Headgear took the form of military-style caps with standard, off-the-shelf, script-lettering grade badges — either Conductor or Motorman — along with a small shield-shaped badge of unknown pattern. The latter only appears to have been worn for a few years, disappearing before the Great War, along with the epaulettes. Other than this, the uniforms appear to have remained unchanged right through to closure in 1937.

Tramcar staff were also issued with double-breasted greatcoats with high, fold-over collars; these appear to have been wholly without badges of any kind.

Inspectors wore standard 'tramway' uniforms for this grade, comprising single-breasted jackets with hidden buttons (or more likely a hook and eye affair) and a slit pocket, all edged in material of a finer quality than the main jacket. The jackets had upright collars which bore the grade — Inspector — in embroidered script lettering. At least one photo indicates that the lower jacket sleeves bore a chevron (of a finer material); whether this was a standard adornment or recognition for long service (or similar) is currently unclear. Caps were in a military style with a script lettering Inspector badge, on a hat band, again embroidered. Although they were presumably also issued with overcoats, photographs showing these have yet to come to light. A change was made to a more modern style of uniform, probably in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Jackets were now double-breasted with two rows of four dark-coloured buttons and lapels; the upper part of the latter (the collars) bore the grade — Inspector — in embroidered script lettering, as did the military-style caps, which were unchanged.

Although a shield-shaped inspector's badge has survived (see below), it is unclear whether it was ever worn by D&DTCo inspectors, as it is completely absent from the photographic record. Furthermore, it has a very curious American styling (with stars!) that is completely unlike any other cap badge issued by a UK tramway operator. Why it was made is currently a mystery.

The Chief Inspector wore a waistcoat, and over the top, a long, single-breasted jacket with black buttons and lapels; the upper part of the latter (the collars) bore the grade — Chief Inspector — in embroidered script lettering. Headgear comprised a military style cap that bore Chief Inspector in embroidered script lettering on a hat band.

In common with many tramway systems, the D&DTCo employed female staff during the Great War to replace men lost to the armed forces, but only as conductresses. At the end of the war, instead of releasing them, as did the overwhelmingly majority of UK tramway operators, the D&DTCo continued to employ them right through until closure, with the photographic record strongly suggesting that the entire conducting staff in the 1920s and 1930s were female. It is unclear why the ladies were kept on, but as other local systems did the same (e.g., Wemyss and Kirkcaldy), perhaps there was a shortage of working men in the Fife coalfield. Photographs show these ladies wearing a rather motley assortment of topcoats (some informal, some clearly male issues, and some specifically for the ladies). It is unclear what jackets, if any, they wore underneath. At some point, possibly in the 1920s, the company appears to have standardised on a long, double-breasted coat with high fold-over collars and epaulettes, though seemingly without insignia of any kind. A baggy cap with a glossy peak was also issued around this time. Many photos clearly show cap badges being worn — by both tram and bus conductresses — but the varying forms strongly suggest that they were regimental sweetheart badges.

My thanks go to Alan Brotchie for providing all the photographs below. For a detailed account of the tramway, see Alan's 'The Dunfermline and District Tramways Company' (N B Traction; 1978).

Images

Motormen and conductors
Dunfermline and District Tramways Tram No 8 and crew
A conductor and motorman with Tramcar No 8 on a Lochore service — photo undated, but probably taken in the years immediately before the Great War.


Dunfermline and District Tramways tram driver motorman
A blow-up of the above photo showing the motorman's script-lettering grade badge, along with a small shield-shaped badge of unknown pattern.


Dunfermline and District Tramways cap badges
Script-lettering grade cap badges of the pattern issued by the D&DTCo — it is currently unclear whether the company issued these in brass or nickel. Author's Collection.


Dunfermline and District Tramways conductor Edwardian
A conductor — taken shortly after opening — in a long, double-breasted greatcoat, seemingly devoid of insignia.


Dunfermline and District Tramways Tram driver
A blow-up of the photo of Tramcar No 22 below, showing the motorman — photo undated, but probably taken during the Great War or shortly afterwards. The shield-shaped cap badge seen in earlier photos is clearly absent. Magnification of this photo suggests that the buttons were plain with a scalloped rim, similar to those worn by nearby Kirkcaldy and Wemyss (the latter from 1912 onwards).


Senior staff
Dunfermline and District Tramways inspectors and chief inspector
A line-up of the senior staff — photo undated, but probably taken not long after the opening (1909). Back row, left to right: Inspector Brown, Inspector Leitch and Inspector Duncan. Front row: Chief Inspector Menzies, two clerkesses, and the manager, Mr Shepherd.


Dunfermline and District Tramways Inspector Leitch
A blow-up of the above photo showing Inspector Leitch. The uniform is a standard style for this grade, used by numerous tramway systems throughout the country.


Dunfermline and District Tramways Inspector Rennie
Inspector Rennie with Tramcar No 39 at the Rosyth terminus — photo undated, but definitely post Great War. The uniform is identical to that seen in the earlier photo above. Note the chevrons on the lower sleeves.


Dunfermline and District Tramways inspectors and depot staff
A shot with three inspectors and what appear to be depot staff — photo undated, but probably taken in the 1930s. The inspectors' uniforms still bear embroidered grades, but the jacket is now a more modern double-breasted design with lapels.


Dunfermline and District Tramways inspector
A blow-up of the above photo showing one of the new style jackets.


Dunfermline and District Tramways Chief Inspector Menzies
Another blow-up of the first senior staff photo above, this time of Chief Inspector Menzies.


Dunfermine and District Tramways Inspector's cap badge
A Dunfermline and District Tramways Inspector's cap badge — brass. This badge is somewhat of a mystery, firstly due to its curious American styling, and secondly, because there is no sign (in the photographic record) of it ever being worn. Alan Brotchie Collection.


Female staff
Dunfermline and District Tramways condcutres Tram No 22
A conductress and motorman with Tramcar No 22 at Cowdenbeath Depot — photo undated, but probably taken during the Great War or shortly afterwards, given that the destination box is still above the top rail (these were moved to below the canopy in the early 1920s). The conductress appears to be wearing a makeshift uniform with her own hat.


Dunfermline and District Tramways Great War tram conductresses
A couple of conductresses and a motorman pose for the cameraman on the platform of Rumblingwell-bound Tramcar No 12 — photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1920s (the destination box is below the canopy). The lady on the right is wearing a uniform with a cap and oval cap badge, whereas the lady on the left appears to be completely in informal attire.


Dunfermline and District Tramways conductress
Another photo of a conductress — date uncertain — but one in which a long uniform topcoat is clearly being worn, along with a peaked cap bearing a cap badge, probably a regimental sweetheart badge.