Cardiff District and Penarth Harbour Tramways Company

Although the CD&PHTCo commenced horse tram services on the 29th November 1881, rather than working the system itself, its operation was leased to Solomon Andrews, a local entrepreneur. Subsequently, and after a great deal of conflict between Solomon Andrews and the Provincial Tramways Company Limited, which centred around the latter's subsidiary — the Cardiff Tramways Company Ltd — he sold all his transport assets to the PTCoLtd, the latter thus becoming the CD&PHTCo's lessee (from 1st April 1887). The CD&PHTCo eventually sold the system to Cardiff Corporation in February 1903, whereupon the corporation appears to have immediately closed it for conversion to electric traction.

To the best of my knowledge, only a single photograph of the tramway has survived (see below), so what follows is based on very thin evidence indeed. During the period when the line was leased to Solomon Andrews (1881 to 1887), drivers, who were provided by the lessee, wore informal attire, most likely smart jackets, shirts and ties, along with the fashionable headgear of the day, almost certainly the bowler hat. Conductors on the other hand were provided by the company, and the photo below strongly suggests that they were issued with uniforms. These consisted of double-breasted overcoats with two rows of four buttons (pattern unknown) and lapels; the latter appear to have carried some kind of insignia, possibly embroidered. Headgear took the form of squat kepi-style caps; they had a stiff glossy peak and bore some kind of badge, possibly script lettering, the precise form of which is unfortunately unclear.

Following the acquisition of the lease by the PTCoLtd in 1887, the tramway was effectively operated as part of the CTCoLtd. The latter seems never to have provided its drivers with uniforms, so in all likelihood, drivers working the CD&PHTCo probably continued to wear informal attire right up to closure in 1903. It is unclear whether the CD&PHTCo continued to provide conductors, or whether the CTCoLtd eventually took on these duties too.

Photographs of inspectors have not survived, but given the small size of the operation, it seems reasonably likely that the CD&PHTCo did not employ them.

Further reading
For a very brief history of the CD&PHT, see 'The Age of the Horse Tram' by David Voice; Adam Gordon Publishing (2009).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Cardiff District and Penarth Harbour Tramways Tram No 50 and staff
A photo of what may well be all the conducting staff operating the CD&PHT, along with a fairly new looking Horsecar No 50 — although the location and date are unknown, the high number of the horsecar means that it was definitely taken in the days when the Cardiff Tramways Company were providing the service, i.e., after 1st April 1887. The style of clothing suggests that it was taken in the late 1880s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.

Cardiff District and Penarth Harbour Tramways Tram No 50 and staff
A blow-up of the above photo showing the uniformed staff, who are wearing double-breasted overcoats with lapels, along with kepi-style caps. The driver (on the platform) is not wearing a uniform, which is consistent with written records, which state that the lessee provided these men, whilst conductors were provided by the CD&PHTCo.