North Metropolitan Tramways Company

Summary
In common with the vast majority of horse tramways in the UK, drivers simply wore informal but robust attire - trousers, jackets, waistcoats, shirts and ties, with overcoats and leather aprons also finding favour. Headgear appears to have largely followed the fashion of the day, initially the ubiquitous bowler hat, but in later years, increasingly the flat cap, straw boaters, and even panama-style hats; no badges of any description were worn on these hats.

Conductors were not issued with uniforms, but were expected to wear smart attire including a jacket, trousers, shirt and tie. The one item that the company did see fit to issue were squat kepi-style caps, which bore a large and somewhat unusually shaped cap badge (see below) comprising a monogram of the company initials ('NMTCo') above the word 'CONDUCTOR'; brass and nickel examples have survived. Drivers and conductors wore standard Public Service Vehicle badges (see link) whilst on duty; these were usually hung from a button or were attached to some other item such as a cashbag strap.

It is currently unclear what uniforms, if any, were worn by inspectors.

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
North Metropolitan Tramways conductor
A lovely studio portrait of a North Metropolitan Tramways conductor - although he has turned his head during the exposure, it nevertheless shows the smart yet informal nature of his attire (other than the cap), even down to the plain buttons on his overcoat. The kepi-style cap bears a prominent and unusually shaped badge comprising the wearer's grade and a monogram of the company's initials (see below). Photo courtesy of the LCC Tramways Trust Collection, with thanks to Dave Jones.


North Metropolitan Tramways cap badge
Conductor's cap badge - brass. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum).


North Metropolitan Tramways cap badge
Conductor's cap badge - nickel. Author's collection


North Metropolitan Tramways
An unidentified NMTCo horse car stands at Clapton Common, Hackney - photo purportedly taken in 1879. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


North Metropolitan Tramways conductors
A blow-up of the above photo showing three tramwaymen. All appear to be wearing informal attire, save for the kepi-style caps of the two individuals on the left (conductors?), which carry a large metal cap badge.


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar Number 217
Conductor and driver with Horsecar No 217 on the Moorgate to Clapton route - photo undated, but possibly taken in the late 1880s or early 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar Number 102
Conductor and driver pose for the cameraman with Horsecar No 102 on an Edmonton and Finsbury Park service - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Whilst the conductor sports a kepi-style cap, the driver simply has a bowler hat. Both men are wearing PSV badges (see link). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar crew
Conductor and driver with an unidentified Hackney to Aldersgate Street horsecar - photo undated, but probably taken around the turn of the century. The driver is wearing a full length leather apron and a flat cap. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar crew
Conductor and driver with an unidentified Hackney to Aldersgate Street horsecar - photo undated, but probably around the turn of the century and without doubt in summertime given that the driver and nearly all the male passengers (not shown) are wearing straw boaters. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar Number 477
Various staff pose with Horsecar No 477 (Stamford Hill and Moorgate line) - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar Number 208
Horsecar 208 on the Aldersgate Street and Clapton route, with the driver sporting a wide-brimmed Panama style hat - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways horsecar Number 248
The crew of Horsecar No 248, with additional conductor, on the Aldersgate Street to Clapton route. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways (former London Street Tramways depot and staff)
An excellent photo of the staff of a former London Street Tramways depot - Fleet Road - but clearly taken after the takeover by the North Metropolitan Tramways Company (1897) as the conductors are wearing NMTCo cap badges. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


North Metropolitan Tramways (former London Street Tramways depot and staff)
Blow-up of the above photo showing a driver (foreground) as well as several conductors, all of whom are wearing the distinctively shaped NMTCo cap badge on their kepi-style caps. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice