Northampton Street Tramways

Despite its longevity, almost exactly 20 years from the first service to the corporation take-over, photographs of Northampton Street Tramways Company staff are relatively uncommon. The first photo below was taken in the mid 1880s, and clearly shows the crew wearing informal attire, including headgear. The other two photographs were taken approximately a decade later in the mid 1890s, with both crews wearing informal attire and flat caps. No badges or licences are in evidence.

One of the photographs below does however show a figure on the front platform wearing a kepi-style cap with a large metal cap badge, oblong in form, with a semi-circular upper part. None of the other photos, including this one, show drivers or conductors wearing such a prominent cap badge, which suggests that he may be an inspector.

For a history of the enterprise, see: 'Northampton Horse Tramways' by A W Brotchie; Tramway Review 81 and 82 (1975).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Northampton Street Tramways Tram No 3
NSTCo Horsecar No 3 outside the St James Cafe. The photograph can be dated reasonably accurately to around 1886/7, as No 3 was rebuilt into single-deck form in 1886, and bears the manager's name — 'Thomas Boyce Goodyer' — an individual who held that position from 1885-87. Author's Collection.

Northampton Street Tramways hiorse tram driver
A blow-up of the above photo, showing the driver in smart jacket with his legs protected by what looks to be a waterproof blanket or apron. It is difficult to be sure whether he is wearing a uniform cap or not, though this seems highly unlikely, given that no other UK horse tramway operator is known to have issued caps to drivers only.

Northampton Street Tramways tram conductor 1886
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the conductor. He is wearing a squat bowler-type hat typical of the 1880s.

Northampton Street Tramways horse tram No 15 1893
Horsecar No 15 at the St James terminus — photo taken in 1893 when this vehicle was new; indeed, it may well have been taken to commemorate its acquisition.

Northampton Street Tramways Tram No 15 in 1893
A blow-up of the above photo showing two figures on the horsecar's platform, both of whom appear to be wearing informal attire. The driver — whip in hand — looks to be wearing a flat cap; the other figure is wearing a kepi-style cap with a prominent cap badge — it is possible that he is an inspector, though this is pure speculation.

Northampton Street Trawmays conductor
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the youthful-looking conductor (on the platform), who is wearing informal attire with flat cap. The man in the foreground is possibly a policeman.

Northampton Street Tramways Tram No 22 1895
Horsecar No 22, captured for posterity at the Abington terminus when the vehicle was new in 1895. The shot was taken by the London and Provincial Photographic Company, who had their premises near the terminus, at 237 Wellingboro' Road.

Northampton STreet Tramways Tram N0 22 1895
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver, in unmarked overcoat and wearing a flat cap.

Northampton Street Trawmays tram conductor 1895
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the conductor; although his flat cap appears to bear something reflective, the quality is so poor that it would be unwise to place any reliance on it, especially as the other photos show no sign of a cap badge.