Newport Horse Tramways

Summary
Newport's horse tramway system had a complicated operational history, commencing with the Newport Tramways Company in 1875, and though remaining in their hands until the corporation takeover of 1894, for four years (1881-1885) it was leased out to a local horse provider (Edmund Perry). The corporation declined to operate the services itself, instead leasing them to Solomon Andrews, before finally taking them over in 1901 when the lessee indicated that they no longer wished to continue. Although photos taken prior to the 1894 corporation takeover appear not to have survived, the photographic record afterwards is relatively rich, clearly showing that drivers and conductors working these services, irrspective of whether employed by Solomon Andrews and Son or the corproation, wore robust but informal attire, comprising heavy jackets, short and tie (usually) and the fashinable headgear of the day, with bowler hats, flat caps and straw boaters all in evidence. There is no reason to think that the situation was any different prioir to 1894.

Several photgraphs suggest that a licence was worn, though they are tantalisingly indistinct, making it difficult to know whether the surviving licences below are the same pattern, though it seems reasonably likely.

For a history of the Newport's tramways, see: 'Trams and Buses of Newport - 1845 to 1981' by D B Thomas and E A Thomas; The Starling Press Limited (1982)

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Newport Horse Tramways horse tram No 11 at Cross Hands
A poor image, but one which shows a horsecar (No 11) during the period that the system was being worked by Solomon Andrews and Son (on behalf of the corporation). The vehicle is pictured at the Cross Hands terminus, and though undated, is thought to have been taken around 1895. The driver and conductor are wearing informal attire, and both appearing to have a badge/licence on their jackets, possibly the same type as that depicted below. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.



County Borough of Newport licence, No 151 - brass; probably the type worn by horse tram drivers and conductors. With thanks to the Stephen Howarth collection.


Newport Horse Tramways horse tram No 10 1902
Tramcar No 10 stands at the Cross Hands terminus around 1902, i.e. during the period when the corporation worked the services. Both the driver and the conductor (on the rear platform in a flat cap) are wearing informal attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Newport Horse Tramways corporation horse tram driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver, whose attire can best be described as utilitarian.


Newport Horse Tramways horse tram No 14 1902
Another late shot at Cross Hands on Chepstow Rd, believed to have been taken around 1902; both men are wearing informal attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Newport Horse Tramways tram driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver, who appears to be wearing a licence on the front right of his jacket.


Newport Horse Tramways tram No 17 1902
Horsecar No 17 stands in Commerical Rd - photo undated, but thought to have been taken late in the tramways life, circa 1902. Although of poor quality, it again hints at a licence being worn (on the frontleft of the conductor's jacket). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Newport Horse Tramway licence
Another surviving licence, this time No 165. Photo courtesy of Bob Morgan.