Preston Tramways Company

Preston Tramways Company operated horse trams on its 2.5-mile line from early 1879 to the last day of 1886, when its assets passed into the hands of Preston Corporation; fortunately, a single photograph has survived from this early period of horse tramway operation in the town. This indicates that staff wore informal but smart attire, comprising shirt and tie, jacket and trousers, and bowler hat. Although the quality of the photograph does leave some room for doubt, the fact that a large body of photographic evidence from the subsequent corporation era (1887 to 1903) clearly shows staff wearing informal attire (see link), strongly suggests that this was also the case in Preston Tramway Company days.

It is unclear what uniforms, if any, were worn by inspectors, or indeed, whether the company even employed them.

For a history of the system, see: 'The Tramway Review' Nos 67 (p67-77/92), 68 (p99-124), 69 (p131-146), 70 (p163-167/181-191), 71 (p207-212) and 77 (p154-160) by G W Heywood; Light Railway Transport League (1971, 1972, and 1974).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Preston Tramways Company single deck horse tram Fishergate
A single-deck horse car and crew in Fishergate, Preston — photo undated, but given the style of dress and the elaborate vehicle livery, almost certainly taken prior to the corporation takeover of 1887. Both men appear to be in informal but smart attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.