Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dunkinfield Tramways
Early photographs indicate that motorman were issued with double-breasted, 'lancer-style' tunics with two rows of five buttons (bearing the SHMDT monogram - see link), narrowing from top to bottom, and upright collars. The latter bore a one-piece, script-lettering grade badge - 'Driver' - on the bearer's right-hand side, and a small SHMDT monogram badge on the left-hand side; the badges and buttons were certainly nickle in later years, but may initially have been brass. Conductors wore single-breasted jackets with five buttons, two breast pockets and epaulettes (both with button fastening), and upright collars. The latter bore a one-piece, script-lettering 'Guard' badge on the right-hand side, and a small SHMDT monogram badge on the left-hand side. The use of the term 'Guard' was extremely rare for a tramway concern, the only other example being nearby Manchester, where identical collar badges were also used. It seems more than likely that the SHDMT followed Manchester's lead, using the same pattern of badges, most probably from the same manufacturer.
Caps were in the military style and carried a cap badge comprising the SHMDT monogram within a circle - these were probably nickel.
Motormen frequently wore long double-breasted overcoats with two rows of five buttons and high fold-over collars; the latter do not appear to have carried any insignia.
Although photographic evidence is sparse, it would appear that the basic style of the uniforms remained unchanged up until the late 1930s or early 1940s. In this period, motormen and conductors were issued with more modern double-breasted jackets with lapels; the latter continued to carry the standard SHMDT monogram and script-lettering grade badges, but seemingly on opposite sides to earlier. Caps and cap badges remained unchanged.
Women were undoubtedly employed during the First World War to replace men lost to the armed forces; photographic evidence of them in uniform is however currently lacking. During the Second World War, female staff wore single-breasted, tailored jackets with breast pockets and lapels. It is unclear what insignia or headgear were worn, though the former is likely to have been the same as those used on male uniforms.
I have yet to see a photograph of a SHM&DT inspector, so details of their uniforms remain, for the time being, unknown.
Conductor and motorman pose with Tramcar No 15 at the Roaches Terminus, with a car bound for Hyde - photo undated, but probably taken not long after the opening of the route in 1905. Both men have grade badges on their right-hand collars, 'Driver', and probably, 'Guard', a practice which mirrored that of close neighbour, Manchester Corporation Tramways. Author's collection.
A group of tramwaymen outside the SHMD Joint Board General Office in Waterloo Road. Photo reproduced with the kind permission of the Greater Manchester Transport Society (see link).
A blow-up of the above photo, showing the three figures on the left. The figure on the extreme left is wearing a script-lettering grade badge on his right-hand collar. Photo reproduced with the kind permission of the Greater Manchester Transport Society (see link).
One-piece, underlined grade badge - 'Driver' - of the type used by the SHDMT and Manchester Corporation Tramways. Author's collection.
One-piece, underlined grade badge - 'Guard' - brass - of the type used by the SHDMT and Manchester Corporation Tramways. Author's collection.
A second blow-up of the above photo. The tall man is believed to be Albert Lewis, whilst the figure second from the right is John Willie Bray, who was later an inspector (note the badge on his left collar). The youth is believed to be Jack Whitworth, Chief Cash Clerk. Photo reproduced with the kind permission of the Greater Manchester Transport Society (see link).
Cap badge - nickel
Collar badge - nickel
Conductor and motorman pose with Tramcar No 23 - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the First World War, or possibly in the early 1920s. Both men are wearing cross-over style tunics, the motorman with his script-lettering 'Driver' badge seemingly on the wrong collar. Photo courtesy of Tameside Local Studies & Archives (see link).
The crew of a Thornycroft BX (with Vickers B26D body), which was new in 1925, pose for the cameraman, almost certainly in that year given the pristine condition of the vehicle. Although this is a shot of a bus crew, they almost certainly wore identical uniforms to their tram colleagues. Photo courtesy of Karen Burns.
Motorman and conductor pose with a rather battered looking Tramcar No 21 - photo undated, but given the condition of the tramcar (which had definitely been withdrawn by 1933, at the very latest) probably taken in the late 1920s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
Conductress and motorman aboard Tramcar 64 - photo undated, but almost certainly taken during World War II. Note the more modern cut of the conductress's jacket. Photo reproduced with the kind permission of the Greater Manchester Transport Society (see link).
Tramcar No 64 once again, this time on a service to Stockport Edgeley - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Note the more modern double-breasted jackets. Author's collection.