Salford Corporation Tramways

Salford Corporation took over the horse-drawn services previously operated by the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company Limited in 1901. Photos from this period indicate that drivers and conductors wore informal attire such as heavy jackets, flat caps and bowler hats, effectively continuing the policy of the MC&TCoLtd (at least in its latter days).

Following electrification, tramcar crews were issued with single-breasted tunics with five buttons, presumably carrying the full title and coat of arms (see link), and upright collars. The left-hand collar carried an employee number (in individual brass numerals), whilst the right-hand collar carried ’S C T’ (in individual brass letters). Motorman were allocated odd numbers, conductors even numbers (thanks to Ted Gray for this information). Staff invariably wore long, double-breasted overcoats over their tunics. These had two rows of five buttons and high, fold-over collars, which like the tunics bore ’S C T’ and employee number designations. Caps were originally in the Kepi style, but were soon replaced with flatter railway-style caps. Both styles of cap bore script-lettering cap badges - either ‘Motorman’ or ‘Conductor’ - above which was worn a small municipal ‘coat of arms’ badge. Photos indicate that the script-lettering cap badges were dispensed with around 1905.

Photos from the later Edwardian era onwards reveal that motormen were increasingly issued with double-breasted, cross-over jackets with two rows of five buttons and upright collars (see below).

Some time around 1915 or 1916, the style of the tunics was subtly altered, with the upright collars being superseded by epaulettes; these had a button fastening at the neck end and carried the employee number at the arm end. Around the same time, the small ‘coat of arms’ cap badge appears to have given way to a larger more elaborate pattern badge incorporating a wreath (see below).

In the interwar years, cap badges remained unaltered, though jackets took on a more modern ‘busman-like’ feel, firstly with the addition of breast pockets, then with lapels.

Salford, along with Manchester, was a great employer of 'Trolley Boys', young lads who assisted the conductor, for example, by directing passengers and, as the name implies, moving the trolley boom. The position was dispensed with in 1930. Uniforms appear to have been identical to those worn by conductors and motormen.

Conductresses - employed during the Great War - were issued with long, single-breasted tunics with five buttons, an integral belt and epaulettes, and matching skirts. Straw bonnets were the standard issue headwear; these sported a band of ribbon, along with the usual municipal cap badge, the smaller variety initially, and subsequently the more elaborate design (from 1915/6 onwards).

In the early years of the system, inspectors appear to have worn a similar uniform to conductors and motormen, deviating only in the use of ‘Inspector’ script-lettering badges on both the collars and the caps, the former embroidered and the latter metal. It is unclear what jackets were worn by inspectors in later years, as most photographs show them in long gabardines.


Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company
Conductor J E Thompson and driver pose with Horsecar W27 of the former Manchester Carriage and Tramway Company, in Lower Broughton Road. Although the photo is undated, it certainly post-dates the takeover by Salford (28th April 1901). Note that neither man is wearing a licence, and the appearance of the staff is generally somewhat less smart than in the heyday of the 'MC&TCo'. With thanks to Ted Gray.

Conductor and motorman aboard Tramcar No 74 at the Peel Green terminus in October 1902. Note the Kepi-style caps and script-lettering cap badges. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Salford Corporation Tramways ‘coat of arms’ cap badge worn between 1901 and approximately 1916 - brass

General pattern script-lettering cap badges - Motorman and Conductor. Salford presumably issued these in brass to match the button material.

Salford Corporation Tramways Tram 115
Conductor and motorman pose for the cameraman with what looks to be a virtually brand new Tramcar No 115 on a Peel Green service - photo undated, but probably taken in 1903 or 1904. By this time the earlier kepi caps had already been replaced with flatter railway-style caps, though still carrying the same badges. With thanks to Bury Image Bank (see link); Image b03568 - copyright Bury Archive Services.

Motorman and conductor pose with Tramcar No 88 outside the Waggon and Horses public house at the Peel Green terminus - circa 1914. Note that the script-lettering cap badges had long been dispensed with by this time (probably some 10 years earlier), leaving the municipal coat of arms badge as the sole cap adornment. With thanks to Roy Pinches.

Conductor and conductress - dated 1915. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Two conductors and a motorman - photo dated 1923. Note the epaulettes and the larger more elaborate cap badge. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Salford Corporation cap badge - brass. Probably worn from approximately 1916 to the demise of the system. Note the slider at the back of the badge, a fixing used almost ubiquitously on military cap badges, but to the best of my knowledge uniquely by Salford amongst tramway concerns. With thanks to Stephen Howarth.

Salford Corporation cap badge - nickel. Possibly worn from approximately 1916 to the demise of the system. With thanks to John Johnston.

Salford Corporation cap badge - chrome. Possibly worn from the early 1930s onwards.

Chief Inspector Dunn with a group of conductresses in 1915. Note the elaborately braided tunic. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Great War conductress - dated 1915. Note the straw bonnet, hat ribbon and older municipal cap badge. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Conductress Williams taken around 1915. Note the new larger cap badge. With thanks to Ted Gray.

A group of conductresses (seated) and two lady inspectors (standing) - photo taken around 1915. The lnspector on the left is wearing a winter uniform, whilst the lady on the right wears the summer version.The headgear looks to be informal, suggesting that they had possibly run out of standard issue bonnets, perhaps unsurprising given that Salford ended up employing well over 300 conductresses! With thanks to Ted Gray.

‘William Whittingham’ - allegedly a Trolley Boy - taken in 1930, the year the position was dispensed with. The noticeable lustre of the cap badge suggests that it might be chrome. With thanks to Salford Local History Library and Ted Gray.

Epaullete employee number badge worn in the last years of operation - brass. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.