South Lancashire Tramways

Summary
Early photos indicate that staff were issued with traditional tramway double-breasted cross-over style tunics (narrowing from top to bottom) with two rows of five buttons, upright collars and epaulettes; the latter appear to have carried insignia, though exactly what form this took is unknown. Caps were in the kepi style with a stiff glossy peak; these carried standard, 'off-the-shelf' script-lettering grade badges, either 'Driver' or 'Conductor', though occasionally 'Motorman' was also used. These badges were almost certainly issued in brass, though a change may have been made to nickel in later years.

The kepi-style caps appear however to have been relatively quickly replaced by soft-topped railway-style caps, which were in turn superseded by more modern upright, military style caps, both of which continued to carry script lettering cap badges, but with 'Conductor' now replaced by 'Guard'. The latter was a designation used by a handful of systems nationally, but only Manchester Corporation Tramways, and Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dunkinfield Tramways actually issued badges to match, and then only as collar badges. Odd photographs also suggest that a small round badge may have been worn above the script-lettering cap badges.

Motormen continued to be issued with double-breasted tunics right through to closure of the system, sometimes with and sometimes without epaulettes. Later photographs clearly show that 'S L T' initials were only worn on the bearer's right-hand tunic collar. At some point, probably in the 1920s, a switch was made to single-breasted jackets for conductors - these had five buttons, two breast pockets (with button closures), epaulettes and upright collars; the latter carried 'S L T' initials on the right-hand side. Towards the very end of the system in the early 1930s, tramcar staff were issued with more modern single-breasted jackets with four pockets, lapels and epaulettes.

Staff were also issued with double-breasted overcoats with high fold-over collars.

The type of uniform worn by inspectors is currently unknown.

Female conductors were employed during the Great War to replace male staff lost to the armed forces. These ladies were issued with long skirts and long tailored double-breasted jackets with lapels and epaulettes. Hats took the form of large bonnets, which probably, but not certainly, bore a script-lettering grade badge.

Images

Motormen and conductors
South Lancashire Tramways tram crew
Conductor and motorman aboard Tramcar No 17 at Pennington in 1902 - photographer, T Boothroyd. Note the kepi-style caps, on which the 'Conductor' and 'Driver' badges can clearly be made out. Photo courtesy of Ted Gray.


South Lancashire Tramways cap badges
General pattern brass script-lettering cap badges of the type used by the South Lancashire Tramways Company.


South Lancashire Tramways Motorman cap badge
General pattern script-lettering 'Motorman' cap badge, seemingly issued sporadically to South Lancashire Tramways drivers - brass.


South Lancashire Tramways crew 33
Conductor and motorman aboard Tramcar No 33 - photo undated, but certainly no later than 1906 when the tram livery changed, but probably as early as 1903/4. Note the collar designations and the new railway style cap. The conductor appears to be in informal attire, possibly awaiting the issue of a uniform. Photo courtesy of Ted Gray.


Crew of South Lancashire Tramways tram No 60
Conductor (in single-breasted jacket) and motorman (in double-breasted cross-over tunic) with Tramcar No 60 bound for Black Horse on 19th July 1929. The 'S L T collar initials, worn on the right-hand side only, can easily be made out on magnification. Whilst the motorman's cap badge is clearly 'Driver', the conductor's is very probably 'Guard'. Photo possibly by Dr H Nicol, courtesy of the Stephen Howarth Collection.


South Lancashire Tramways No 59 and crew 1931
Conductor and motorman pose for the cameraman at Swinton Church in 1931 with Tramcar No 59. Stephen Howarth Collection.


South Lancashire Tramways Tram No 58 and driver
Motorman at the controls of Tramcar No 58 on 13th August 1933. Photograph by M J O'Connor.


Female staff
South Lancashire Tramways Great War conductress
Conductress and motorman pose aboard Tramcar No 8 at Ashton-in-Makerfield with a service bound for Atherton - photo dated 1917. Author's Collection.