Wirral Tramway Company

Summary
Photos of the early days of the tramway company have not survived, or are at least yet to come to light, so it is currently impossible to say whether official uniforms were issued or not. Fortunately, the closing years of the tramway (i.e the late 1890s) are reasonably well representated photographically, so it is possible to state with some degree of certainty what was worn.

In common with the majority of horse tramways in the UK, drivers simply wore heavy-duty informal attire - trousers, jackets, knee blankets (see last photo below) and the normal headgear of the day, invariably the bowler hat. Conductors were possibly issued with formal jackets and overcoats, the latter not dissimilar to those issued to another local concern, the Birkenhead United Tramways, Omnibus and Carriage Company Limited. Conductors were certainly issued with kepi-style caps, which appear not to have carried a badge, though this is, due to the quality of the photos, certainly not a foregone conclusion.

For a history of the Wirral's tramways, see: 'The Tramways of Birkenhead and Wallasey' by T B Maund and M Jenkins; LRTA (1987).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Wirral Tramway Company horse tram No 9
Wirral Tramway Company Horsecar No 9, pictured in front of the New Ferry Road depot - photo undated, but almost certainly taken in the last years of operation. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Wirral Tramway Company horse tram No 9
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, who appears to be wearing a kepi-style cap and possibly, a company-issued tunic, though this is far from certain.


Wirral Tramway Company horse tram No 9
The same horsecar as above (No 9), on the same day, but taken just two minutes later than the previous photo, at 5 minutes to 3 o'clock (see clock above the office door). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Wirral Tramway Company horse tram No 9
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, in a little better detail than the first photo. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Wirral Tramway Company horse tram No 8, conductor and driver
Wirral Tramway Company Horsecar No 8, pictured in New Chester Road - photo undated, though it may have been taken on the last day the company worked the service (early May 1900). The driver is wearing fairly standard horse tram attire, whilst the conductor sports a kepi-style cap and long overcoat. The cap would probably have been issued by the company, though it does not appear to carry a badge of any kind. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.