Wigan (& DIstrict) Tramways Company

Summary
Photographs of the early horse-drawn era of the Wigan Tramways Company do not appear to have survived; however, given that uniforms were certainly not worn by their colleagues on the steam tram services, it seems highly likely that horse tram drivers and conductors simply wore informal attire.

Several good quality images have fortunately survived that show crews in both Wigan Tramways Company days (up until March 1892), as well its successor, the Wigan and District Tramways Company (up until municipalisation in September 1902). These photos clearly show that drivers wore very similar attire to their railway counterparts, namely, heavy cotton trousers and jackets, frequently of a light colour, possibly grey or beige. Headgear also followed railway practice, with photos invariably revealing grease top caps, though the odd bowler hat also makes an appearance (most likely worn in the early years). No badges appear to have been worn, either on the jackets or the caps

In common with the majority of horse and steam tramways, conductors simply wore heavy duty informal attire - trousers, shirts and jackets - along with the normal headgear of the day, either the bowler hat, or later on, the flat cap. Once again, no badges or insignia of any kind, including licences, appear to have been worn.

A couple of photographs (see below) show inspectors, who are clearly wearing some kind of company-issued uniform, along with a kepi-style cap. Further details cannot unfortunately be made out.

Images

Wigan and District Tramways company No 3 steam tram
Conductor and driver with what appears to be a relatively new Engine No 3 (a Wilkinson locomotive) - photo undated, but probably taken in the mid 1880s (the Eades reversible trailer is marked 'Wigan Tramways Company'). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Wigan and District Tramways company No 3 steam tram
Blow-up of the above photo showing the driver's railway footplate style of clothing.


Wigan and District Tramways company No 11 steam tram
Driver, fireman, and possibly an inspector, pose for the camera with Engine No 11 (another Wilkinson locomotive) - photo undated, but probably taken in 1890 (the trailer is clearly marked 'Wigan Tramways Company'). Both driver and fireman are wearing typical railway footplate attire, whilst the inspector appears to be wearing a uniform with a kepi-style cap. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Wigan and District Tramways company No 12 steam tram
Driver, luminary and inspector with Engine No 12 in Pemberton - photo undated, but probably taken in 1893 to mark the delivery of new bogie trailer cars (out of shot). Note the inspector, who is wearing a formal uniform and kepi-style cap. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Wigan and District Tramways company No 5 steam tram
Conductor and driver pose with Engine No 5 (an ex-Brighton District Tramways, Wilkinson built steam tram) somewhere on the Hindley route - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s. Both men are wearing typical 'steam tram' attire, the driver in railway overalls and the conductor in robust but informal attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Wigan and District Tramways company No 11 steam tram
Conductor and driver with a later Engine No 11 (also a Kitson locomotive) at the Pemberton terminus - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s. The conductor may possibly be wearing a licence, though this may in fact simply be a handkerchief in his top pocket. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.