Stockton Tramways

Summary
Stockton's steam tramway passed through three separate owners over the course of its 16-year existence. The first owner - the Stockton and Darlington Steam Tramways Company (1880 to 1893) - operated steam trams in Stockton, though it never did so in Darlington (which was physically unconnected to the Stockton system), relying solely upon horse traction there. Following the concern's financial demise in 1893, the tramways were taken over by the Stockton and District Tramways, before passing into the hands of the grandly titled Imperial Tramways Company, a concern which owned several tramways throughout the British Isles, and whose express intention was to electrify the system, which it eventually opened in 1898, the steam tramways closing the previous year.

The photographic record is unfortunately rather poor, but does show that drivers wore typical railway-footplate like attire, comprising cotton jackets and trousers, along with cotton or greaseproof caps. Conductors simply wore informal but smart attire: jacket, trousers, shirt and tie, along with the fashionable headgear of the day, invariably the bowler hat. No badges of any description appear to have been worn on either the jackets or the hats.

Photographs of inspectors are unknown, so it is currently impossible to say if they wore company uniforms or insignia, or indeed, whether the company even employed them at all.

Images

Steam Tram drivers and conductors
Stockton and Darlington Steam Tramways engine and trailers outside the Grey Horse Inn
Merryweather-built steam tram and two Starbuck trailers stand outside the Grey Horse Inn, Stockton - photo undated, but probably taken in the early to mid 1880s given the excellent condition of the vehicles. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Stockton and Darlington Steam Tramways engine and trailers outside the Grey Horse Inn
A blow-up of the above photo showing two conductors, both of whom are wearing informal attire, along with bowler hats.