Vale of Clyde Tramways

Unfortunately, photographs taken during the years when the system was operated by the Vale of Clyde Tramway Company (1874-1893) are rare, with just a single example showing a crew man. This photo (see below), suggests that conductors could possibly have worn jackets and kepi-style caps, though this is far from certain. During the tenure of the Glasgow Tramways and Omnibus Company Ltd (1873-74 and 1893-96), staff would have worn the uniforms of that company (see link).

Although the VofCTCo ran steam-hauled services for around 16 years, only a single photograph appears to have survived showing a tramwayman (a conductor) and even this is blurred; it does however suggest that informal attire was worn, at least during the period when the photograph was taken (between 1877 and 1881). Drivers probably wore railway footplate-like attire (cotton jackets and trousers), as this was very much the norm for steam tram operation in the UK.

For a short history of the VofCTCo, see: 'The Glasgow Horse Tramways' by Struan Jno T Robertson; Scottish Tramway and Transport Society (2000).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Vale of Clyde Tramways Horse Tram No 10
Glasgow and Ibrox Tramways Horsecar No 2 on the left (probably) at Paisley Road Tool, with Vale of Clyde Tramways Company Horsecar Number 10 on the right - photograph purportedly taken in the late 1880s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.

Cale of Clyde Tramways Company horse tram conductor.
A blow-up of the above photograph showing VofCTCo conductor, who may be wearing a kepi-style cap, though this is very difficult say with any certainty.

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Vale of Clyde Tramways Steam and Trailer No 10
One of a only a handful of surviving photographs of a VOCTCo steam tram (a Hughes locomotive) and trailer (No 10), and the only one known to show a crew member. The conductor is standing on the rear platform, and although blurred, magnification suggests that only informal attire was worn. Photograph taken between 1877 and 1881.