Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tramways

Summary
The Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tramways Company maintained a service on its short, 3.3-mile line for almost 38 years, only succumbing to an act of God (a gale) in 1915, though the decision to close was probably more due to financial expediency than the actual damage caused.

Although numerous photos of the tramway have survived, they are not that easy to date accurately, and thus, to secure chronologically. It would appear however, that drivers and conductors were issued with smart uniforms comprising double-breasted jackets with two rows of three buttons and lapels; the latter do not appear to have carried insignia of any kind. Caps were in a kepi-style with a glossy peak; the main body of the cap was light in colour with the crown being dark; surviving photos suggest that no cap badge was worn, though this is far from certain.

In the last decade or so of operation, drivers (and possibly conductors too) appear to have worn informal attire, with a single photograph suggesting that conductors may also have worn military-style caps.

It is unclear whether the company employed inspectors, though the photos below suggest that they probably did, given the presence of individuals who are wearing a different and more elaborate uniform. This uniform comprised a slightly longer double-breasted coat, though still with two rows of three buttons and lapels. The cap was similar to that worn by the other grades, but clearly had a dark hat band upon which a badge of some description was carried. It is of course possible that these men were conductors rather than inspectors, though the uniform differences would suggest not.

For an overview of the Irish tram scene, including the Warrenpoint and Rostrevor, see 'Irish Trams' by James Kilroy; Colourpoint Books (1996).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Trams
Saloon No 2 and Toastrack No 5 stand at the terminus at Rostrevor - photo undated, but judging by the reasonably good condition of both vehicles, probably taken in the late 1880s or 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice; original believed to have been taken by Robert French, now held by the National Library of Ireland.


Warrenpoint and Rostrevor tramways conductor inspector
A blow-up of the above photo showing three of the tramwaymen, all of whom are wearing waistcoats, double-breasted coats and squat kepi-style caps. The man in the centre is probably a driver (he is holding a whip), whilst the two other men, who have different coats and caps, may either be conductors or inspectors.


Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tram No 6 Rostrevor
Another shot taken at Rostrevor, probably on the same day as the previous photo (some of the men are the same), but this time of Toastrack No 6, and looking in the opposite direction to the previous image. The tramwaymen on the far vehicles are wearing uniforms which are identical to those shown above. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice; original believed to have been taken by Robert French, now held by the National Library of Ireland.


Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tram No 3
Saloon Horsecar No 3, with an unidentified toastrack in the background - photo thought to have been taken around 1905. It is unclear who is who in the photo, but some of the figures on the right-hand side are wearing uniforms, so may well be tramway staff. The figure in the foreground, who is probably the driver, appears to be wearing a uniform jacket, along with a straw boater. Photo courtesy of Jim Kilroy, tram archivist at the National Transport Museum (see link).


Warrenpoint and Rostrevor tram No 5
A poor quality photo, but one which appears to have been taken in the late Edwardian era. The driver of the toastrack (No 5) would appear to be in informal attire, and is wearing a large flat cap; the silhouetted figure at the rear of the vehicle is probably the conductor, and he would appear to be wearing a military-style cap. Photo courtesy of Jim Kilroy, tram archivist at the National Transport Museum (see link).


Warrenpoint and Rostrevor Tramway Trams No 10 and 1
Well-patronised Toastracks Nos 1 (left) and 10 (right) stand outside the Mourne Hotel at Rostrevor - photo undated, but judging by the trilby hats and other fashions, probably taken between 1910 and 1915. Although difficult to make out, both drivers are in fact wearing informal attire, the driver of No 10 in a flat cap. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Senior staff
Warrrenpoint and Rostrevor Tramway inspector
A blow-up of the second photo above, showing an individual who is more than likely an inspector. He has a longer coat than the other man, and a badge on his kepi-style cap, whereas the other staff present appear to just have plain hat bands.