Bradford and Shelf Tramways Company

Summary
Photographs of the Bradford and Shelf Tramways Company have survived in reasonable numbers, so it is possible to state with a reasonable degree of confidence what attire was worn. In common with the majority of UK steam-operated tramways, drivers wore very similar clothing to their railway counterparts, namely, heavy cotton trousers and jackets, often light in colour, along with greaseproof or flat caps. No badges or insignia were worn on either the jackets or the caps.

Although many photographs are undated, it seems likely that conductors initially wore self-purchased jackets (a common horse and steam tramway company policy), as a variety of styles are in evidence; the only company-issued item seems to have been a kepi-style cap, which had a glossy peak, but no obvious cap badge. It is however possible that the caps bore some kind of embroidered badge that does not show up well on photographs.

Later in the tramway's life (late 1890s?), it would appear that the company began to issue conductors with uniform jackets, as photos show them wearing double-breasted, 'lancer-style' jackets with two rows of five buttons (narrowing from top to bottom), with upright collars. It is unclear if these jackets bore badges of any kind.

Photographs of inspectors have not survived, so it is impossible to say what they wore, or indeed, if the company employed them at all.

Images

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Bradford and Shelf Tramways Steam Tram No 10
Driver and conductor with Steam Tram No 10 (a Thomas Green product delivered in 1886) and what appears to be a ecently outshopped Trailer No 6 - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Author's collection.


Bradford and Shelf Tramways steam tran conductor and driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crew. It is unclear whether the conductor's cap bears a cap badge; although there is a hint of something relective, this may just be a trick of the light.


Bradford and Shelf Steam Tram No 5
Steam Tram No 5 and Trailer No 7 at the Shelf terminus - photo undated, but definitely no earlier than 1893 when Trailer No 7 was built. The driver is wearing a light-coloured, railway footplate-style cotton jacket, whilst the conductor appears to be wearing a frock-style coat (probably self-bought), along with a kepi-style cap (probably issued by the company). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Bradford and Shelf Steam Tram No 14
Steam Tram No 14 at the Bankfoot terminus - photo undated, but thought to be around 1895. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.


Bradford and Shelf Tramways STeam Tram No 3
Uniformed conductor and flat-capped driver with Steam Tram No 3 - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s. With thanks to the late Stanley King.


Bradford and Shelf Tramways conductor
Blow-up of the above photo, revealing details of the conductor's uniform; the cap appears to be devoid of a badge, at least a prominent metal one that would show up photographically.


Bradford and Shelf Steam Tram No 13
Driver and conductor with Steam Tram No 13 - photo undated, but certainly no earlier than 1893 when this locomotive was built, and probably much later. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.