Bradford Tramways Company
(later Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company)

Summary
Photographs of the Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company, as well as its earlier incarnation, the Bradford Tramways Company, are relatively numerous, so it is possible to state with reasonable confidence what attire was worn. In common with the majority of horse-drawn tramways in the British Isles, drivers wore a variety of informal attire, usually reasonably heavy duty, along with the fashionable headgear of the day, predominantly the bowler hat, and later on, the flat cap. Likewise, and in common with many other steam-operated services throughout the country, drivers wore very similar attire to their railway counterparts, namely, heavy cotton trousers and jackets, often light in colour, along with greaseproof or cotton caps. The caps do not appear to have borne badges of any kind.

The earliest photos suggest that conductors wore self-purchased jackets, as a variety of styles are in evidence; the only company-issued item seems to have been the kepi style cap (sometimes call a pill box), which had a glossy peak and bore a large metal cap badge. No examples of these badges are known to have survived - all that can be stated is that they were oblong in form, with a small semi-circular protusion at the top, a form/shape that was used by several other steam tramway operators, and which was very reminiscent of American practice. The badge presumably bore the name of the company (or initials), as well as the bearer's grade, i.e. 'Conductor'.

At some point, possibly in the early 1890s, the company began issuing its conductors with double-breasted jackets with two rows of four buttons and lapels; it is unclear if these jackets carried any kind of insignia.

Inspectors were issued with single-breasted jackets with lapels, and possibly waistcoats too. Headgear took the form of a smart kepi with glossy peak; in one photograph (see below) a small round cap badge is evident, whereas in the other surviving photograph, this is absent.

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company horse car No 1 at Lister Park Gates
Conductor and driver pose with Horsecar No 1, an Eade's Patent reversible truck, at the terminus at Lister (Manningham) Park Gates - photo dated 1882. The conductor's kepi-style cap bears a large metal cap badge, of a form particularly favoured by Americal railroad and street car systems. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus horse tram No 6 at Frizinghall
Driver (warmly wrapped in blanket) and conductor with Horsecar No 6 at Frizinghall in 1886. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company horse car No 2 at Lister Park Gates
Conductor and driver pose with another Eade's Patent vehicle at the same location as the first photo above, but this time with Horsecar No 2 - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. The conductor is wearing a company-issued double-breasted jacket. The cap badge here seems to be a different pattern than that seen in previous photos, though this may just be a trick of the light. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.


Steam tram drivers and conductors
Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company depot photo Engine No 13
A depot shot of Steam Tram No 13 and Trailer No 32, with driver, managers/foremen (?) and an inspector (probably) - photo undated, but given that No 13 was new in 1888, and looks to be in reasonably good condition, it was probably taken in the late 1880s or early 1890s.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company depot photo Engine No 13 and driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver (in the cab), in light-coloured cotton jacket, and close-fitting cap.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company Steam Tram No 24
The driver of Steam Tram No 24 (a Kitson product) poses for the camera at the Frizinghall terminus, whilst his conductor leans nonchalently against the vehicle - photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s, given that No 24 was new in 1889. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company conductor at Thornbury
Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company conductor (probably) with Steam Trailer No 38 at Thornbury in 1892. The kepi-style cap and prominent badge are clearly seen. It is likely that the light-coloured jacket was purchased by the employee himself, rather than being a company issue. With thanks to the late Stanley King.


Senior staff
Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company inspector at Thornbury
Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company employee, probably an inspector, taken from the same Thornbury photo as the conductor shown above. His cap may have an embroidered badge, though this is far from clear. With thanks to the late Stanley King.


Bradford Tramways and Omnibus Company inspector
A blow-up of the depot shot above showing the inspector, who is clearly wearing a small, round cap badge.