Birkenhead Tramways Company / Birkenhead United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Company Ltd

Summary
I have yet to see a photo from the days of the Birkenhead Tramways Company (1877 to 1889), so details of the uniforms worn - if any - are currently unknown. Several photos do however exist from the days of its successor - the United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Company - so it is possible to say with some degree of certainty what was worn.

In common with the majority of horse tramways in the UK, drivers simply wore heavy duty informal attire - trousers, jackets, knee blankets (see first photo below) and the normal headgear of the day, invariably a bowler hat. Conductors appear to have also worn informal jackets and trousers, but were certainly issued with long company overcoats with upper lapels of a darker material then the main coat. In the first photo below, shiny buttons are not in evidence, suggesting that marked company buttons may never have existed.

Conductors wore a low kepi-style cap that appeared to carry a small metal badge of unknown pattern.

Images

Birkenhead United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Company
United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Co Car No 18 at the Borough Rd terminus of the Prenton Route - photo undated, but probably taken sometime in the 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.



A blow-up of the above photo showing the tramcar staff. The conductor appears to be wearing a long company overcoat (not unlike those issued to another horse tramway - Derby Tramways Company) and a cap with metal badge. The driver is wearing heavy duty informal attire, and the normal headgear for his profession during this period - a bowler or trilby-like hat.


Birkenhead United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Company
United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Co Car No 5 standing outside Palm Grove depot - photo undated, but probably taken sometime in the 1890s. The conductor appears to be wearing an informal jacket, but with a kepi-style cap, more than likely issued by the tramway company. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Birkenhead United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Company
United Tramway, Omnibus and Carriage Co Car No 7 standing at Woodside - photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s. Only the driver can be seen - seated facing the camera - and he is clearly wearing informal attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.