Alford and Sutton Tramway Company

Summary
The Alford and Sutton was something of a tramway curiosity, a steam-operated venture running from nowhere to nowhere - relatively speaking - along country lanes, and using an extremely small gauge by UK street tramway standards (2ft 6ins). The enterprise lasted barely five and a half years, so although photographs have survived, they are in fact relatively few in number.

The idiosyncratic nature of the Alfred and Sutton appears to have extended beyond its gauge and general operation to its drivers' attire. Rather than the usual steam footplate clothing (cotton jacket etc) several photos exist which show at least one driver wearing a double-breasted tunic with two rows of five buttons (non-metal) and high collars, looking for all the world like a uniform. However, in view of the fact that conductors wore informal but smart attire (long, single-breasted, frock-style coats and trousers, shirt and tie), it seems highly likely that the aforementioned tunics were self purchased. As far as headgear is concerned, whilst the drivers wore a heavy peaked cap, conductors simply wore the fashionable headgear of the day, i.e. a bowler hat; no badges or insignia of any kind were carried on either the clothing or the hats/caps.

Given the small size of the Alfred and Sutton enterprise, it is highly unlikely that inspectors were ever employed.

Images

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Alford and Sutton Tramway Steam Tram No 1
A rather unusual shot for a UK steam tramway - a mixed passenger and goods service. The locomotive (No 1) is a product of Black Hawthorn and Co, and given its condition, the photograph was probably taken in the mid 1880s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Alford and Sutton Tramway Steam Tram No 1
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver.


Alford and Sutton Tramway Steam Tram No 2
The crew of Steam Tram No 2 (a Merryweather product) pose for the camera with Trailer No 4 - photo probably taken in 1884 when both vehicles were new. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Alford and Sutton Tramway Steam Tram No 2
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver (at the right-hand end of the engine).


Alford and Sutton Tramway Steam Tram No 2 and conductor
Another blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor. Although of very poor quality, better copies have survived, and these clearly show that the individual depicted is wearing informal attire and a bowler hat.