Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways

Summary
The photographic record for Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways is sparse, and images of staff are extremely rare, so what follows can therefore only be regarded as a tentative description, which may well change as and when further images come to light.

Conductors and motormen were issued with single-breasted jackets with five buttons (bearing the municipal shield and full system title - see link), two waist-level pockets (slit opening) and upright collars; the latter bore an employee number on the bearer's left-hand side (in individual brass numerals) and system initials - 'B C T' - on the right-hand side (in individual brass letters). Caps were military in style with a tensioned crown (top) and glossy peak; they bore a brass cap badge comprising the municipal shield (topped by a crown) within a wreath, seated upon a ribbon containing the full system title ('Burton-on-Trent Corporation Tramways') with another ribbon beneath containing the municipal motto ('Honor Alit Artes'). A standard, 'off-the-shelf', script-lettering grade badge was worn beneath the main cap badge, 'Conductor' or 'Motorman', though the latter awaits photographic confirmation. The jackets may have changed at some point as a single photograph has survived which shows a tramwayman wearing a double-breasted, 'lancer-style' tunic.

Although the badges and buttons were almost certainly brass, examples of nickel cap badges have survived, suggesting that a switch was made to this material at some point.

Tramcar crews were also issued with long, double-breasted greatcoats with high, fold-over collars; it is unclear whether the latter carried any insignia.

Inspectors wore typical tramway inspector garb, i.e. single-breasted jackets with hidden buttons (or a hook and eye affair) and upright collars, all edged in a finer material than the main body of the jacket; the collars probably bore ‘Inspector’ in embroidered script lettering on both sides. Headgear initially took the form of a kepi-style cap with a pom pom on top; the cap probably bore the grade - 'Inspector' - in embroidered script lettering on a hat band, though this cannot be made out on surviving photographs. It is likely that the cap - at least - was changed to a more modern design in later years, though confirmation must await the discovery of new photographic evidence.

It is currently unclear whether Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways employed the services of female employees during the Great War to replace male staff lost to the armed services. If they did, photographic evidence appears not to have survived.

Images

Motormen and conductors
Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways Tram No 1
What would appear to be a brand-new Tramcar No 1 (with No 9 behind), captured on Station Bridge, and thus dating the photograph to 1903. No less than three inspectors are in the picture. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.


Burton upon Trent corporation tramways Tram No 9
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crew of Tramcar No 9. The motorman is wearing a single-breasted jacket.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways Tram No 5 1908
Flagged and bedecked Tramcar No 5 on the occasion of a Royal visit in 1908. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways tram conductor
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, Employee No 44. He is wearing a municipal cap badge above an 'off-the-shelf', script-lettering grade badge, 'Conductor'.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Trawmays cap badge brass
Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways cap badge - brass.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways cap badges
Standard ‘off the shelf’ script-lettering cap badges of the type used by Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways - brass.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways motorman
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing a figure who may well be the motorman. His collar badges - 'B C T' - are easily made out, though the situation with his cap badge is much less clear.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways Tram No 19
The crew of Tramcar No 19 pose for the cameraman in Branston Rd in 1908. Both men are wearing long, double-breasted greatcoats with high, fold-over collars. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.


Burton upon Trent Corporation Trawmays cap badge brass
Burton-upon-Trent Corporation Tramways cap badge - nickel.


Senior staff
Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways inspector 1903
A blow-up of the 1903 photo above of Tramcar No 1 showing an inspector in his 'pom pom'-topped kepi.