Belfast Street Tramways

Summary
The Belfast Street Tramways Company branded its sizeable operation as 'Belfast City Tramways', and whilst the photographic record is relatively rich, it is unfortunately difficult to date with any precision. In later years at least, both conductors and drivers wore smart, single-breasted jackets and lapels; the jackets appear to have been entirely unmarked, i.e. devoid of badges. Caps were in the kepi-style and bore an employee number in individual metal numerals; it is unclear whether these were brass or nickel. Tramcar crews were also issued with smart overcoats with lapels, which at various times were either single-breasted or double-breasted; like the jackets, these coats appear to have been unmarked, i.e. devoid of insignia.

A single shot of what would appear to be an inspector has survived in a film taken by Mitchell and Kenyon in 1901. The individual depicted is wearing a long, frock-style coat, with a single row of six buttons and lapels; the coat collars and cuffs are embellished with material of a lighter colour. Headgear takes the form of a kepi-style cap with an elaborate hat band, upon which is mounted a large cap badge of unknown pattern; it is unclear whether this was embroidered or metallic.

For a history of the BSTCo, see: 'The Belfast Street Tramways' by Alan T Newham; Tramway Review 78-80, published by the Light Railway Transport League (1974).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Belfast City Tramways Horse Tram Number 44
Belfast Street Tramways Company Horsecar No 44 stands on an extremely filthy road somewhere on the Woodstock Rd route, probably the terminus - photo undated, but certainly taken before the corporation take-over of 1905, and probably in the late 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Belfast Street Tramways Company horse tram conductor
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, who is wearing a smart, single-breasted jacket (possibly with metallic buttons), but otherwise devoid of insignia. His kepi-style cap bears an employee number.


Belfast Street Tramways horse tram number 44
The same horsecar (No 44) at the same location as the previous photo - undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Both the conductor and driver are wearing the usual single-breasted jackets and kepi-style caps. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Belfast Street Tramways horse tram number 73
The crew of Horsecar No 73 pose for the camerman somewhere on the Antrim Rd route - photo undated, but possibly taken in the early 1900s. Both men are wearing smart overcoats and kepi-style caps. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Belfast Street Tramways horse tram number 140
A rather battered Horsecar No 140 standing in a very muddy yard - photo undated, but probably taken around the time of the corporation take-over. The crewmen's overcoats are double-breasted. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Senior staff
Belfast Street Tramways horse tram 59 and inspector
A BSTCo inspector - probably - stands in front of Horsecar 59 in 1901. Photo taken from a Mitchell and Kenyon film, courtesy of the British Film Institute.