Birmingham and Aston Tramways

In common with the majority of UK steam-operated tramways, drivers wore very similar attire to their railway counterparts, namely, heavy cotton trousers and jackets, often light in colour, along with soft-topped or flat caps. No badges or insignia appear to have been worn on either the jackets or the caps.

Photographic evidence in respect of conductors is rather sparse, but clearly shows that uniform jackets were issued - these were single-breasted with lapels (probably with plain composite or horn buttons), along with soft-topped caps; the latter appear to have carried a badge of some description which may have been embroidered, though the precise form cannot be made out on surviving photographs. Uniform policy may have been somewhat relaxed in the last few years of operation, as photos occasionally show conductors wearing informal attire and flat caps.

Conductors also wore a round municipal licence, probably brass, and very likely the same pattern as shown below.

Inspectors may have worn uniforms, but in the absence of photographic evidence, it is currently impossible to say either way.


Steam tram drivers and conductors
Birmingham and Aston Tramways Steam Tram No 13
A rather pristine looking Steam Tram No 13, a Kitson product, suggesting that the photo was taken in 1884 when it was built. Both men in the shot are wearing railway-footplate style attire. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.

Birmingham and Aston Tramways Steam Tram No 27 and Tralier 6
Kitson Steam Tram No 27 and Trailer No 6 - photo undated, but almost certainly taken between 1899 (when No 6 was built) and 1902 (when the lines within Aston were taken over by Aston Manor UDC). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.

Birmingham and Aston Tramways Steam Tram No 27 and crew
Blow-up of the above photo, showing the Steam Engine crew, presumably driver and fireman.

Birmingham and Aston Tramways conductor
Another blow-up, this time showing the conductor, who is clearly wearing a uniform, cap and licence. The cap appears to be carrying a badge, though the precise form of this cannot be made out.

Birmingham Corporation Tramways conductor licence
Birmingham municipal licence, almost certainly the same pattern issued to Birmingham and Aston conductors.

Birmingham and Aston Tramways steam tram crew
Conductor and driver pose for the camera with Aston-bound Kitson-built Steam Tram No 19 outside Witton Depot - photo taken in 1900. The conductor does not appear to be wearing either a uniform or a cap, though he is carrying a licence on his cashbag strap. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.