Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways

Summary
Like many other steam-operated tramway systems, steam tram drivers wore railway footplate-like attire comprising cotton jacket and trousers, along with a greasetop cap; no badges or insignia were worn.

Conductors were issued with single-breasted jackets with lapels, though it is unknown whether they carried any insignia. Caps were soft-topped with a glossy peak, and appear to have carried a badge of some description, though given the poor quality of photos, it is not possible to state this with any degree of certainty.

A studio portrait has survived which may well show an ACSTCo inspector (below). If the attribution is indeed correct, then the photo suggests that they wore long, double-breasted overcoats with two rows of four buttons (plain), and lapels, without insignia of any kind. Caps were in the kepi style with a stiff glossy peak and bore a one-piece, block-ettering grade badge 'INSPECTOR'. Whether the buttons and badges were brass or nickel is currently unknown.

Images

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Accrington Steam Tramways Co Steam Tram No 14
Steam Tram No 14 and an unidentified trailer - photo undated, but between 1887 and 1890 given that it is towing an Ashbury trailer with open upper-deck sides (thanks to Phil Calvey for this information). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society.


Accrington Steam Tramways Co Steam Tram No 14 and crew
Blow-up of the above photo, showing the engine driver (wearing cotton jacket and greasetop cap) and the conductor, who is clearly wearing a uniform and a cap with cap badge.


Accrington Steam Tram no 21
A rather jauntily angled shot of Steam Tram No 21 (ex Blackburn Corporation Tramways Ltd, and still in that livery) in Peel Street, Accrington - photo undated, but certainly 20th Century given that No 21 was only acquired in 1901. Photograph courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Accrington Steam Tram depot staff
A depot shot taken some time after 1899 (when the trailer behind was acquired; thanks to Phil Calvey for this information), apparently of steam tram drivers, though some may be firemen. Photograph courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Accrington Steam Tram No 6 and conductor
A poor quality photo showing Steam Tram No 6 (delivered in 1898) - photo undated, but possibly taken in 1908 given that there appears to be an electric tramway supporting pole in the background (thanks to Phil Calvey for this information). Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways
An unidentified steam tram, with trailer, engaged in finishing work on the new electric route to Oswaldtwistle (note the electric tramway pole in the background) - this dates the photo to 1908 (thanks to Phil Calvey for this information). The figure with arms folded in the cab is almost certainly the driver, whilst the one on the right may be his fireman. The uniformed individual may have been a conductor 'helping out', though this is of course mere speculation. Photograph courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Senior staff
Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways Inspector?
Studio portrait of an individual who may well be an ACSTCo inspector. The reverse of the postcard is marked: ''J W Tattersall & Co. Blackburn Rd. Accrington", a photographer who is known to have been active during the last two decades of the 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th. Assuming that the individual was from Accrington, then the only other realistic alternative would be the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. That company's uniforms and badges are however reasonably well-attested, and are quite unlike that depicted here; furthermore, the L&YRly - along with many railways - didn't use the grade 'Inspector', so it seems a distinct possibility that the local steam tramway is the correct attribution. Author's collection


Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways Company Inspector
A blow-up of the above photograph showing details of the cap and cap badge. Magnification suggests that the buttons were plain.