Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways

Summary
In common with the vast majority of British steam tramway operations, steam tram drivers wore railway footplate-like attire comprising cotton jackets and trousers, along with a cloth or greaseproof cap; no badges of any kind were worn.

Photographs of conductors are scarce, though those that do exist strongly suggest that they wore smart but informal attire: jacket and trousers, shirt and tie, and the fashionable headgear of the day, namely, a bowler hat, a flat cap, or in the case of the image below, a straw boater. Once again, insignia of any kind, including licences, does not appear to have been worn.

Photographs of inspectors have not survived, so it is unknown what uniforms, if any, they wore.

For a detailed history of the various tramways of Blackburn, visit Duncan Holden's site: 'Olive, Green and Ivory'.

Images

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways steam tram no 8 and driver
Blackburn and Over Darwen Steam Tram No 8, a 'Thomas Green'-built engine, at the reversing triangle at Whitehall - photo taken in 1885. The engine driver is wearing railway footplate-style attire. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society.


Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways trailer tram no 8 and driver
The other half of the above photo, showing Trailer No 8, with the conductor second from the right, wearing a straw boater.


Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways tram no 7 and trailer no 7
Another shot taken at the reversing triangle at Whitehall, this time of Steam Tram No 7 and Trailer No 7 - photo again undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s. It is unclear if any of the individuals depicted on the left is the conductor. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways steam trams No 12 and 3
'Thomas Green'-built Steam Tram No 12 and Kitson-built No 3 at Hollins Grove with various crew members, all of whom seem to be in informal attire - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s from the style of headwear. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Blackburn and Over Darwen steam tram and trailer Whitehall
Steam tram crew pose for the cameraman at the Whitehall reversing triangle - photo undated, but from the condition of the locomotive, probably taken in 1899 or 1900. None of those present are wearing uniforms, suggesting that the photograph was either taken shortly before the corporation take-over, or that the latter did not bother issuing uniforms to the men working the ex-B&ODT services. Photo courtesy of Phil Calvey.