Blackburn Corporation Tramways Company Ltd

Summary
Very few photographs have survived depicting crews of the company's horse trams, and unfortunately, the one that has gives no clues to the date it was taken. What it does show is that drivers wore informal but smart attire, comprising jacket, shirt and tie, along with the ubiquitous bowler hat, a particular favourite of horse vehicle drivers; no badges or insignia were worn. Conductors may possibly have been issued with jackets (this is unclear), but definitely wore soft-topped kepi-style caps - presumably company-issued - which bore a large metal badge of unknown pattern.

In common with the vast majority of steam tramway operators in the British Isles, drivers wore railway footplate-like attire such as cotton jackets and trousers, along with soft-topped or greasetop caps; neither jackets nor caps carried badges of any kind. In contrast to their horsecar counterparts, conductors working the steam services appear to have worn informal attire rather than uniforms, i.e. jackets, shirt and tie, along with flat caps.

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

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Blackburn Corporation Tramways Horse Tram No 22 and crew
Driver and conductor pose with Horsecar No 22 at the Billinge terminus of the Preston Road horse tram route - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.

Steam tram drivers and conductors
Blackburn Corporation Tramways Steam Tram No 3 and crew
Driver (with oil can) and conductor, pose for the cameraman at the Cemetery terminus with 'Thomas Green-built' Steam Tram No 3 and Trailer No 4 - photo taken in 1896. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Blackburn Corporation Tramways Steam Tram No 11 and crew
Driver and conductor with Steam Tram No 11 in Water Street, which was the Town Centre terminus of the Cemetery route - photo taken in 1897. Although the conductor appears to be wearing a licence on his cash-bag strap, this is in fact a ticket clipper. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Blackburn Corporation Tramways Steam Tram and crew
Unidentified 'Thomas Green'-built Steam Engine and Trailer No 4, again taken at the Cemetery terminus, purportedly around 1892, though it could be later given the battered state of the engine. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.


Blackburn Corporation Tramways Steam Tram No 10 and crew
Driver and conductor with 'Thomas Green'-built No 10 and Trailer No 16 at the Cemetery, clearly a favoured photographic location, around 1898. Photo courtesy of Duncan Holden.