Leicester Tramways Company

Summary
In common with the majority of horse tramway operators in the UK, Leicester Tramways Company drivers wore informal but smart attire - trousers, jackets, waistcoats, shirts and ties. Headgear appears to have largely followed the fashion of the day, predominantly the bowler hat, and later on flat caps and straw boaters also made an appearance; no badges of any kind were worn on either the jackets or the hats.

Conductors on the other hand appear to have worn short jackets and kepi-style caps; in the early days the latter were tall and rigid, but later on were soft-topped and noticeably smaller in profile. The coats do not appear to have carried any insignia, and were probably not formal issues (different styles are seen in photographs, implying that they were purchased by the employee). It is currently impossible to say whether the caps carried any badges, though surviving photos would suggest not.

Both drivers and conductors wore round licences suspended from their jackets by a leather strap; the licences were made of brass and carried the full company title and a grade around the outside ('Driver' is known, and presumably 'Conductor' also existed), with a number in the centre.

Images

Drivers and conductors
Leicester Tramways Company horse tram 1874
A very early shot, circa 1875, of a Leicester horse tram at the Belgrave terminus. The conductor appears to be wearing a tall cap, probably issued by the company. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.


Leicester Tramways Company horse tram
An unidentified horse car with driver (left) and two conductors, all of whom are wearing licences - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s or 1890s. Note that both conductors are wearing soft-topped kepi-style caps. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.



Horse tramway driver's licence - brass