Liverpool Tramways
(Liverpool Tramways Company / Liverpool United Tramways and Omnibus Company)

Summary
Although photographs depicting staff of the Liverpool Tramways Company (1869-1876) appear not to have survived, those of its successor, the Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Ltd (1876 to 1897) are fortunately relatively common. These clearly show that horsecar drivers wore informal but heavy-duty attire comprising jacket, shirt and tie, along with the ubiquitous horseman's bowler hat. Conductors on the other hand — at least by the late 1880s, and possibly from much earlier — appear to have been issued with single-breasted jackets that were cut away at the front; photos suggest that they did not carry metal buttons, though this is far from certain. Headgear consisted of a soft-topped, kepi-style cap with a shiny peak, vaguely reminiscent of the caps worn by both sides during the American Civil War; the cap bore a large oval cap badge. The precise form of the badge however, remains unknown, as no examples appear to have survived.

Drivers and conductors both wore a large round, brass licence on the left breast of their jackets.

Although photographs of inspectors are unknown, records have survived which confirm that Time Keepers were employed, as well as Chief Inspectors, though what uniforms they wore, if any, is unknown.

For a history of Liverpool's horse tramways, see: 'Liverpool Transport, Volume 1, 1830-1900' by J B Horne and T B Maund; Senior Publications (1975).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Liverpool Horse Tram 69
A postcard of Horsecar No 69 outside St George's Hall in Lime St - photo undated, but thought to have been taken around 1885. The driver sports a large round licence, whilst the conductor can just be glimpsed on the back platform. The lack of advertisements suggests that the vehicle, an Eades reversible patent car (designated 'Type C' by Horne & Maund), may have been brand new. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram West Derby
A postcard view of Horsecar No 49 in the village square at West Derby - the postcard is dated '1890s', but the photo was more than likely taken in the mid 1880s given that it depicts one of the earliest designs of tramcar ('Type B'). Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram West Derby
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor, revealing the cut-away nature of his jacket and the low profile of the cap, with its prominent cap badge. Both the crew men are wearing round municipal licences, though these are not easily discerned.


Liverpool Horse Tram georges Dock Passage
The driver of a tartan-liveried horsecar (possibly a 'Type D') guides his charge across the swing bridge over George's Dock Passage — photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s. The driver's large round licence has caught the light, making it easy to see its overall size and shape. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool horse tram licence
Probable Liverpool horse tram driver's licence — brass. With thanks to Stephen Howarth.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram Dingle
An unidentified 7-window horsecar stands at the terminus at Dingle — photo undated, but probably taken in the 1880s. The figure holding the trace horse on the left is wearing a 'pillbox' style of kepi cap; he may well be a 'trace horse' boy/man, as his cap does not have a badge, and neither does he have the standard accoutrements of a conductor, i.e., a licence and cash bag. Photo courtesy of Rob Jones.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram
An Ashburys-built horsecar of the Eades reversible patent variety ('Type C'), laden with advertisements and working the Wavertree to Exchange route — photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s. The driver and conductor seem almost oblivious to the presence of the photographer, who has managed to capture the conductor side on, revealing the squat kepi-style cap and cut-away jacket. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram
Another unidentified horsecar ('Type C'), turned out with four immaculately groomed horses on what was possibly May Day — photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram conductor and driver
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor and driver, both of whom are wearing licences. The oval form of the conductor's cap badge is easily made out.


Liverpool United Tramways and Omnibus Co Ltd No 4
Although the conductor is heavily shaded by the canopy of his vehicle (Horsecar No 4), the photo does show very clearly the large size of the licence, which appears to be fully 6 or 7 inches across. Photo undated, but possibly taken in the early 1890s. Photograph courtesy of the Alan Brotchie Collection.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram
The driver of an unidentified horsecar ('Type F') — working the Seaforth Sands route — concentrates as his heavily laden vehicle passes some roadworks at Derby Bridges on the 25th May 1894. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Liverpool Tramways and Omnibus Company Horse Tram
A blow-up of the above photo showing the bowler-hatted driver, again with prominent licence.



Liverpool United Tramways cap badge — white metal. The example shown here is the only one known, and in view of its pristine condition and the rather unusual material (white metal), it is almost certainly a manufacturer's pattern book example. It is definitely not the badge seen in the photographic record, as that was clearly oval; it was therefore almost certainly made for consideration by the LUT&OCoLtd, but presumably not accepted. With thanks to Talisman Auctions.