London Tramways Company

Summary
In common with the vast majority of horse tramways in the UK, drivers were not issued with uniforms, instead simply wearing informal but robust attire - jackets, trousers, waistcoats, shirts and ties, along with leather aprons or blankets. Headgear largely followed the fashion of the day, usually a bowler hat - in its many different forms - and in later years, the straw boater (during summer). No insignia of any kind appears to have been carried on either the jackets or the hats.

It is unclear whether conductors were issued with uniforms during the first two decades of operation - the first three photos below variously show a frock-style coat, a double-breasted jacket with lapels and a single-breasted jacket with lapels, all seemingly without insignia. This suggests that the jackets may well have been purchased by the individuals themselves, a policy which many horse tram operators applied. By the 1890s, photos consistently show conductors wearing double-breasted jackets with two rows of four buttons and lapels. Although no badges are evident, the upper lapels may well have carried embroidered initials given that the LTCo's successor - the LCC - copied many of the LTCo's uniform details (jacket, cap and cap badge) and LCC jackets certainly bore these.

Conductors were also issued with squat, soft-topped kepi-style caps with a glossy peak; these carried a brass cap badge consisting of 'LTCo' script initials within a wreath. This style of conductor's cap badge appears to have been adopted by the LCC, but with 'LCC" replacing 'LTCo' in the centre.

Both conductors and drivers wore Metropolitan Public Service Vehicle badges (see link), usually on the left breast.

Photographs of inspectors appear not to have survived, and it is currently unclear whether the LTCo employed them or not.

For a history of the company, see 'London County Council Tramways Vol 1: South London' by E R Oakley; London Tramways History Group (1989).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
London Tramways Company horse tram and staff
An early photo of an unidentified London Tramways Company horsecar preparing to work the Peckham to St George's Church route - photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s from the style of clothing and headgear. The conductor is wearing a frock-style coat and company-issued cap and badge. The gentleman on the extreme left, in bowler hat, appears to be wearing a cap badge, though the significance of this is unclear. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


London Tramways Co tram No 895 and crew
Horsecar No 895 at a tram depot with a Camberwell Green to Vauxhall Bridge service - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1880s or early 1890s. The conductor is probably wearing a self-bought jacket, but definitely has a company-issued soft-topped cap and cap badge. The driver meanwhile, is wearing a leather apron or possibly a sturdy blanket wrapped around his entire torso. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


London Tramways Company conductor's cap badge
Conductor's cap badge - brass/gilt. Following the take-over of the LTCo, this pattern of badge went on to be used by London County Council Tramways (right up until 1933), but with 'LCC' initials replacing 'LTCo' (see link).


London Tramways Company horse tram and crew
Unidentified horse tram and crew bound for the Greenwich and Waterloo Station route - photo undated, but probably taken in the 1890s. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice


London Tramways Co tram No 271 and crew
Another depot photograph, this time of Horsecar No 271, used on the Camberwell Green to St Georges Church route - photo undated, but probably taken not long before the LCC take-over in 1899. Both men are wearing PSV badges. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


London Tramways Company tram No 191 and crew
Conductor and driver pose for the camera with Horsecar No 191 on the Clapham Common to Blackfriars Bridge route - photo undated, but very probably taken in the late 1890s. Both men on the platform are wearing PSV badges, with the driver sporting a straw boater. The top deck appears to be largely populated by tramway staff, suggesting that this was an official trip of some description. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice