Mid-Yorkshire Tramways

Shipley Urban District Council's tramway system was an ill-conceived affair, being born out municipal rivalry — between Shipley and Bradford — and which therefore never made much sense as an independent entity. Shipley UDC owned the track, but leased operation to the Mid-Yorkshire Tramways Company, with the first (electric) services commencing on the 23rd July 1903. Reality however, soon caught up with both the council and the company, which resulted in the latter selling its assets to Bradford Corporation (on the 30th April 1904), and the former agreeing to operation by Bradford (no doubt through gritted teeth). From then on, Shipley's tramway services were integrated into the larger Bradford City Tramways system.

Given that the Mid-Yorkshire Tramways enjoyed barely 9 months existence as an independent concern, it is perhaps no surprise to find out that only a single photograph appears to have survived that shows tramcar staff. This reveals that crews were issued with double-breasted, 'lancer-style' tunics with two rows of five buttons (narrowing from top to bottom) and upright collars; although the latter may have borne insignia — such as system initials and/or an employee number — the poor quality of the surviving photo means that this is impossible to discern. Caps took the form of kepis with a glossy peak; they certainly bore a cap badge of some description, though exactly what form this took also remains unknown.

Photographs of senior staff such as inspectors have not survived, so it is impossible to state what uniforms they wore.

For a history of Shipley's tramway, see: 'Bradford City Tramways 1882-1950' by D M Coates; Wyvern Publications (1984).


Motormen and conductors
Mid-Yorkshire Tramways Tramcar No 1 in 1904
Mid-Yorkshire Tramways Tramcar No 1 on a very muddy road somewhere between Nab Wood and Saltaire — 1904. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.

Mid-Yorkshire Tramways tram driver and conductor
A blow-up of the above photo, which though of poor quality, does show that both conductors and motormen wore double-breasted, 'lancer-style' tunics with upright collars. The caps would appear to be kepis, which certainly bore a badge of some description, though precisely what form this took remains unclear.