Morecambe Tramways

Summary
Despite operating a service for just over 37 years, photos which show staff of the Morecambe Tramways Company are surprisingly rare, and what has survived, is viritually all from the last 15 years or so of the system's existence. These photos do however show that drivers and conductors wore informal but smart attire - trousers, overcoats, jackets, waistcoats, shirts and ties. Headgear appears to have largely followed the fashion of the day, presumably the bowler hat in the earlier years, gradually giving way to the flat cap. No badges or licences of any kind were worn, either on the jackets or the hats.

Shortly after the take-over of the majority of the company-worked lines by Morecambe Corporation in 1909, the company introduced petrol trams (1911). This innovative step does not appear to have led to a change in uniform policy, with drivers and conductors continuing to wear informal attire.

Photographs of inspectors and female employees have so far yet to come to light; indeed, it is entirely possible that the company never employed either given the small size of the system and the dependency on seasonal traffic, which would presumably have significantly declined during the Great War years, when systems elsewhere employed women to replace male staff lost to the armed services.

For a history of Morecambe's tramways, see: 'The Lancaster and Morecambe Tramways' by S Shuttleworth; Oakwood Press (1976).

Images

Horse tram drivers and conductors
Morecambe Tramways Company Horse tram East Parade
An unidentified horse tram on Morecambe East Parade - photo undated, but judging by the good condition of the tram and the absence of traffic, probably taken in the 1890s or even the late 1880s.


Morecambe Tramways Company Horse tram East Parade
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver, who would appear to be wearing a flat cap.


Petrol tram drivers and conductors
Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram No 1
A virtually new Petrol Tram No 1, dating the photograph to 1911 or shortly thereafter. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram No 1
A blow-up of the above photo showing the conductor and driver, neither of whom are wearing a uniform.


Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram
A photo which claims to show "Morecambe's new petrol tram, the first in the UK", which would date the photo to 1911 or 1912. None of those present are wearing a uniform of any description. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.


Morecambe Tramways Company Petrol Tram
Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram and crew pose for the cameraman at the southern terminus in Heysham outside Strawberry Gardens - photo undated, but probably taken shortly before the Great War.


Morecambe Tramways Company Petrol Tram
A blow-up of the above photo showing the crew, both in in informal attire and flat caps.


Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram No 1
Another photograph of No 1 at Heysham, purportedly taken in 1911. Although the conductor, standing at the rear of the tram, appears to be wearing a licence, this is almost certainly a ticket clipper.


Morecambe Tramways Company Gas Tram Great War
A rare Great War photo of a Morecambe Tramways Company petrol tram, converted to operate on gas. Once again, the driver is in informal attire with a flat cap. Source unknown.