Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways

Photographs depicting tramway staff are extremely rare, either under the auspices of the Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways Co (1883-1884) or the Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways Co Ltd (1889-1905). Those that have survived suggest that in common with the majority of horse tramways in the UK, drivers simply wore heavy duty informal attire — trousers, jackets, knee blankets and the normal headgear of the day, the near ubiquitous bowler hat. Conductors possibly wore informal jackets and trousers (this is unclear), along with kepi-style caps, though whether they carried a cap badge or not is unknown.

Photographs of inspectors have not survived, and it may well be that the company never employed them.

For a history of the system, see: 'The Tramways of East London' by Rodinglea; The Tramway & Light Railway Society and The Light Railway Transport League (1967).


Horse tram drivers and conductors
Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways horse tram crew
An unidentified Lea Bridge horsecar and crew, captured at the Clapton terminus in August 1905, so during the period when the company was working the system under lease from Leyton Urban District Council. The driver (left) is in informal attire, whilst his conductor (rear) appears to be wearing a kepi-style cap, though this is far from certain. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.