Isle of Thanet Electric Tramways


Summary
The photo of Motorman No 54 below suggests that staff wore traditional double-breasted uniforms with two rows of brass buttons, presumably bearing the full company title around the rim (see link). Although the jacket below appears to have two wide lapels, these were most probably worn buttoned across each other in fairly typical tramway fashion (not folded back as in the photo). The upright collars bear individual ITT initials, presumably in brass to match the buttons, and standing for Isle of Thanet Tramways.

The caps were very ‘railway like’ in style with a hard glossy peak. The precise form of the cap badges cannot be made out, though they were clearly oval, with the grade and employee number in the centre, surrounded by lettering, most probably the full title of the tramway company. Although the photo below appears to show that the cap badge was enamel, this may in fact just be a trick of the light as the white area doesn’t appear to fully coincide with the centre of the badge.

Photos of conductresses, who were recruited to meet staff shortages during WWI, reveal single-breasted jackets, each with a single row of 5 buttons, and high fold-over collars bearing the ‘ITT’ initials. At some point, probably after the First World War, the uniform jackets appear to have been changed once again, this time to a more modern double-breasted pattern with lapels, but still carrying the brass ‘ITT’ letters.

Staff also appear to have worn the shield-shaped employee number badges illustrated below, most probably from 1924 onwards when the company name was changed to the Isle of Thanet Electric Supply Company. Interestingly, employees of another Kentish tramway system, Chatham and District Light Railway (see link) appear to have worn a similar shield-shaped badge. Both companies were in fact owned by the British Thompson-Houston Company Ltd, so the badges more than likely reflect a policy of the parent company.

Images


Portrait of what appears to be Motorman No 54, or at least Employee No 54 who happens to be a Motorman! Note the oval cap badge. With thanks to Richard Rosa



Two photos of conductresses, most probably from the First World War of shortly thereafter. The conductress on the right appears to be the same lady (standing) in both photos. Note that on the right she is clearly wearing an ITT collar/lapel badge, as well as an oval cap badge which appears to be the same pattern as that worn by Motorman No 54 above.



Isle of Thanet Electric Supply Company cap badges - these were probably
worn from 1924 onwards when the Isle of Thanet Electric Tramways and Lighting
Company changed its name to the Isle of Thanet Electric Supply Company (ITESCo).
Given the high numbers on the two badges above, it seems highly probable that
the ITESCo issued these badges to all its staff (whether tramway, bus
or electricity supply), with the colours possibly denoting different departments.



Note that the charabanc driver above is clearly wearing an 'ITT' lapel badge,
despite apparently sporting an ITESCo cap badge. 'ITT' presumably
standing for 'Isle of Thanet Tramways'.