Norwich Electric Tramways Company

Photographs taken in the early years of operation show that conductors and motormen wore double-breasted jackets with two rows of five buttons (presumably nickel; see link), two waist pockets and lapels; the latter were devoid of insignia. Caps were in a tall pill-box style, but with a steeply inclined glossy peak that gave them a distinctly military feel; the caps were adorned with a prominent oval cap badge which consisted of an employee number on a leather in-lay, surrounded by the full company name, and topped off by a lion, all in nickel.

Conductors and motorman also wore light-coloured alloy licences; these bore a number, with the words 'Norwich' above, and either 'Conductor' or 'Driver' below, and were worn on the left side, usually at breast level. Staff were also issued with double-breasted overcoats with two rows of five buttons, two waist pockets, a breast pocket, and high, fold-over collars; they bore no badges.

Several photos show motormen with material chevrons (two and three are known) on their left upper sleeve, reminiscent of corporal/sergeant stripes; the meaning of these is unclear, but they may have denoted some kind of seniority.

At some point just prior to, or during the First World War, the caps were changed to a more contemporary upright military style, but the badge remained the same. In common with many tramway systems, women were employed as conductresses during the war to replace men lost to the armed services. Female staff wore long, tailored, double-breasted coats with a waist belt (with buttons), two waist-level pockets and lapels; the buttons appear to have been plain, as were the lapels (i.e. no badges were carried). Ladies wore two differnt styles of hat, possible reflecting summer and winter wear: a dark-coloured, wide brimmed straw bonnet with a hat band, and a large baggy, peak cap; the usual cap badge was worn with both styles of hat.

Details of inspectors uniforms remain unclear.


Norwich Electric Tramways crew
Conductor and motorman pictured aboard Tramcar No 46 - photo undated, but definitely taken no earlier than 1906 when this former trailer car was converted to powered operation. The large oval cap badges are clearly seen. Note the 'corporal' like stripes on the left-hand arm of the motorman, the significance of which is unclear. With thanks to Stephen Howarth.

Norwich Electric Tramways cap badge 155
Cap badge - nickel with leather inlay. This badge formerly belonged to Thomas Turner, who started with the NETCo shortly after the First World War, serving as a conductor and a motorman, then assisting in the control centre at Orford Place for 12 years; he subsequently drove and conducted buses. Thanks to his grandson, Mike Turner, for this information. Note that the lion is often missing from the badge!

Motorman at the controls of Tramcar No 29 on an Earlham Rd - Thorpe Rd service - photo undated, but certainly taken prior to the First World War. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.

Norwich Electric Tramways conductor
An excellent study of an NETCo conductor posing with his tramcar outside the 'Prince of Denmark' pub on Magdelen Rd - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s or early 1930s. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.

Norwich Electric Tramways Conductor
Blow-up of the above photo, clearly revealing the conductor to be Employee No 230, holder of Norwich Licence No 95.

Norwich Electric Tramways licence
Norwich 'Driver' licence No 178 - light alloy

Norwich Electric Tramways No 28
An NETCo conductor in conversation with a member of the public on the platform of Tramcar No 28 at the Thorpe Rd terminus on 16th April 1935. Photo by Dr H Nicol, courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.

Norwich_Electric Tramways No 8
An unusual side profile of a motorman at the controls of Tramcar No 8 at the Dereham Rd terminus - photo undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s or 1930s . Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with particular thanks to David Voice.