Enamel licence badge, for bus driver 17228, c1890Professional pride : Horse bus drivers carried whips, but a good driver would only tap his horses very lightly. Drivers and conductors had to wear visible licence badges, usually attached to their coat buttonhole with a leather strap.
Like Cast-iron Billy, Alfred Brown worked on the buses for decades. The medal displayed here was awarded to Brown for 20 years’ service with Thomas Tilling Ltd, a large company that owned cabs, carriages and horses, as well as omnibuses. People often stayed with the same employer for their entire working lives.
See this object and other related objects from within the 19th century London gallery