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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: c | btco | btc | castle (red) | bmm | bmssco | acb | jab | star (blue) |
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See also:

John Bacon, Ltd.

[John Bacon, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
John Bacon, Ltd. (#631, p. 67), a Liverpool-based company, as white with a blue "B".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/32/
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


W. Badcock

[W. Badcock houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of W. Badcock (#718, p. 71), a Cardiff-based company, as red with a white "B".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/36/
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


James Baines & Co.

[Baltic Steamship Co Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache

James Baines & Co.: (UK): red swallowtail with a black? dot.
Ivan Sache, 5 September 2005


Bain, Gardner & Co.

[Bain, Gardner & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Bain, Gardner & Co. (#1497, p. 108), a Glasgow-based shipping company, as diagonally divided (per bend) white-blue with the counter-colored letters "B" and "G" in the respective triangles.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#73
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021


Baker & Grant

[Baker & Grant houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Baker & Grant (#1042, p. 86), a Grimsby-based company, as horizontally divided blue-red-blue, charged in the center with the white letters "B & G".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/51/
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021


Balgownie Steam Trawl & Fishing Co.

[Balgownie Steam Trawl & Fishing Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

FV "Balmedie" (A113) was built in 1906 and owned by Balgownie Steam Trawl & Fishing Co. based in Aberdeen. She was requisitioned in August 1914 and converted to a minesweeper during the 1st World War. In service in Mediterranean, sank following a collision in the Dardanelles, Turkey.

The Wrecksite
https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?236532

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Balgownie Steam Trawl & Fishing Co. (#429, p. 57) as white with a red lion rampant.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#22
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021


W.D.C. Balls & Son

[W.D.C. Balls & Sonhouseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

W.D.C. Balls, a North Shield-based company, was already mentioned in 1878, having purchased a ship "W.D.C. Ball" from John Redhead's shipyard (South Shield).

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of W.D.C. Balls & Son (#1871, p. 126) as horizontally divided blue-red-white-red-blue.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#91
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021


Baltic Steamship Co. Ltd

[Baltic Steamship Co Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Baltic Steamship Co. Ltd, Liverpool. A blue swallow-tailed pennant with a white diamond bearing the red letter 'C'. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 4 August 2004

Baltic Steamship Co. Ltd. Operated by A. Coker & Co. Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 19 May 2005

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#1865, p. 125).
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#90
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021


Baltic Trading Co. Ltd

[Baltic Trading Co Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Baltic Trading Co Ltd, London. A black rectangular flag with a white diamond bearing a crossed hammer and torch and the letters 'BT Co' in red. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 4 August 2004

[Baltic Trading Co Ltd houseflag]     [Baltic Trading Co Ltd houseflag] images by Rob Raeside

Baltic Trading Co. Ltd. Two previous flags are shown. Talbot-Booth between 1937 and 1944 shows white with the red letters "BT" towards the respective sides and enhanced over "C" and Brown 1943 and 1951 (Wedge, 1951) showing a golden field with the same lettering but spread closer to chief and base respectively
Neale Rosanoski, 19 May 2005.


R.B. Ballantyne & Co.

[C.R. Davidson & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "R.B. Ballantyne & Co." (#98, p. 41), a company based in Glasgow (Scotland), as horizontally divided blue-white-blue with the blue letters "R.B.B." in the middle of the white stripe.
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008 


Balle & Stansfield

[Balle & Stansfield houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Balle & Stansfield (#722, p. 71), a North Shields-based company, as red with a white shield inscribing the red letters 'B & S".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/36/
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


Bamburgh Shipping Co. Ltd

[Baltic Trading Co Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Bamburgh Shipping Co. Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. A rectangular flag divided with pale blue over yellow and a red castle in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and two Inglefield clips is attached.

The shipping line was founded in 1956 as a subsidiary of the Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. who owned 51% of the capital, the remainder by the British Iron & Steel Corporation. The company ran ore carriers and bulk carriers in the iron ore trade with North Northumbrian names. The company was sold to Ben Line in 1976."

Bamburgh is a town in Northumberland, just south of the Scottish border.
Jarig Bakker, 4 August 2004


Bank Line

[Belfast Steamship Co. Ltd houseflag] image by Jorge Candeias, 24 April 2002

This is a company that serves the South Pacific islands but is, at least originally, a Scottish company. A couple of websites include information on this company, namely www.freightertravel.hb.co.nz/shippinglines/bankline.htm and  ships.utopia.co.nz/Willowbank.html. The Scottish origins are very evident in the flag, which could be described as a Scottish flag with an arm of the cross removed and half of the field turned red. In other more vexillological words, it's a diagonal bicolour (lower hoist - upper fly) red over blue with a white diagonal band throughout.
Jorge Candeias, 24 April 2002

The "Bank Line" is part of the "Andrew Weir Shipping Co. Ltd." founded in 1885 and established in London. The "Bank Line" was formed by Andrew Weir in 1905 and since that time has been operating regular services between Europe and the South Pacific. Another subsidiary of "Andrew Weir" is "McAndrews", a ship agency organization that provides services throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Its regional offices are located in Spain and Portugal. It was established in 1770 by William McAndrews as a shipping and trading company.
Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 25 April 2002

The "Bank Line" is part of the "Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd." founded in 1885 and established in London. The "Bank Line" was formed by Andrew Weir in 1905 and since that time has been operating regular services between Europe and the South Pacific. Recently the Andrew Weir website noted that Andrew Weir Shipping (AWS) has signed an agreement to sell The Bank Line (South Pacific) service to The China Navigation Co Ltd (CNCo), the deepsea shipping arm of the Swire Group.
Phil Nelson, 12 October 2003

See also National Maritime Museum example.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 3 May 2019

Bank Line. More accurately this is the flag of Andrew Weir Shipping Co. Ltd. with Bank Line being an original alias, "bank" being the common suffix used for their ship names, before the formation in 1905 of The Bank Line Ltd. under which most of the ships were then registered. In 1989 this latter company changed name to Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd. and thus the Bank Line "service" reference reverted to its original position and it is this service only which has been sold to China Navigation, the ships involved remaining under Weir as owners and managers and likewise with the flag. During their operations Weir have operated several service lines and one, the India-Africa Line which originated from the 1932 takeover of the India Natal Line, had its own flag which was blue with a narrow diagonal biband of white over red from upper hoist to lower fly.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004

[Andrew Weir Co. houseflag] image located by Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 26 April 2002

The logo with the crown and a pair of hands holding the ship belongs to "Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd.". The one of the McAndrews is most simple.

Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows Andrew Weir & Co. (Bank Line), London: diagonally divided red-blue (upward slant, lower hoist to upper fly), a thin white stripe between upper hoist corner and lower fly corner), the stripe's width being about one eight of flag height. The logo shown here of 'Andrew Weir Shipping Co. Ltd.' and similar flag of 'Bank Line': see the latter one for more information on the company names.
Jan Mertens, 28 May 2004

See also:


Alfred Bannister

[Shah Line houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2008

Everybody called him King Alf. He founded what was at one time Grimsby’s biggest fleet of trawlers, became chairman of Cleethorpes Council and even contested Grimsby’s Parliamentary seat. But Alfred Bannister was not always king of all he surveyed – for his story began with him leaving school and heaving bricks in a Cleethorpes brickyard.
However, young Alfred soon found the call of the sea more compelling than building houses and by the time he was 14, he was sailing as a cook on a fishing smack. In less than seven years, he was skipper.

Two years later, he commanded his first trawler and in the following 12 years became a joint skipper-owner. It was a job he loved – one which saw him set up an unequalled (at the time) record by landing six catches in one spectacular week. From Monday to Saturday, Bannister came in on the tide landing his catch of “dogs” and sailing again on the same tide.
Then he took the plunge and launched out on his own as trawler owner and fish merchant.

By the start of the First World War, he owned 33 trawlers and a prosperous merchanting business. But he still loved the sea and partially fulfilled his urge to return by having a yacht built, powered by a Rolls Royce engine which was taken from his car.
The Bannister fleet suffered badly in the First World War. In one week alone, five vessels were lost in North Sea minefields.
Bannister died in 1931 and his executors ran the business until 1945 when his son Fred and nephew Jack took over.

In the mid-Fifties, the Bannister fleet numbered nine ships – among them the "Andros" which was at the time the oldest trawler sailing from Grimsby. It was built in 1899.

https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/nostalgia/king-alf-ruled-waves-940519
Grimsby Live, 19 December 2017

The link to Lloyd's has to be updated to
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#14
Ivan Sache
, 22 April 2021


Barclay, Curle & Co., Ltd.

[Barclay, Curle & Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

1818 The company was founded by Robert Barclay at Whiteinch, Glasgow, Scotland.
1861 Robert Barclay the founder died.
1880s The yard built its first steel steamer and continued making steel barques. the yard also made steam yachts.
1884 Incorporated as a limited company Barclay Curle and Company.
1900s The newer yard began making ever larger liners and cargo-liners, and liner companies from around the world became regular customers.
1912 Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson took over Barclay Curle and Co Ltd which became a subsidiary.
1968 The company ceased building ships in its Glasgow yard, but continued as a naval engine builder (Sulzer Brothers) until transferring production to naval weapon systems (Sea Dart/Wolf Missiles) in the late 70's, finally becoming an industrial estate in the mid 80's. As part of the Seawind Group, the company retains facilities in Birkenhead, Merseyside, and at Appledore, Devon.

Grace Guide's to British Industrial History
http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Barclay,_Curle_and_Co

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Barclay, Curle & Co., Ltd. (#1577, p. 112), a Glasgow-based shipping company, as blue with a white lozenge touching the edges of the flag, in the center the red letters "BC".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#77
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021


Charles Barrie & Son

(Den Line)

[Charles Barrie & Son houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Barrie had come ashore in 1881 and quickly built up a fleet of sailing barques trading to Calcutta. He doubled his fleet in 1883 by buying four sailing ships at favourable prices from Donald Currie's Castle Mail Packets, Currie being keen to shed his sailing ships in favour of steamers.
Barrie's four-masted barques, "Lawhill" and "Juteopolis" were completed at the Caledon yard of W.B. Thompson & Company in 1891 and 1892, and were unique in having their topmasts fitted to the after side of the lower masts - a personal requirement of Captain Barrie. Although a moderate value and stable product such as jute was still suited to the typical hundred-day voyage of the sailing clippers, the opening of the Suez Canal began to allow steamers onto the route. Indeed, the world's very first Conference system was created in 1875 as the Calcutta Steam Traffic Conference, in order to regulate freight rates and operators, and assure a degree of protection for jute suppliers in Bengal and consumers in Britain.
Barrie sold his two crack barques at the turn of the century in order to build up his Den Line of Steamers. The first steamer was built for him locally by Gourlay Brothers in 1893 and given the name "Invertay". She was of modest size and her capacity was considerably less than most of his barques - clearly, she was a trial with the new technology. However, times were changing and rather than bales of raw jute coming into Dundee, Bengal was now exporting manufactured gunnies, a higher value product that warranted passage via Suez aboard a steamship. Barrie realized that he too had to shed his sailing ships if he was going to keep pace with the trade, and he set about building up a fleet of steamships. These all had the prefix "Den of"; the first, "Den of Airlie" delivered in 1895, was designed with a comfortable and economical cruising speed of 10.5 knots. The steamers all carried Indian crews working under Scottish officers.
As time went on the Den Line diversified into line charters and some of the "Dens" even had modest passenger facilities. By the Great War the charter work had become dominant although Den Line was still involved with the jute trade. It was during the war that the company foresaw the difficulties of a relatively small shipowner specialising in long-distance voyages. As prices had soared as the Great War progressed, the Barrie family took the opportunity to sell its fleet and withdraw from shipowning. An attempt to return to shipowning was made post-war, when the war reprisal "Santa Clara" was received and given the old name "Den of Airlie". The venture was not a success and she was sold two years later; However, the company remained an important shipping and forwarding agency at Dundee for many years thereafter.

Nick Robins. Scotland and the Sea: The Scottish Dimension in Maritime History

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Charles Barrie & Son. (Den Line) (#1388, p. 103), as white with two blue horizontal stripes at the top and bottom, charged in the center with a red swallow-tailed flag.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#68
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021


T. Baskcomb

[T. Baskcomb houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

A trawler belonging to T. Baskcomb was involved in the Cod Wars: "In August 1899 the Grimsby trawler 'Buzzard' was fined £80 for illegal fishing. The cargo of fish and the gear were also confiscated. This placed the owner, Mr. Baskcomb, out-of-pocket to the extent of £500".

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of T. Baskcomb (#1533, p. 109), a Grimsby-based fishing company, as triangular, red with a white lozenge.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#74
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021


Ed Bates & Sons

[Ed Bates & Sons houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 9 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Ed Bates & Sons" (#213, p. 47), a company based in Liverpool, as white with a thick red Maltese cross in the middle.
Ivan Sache
, 9 April 2008 

Edward Bates (d.1896) spent a number of years in India where he established himself as a merchant in Bombay. In 1848 he left this business in charge of an agent, returned to England and opened an office in Liverpool as an importer of Indian produce. He also began a regular service to Bombay with chartered vessels, and in 1850 he started building up a fleet of sailing ships. Trading was soon extended to include first Calcutta and then the Far East and, when the gold rush began, passenger ships sailed direct to Australia and returned via India or South America.
In 1870 the firm was renamed Edward Bates and Sons. Edward went to live in Hampshire and the eldest of his four sons, Edward Percy Bates (d.1899), took over the management of the Liverpool office. The next year Edward became an M.P. and a regular attendee at the Rouse; in 1886 he received a baronetcy.

In earlier years Bates had bought steamers and converted them into sailing vessels, but from 1870 the partners began adding steamers to their fleet. They continued to acquire sailing ships as well up to 1884, but in 1886 they had a steel-screw steamer built to their own design, which heralded a change of direction to a smaller number of large modern steamships engaged in general tramping. The Bombay office was closed in 1898 and the business there amalgamated with Killick Nixon & Co.
When Edward Percy Bates died in 1899 his son Edward Bertram Bates (d.1903) succeeded to the title and the management of the family business. He in turn was succeeded by Percy Elly Bates (1879-1946), who in 1910 joined the board of the Cunard Company. In 1911 he and his two brothers joined the board of Thomas & John Brocklebank and exchanged their largest vessel for half of the Brocklebank family's shares.

By 1916 Sir Percy Elly Bates was running the Commercial Services branch of the Ministry of Shipping and his two brothers had gone to the war; as there was no one in the office to manage their ships they sold them to Brocklebank's. This was the end of their shipowning activities, but the partnership of Edward Bates and Sons continued in business as merchants and private bankers. In 1916 Bates and Brocklebank's both moved their offices into the new Cunard Building and in 1919 Cunard bought all the shares in the Brocklebank Line owned by the Brocklebank and Bates families. Sir Percy Bates became deputy chairman of the Cunard Shipping Co in 1922 and was chairman from 1930 until his death in 1946. His brother Denis (1886-1959) became chairman of Brocklebank's when Sir Aubrey Brocklebank died in 1929. The remaining Brocklebank shares (owned by the Anchor Line) were bought by Cunard in 1940.

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/archive/objects/491988.html
National Maritime Museum
Ivan Sache, 22 April 2021


George Bazeley & Sons, Ltd.

[George Bazeley & Sons, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of George Bazeley & Sons, Ltd. (#674, p. 69), a Penzance-based company, as white with a red disc inscribing white "B".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/34/
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


British Shipping lines: continued


 
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