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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2016-03-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: c | btco | btc | castle (red) | bmm | bmssco | acb | jab | star (blue) |
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Belfast, Mersey & Manchester S.S. Co.

[Belfast, Mersey & Manchester S.S. Co. houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 11 October 2003

This company was a subsidiary of Coast Lines.
Phil Nelson, 11 October 2003

[Belfast, Mersey & Manchester S.S. Co. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

Belfast, Mersey & Manchester S.S. Co. Sources disagree over whether the letters were blue or black, or the red shown here. Originated as the Belfast & Mersey Steamship Co. with a similar flag bearing a larger white diamond and the blue letters "B+M" over "S.S.Co."
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004

[Belfast, Mersey & Manchester S.S. Co. 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 Belfast Mersey and Manchester Steam Ship Co. Ltd, Belfast. A red rectangular flag with a white diamond in the centre and black letters 'BMM'. 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.

The company traded under the name of Belfast Mersey and Manchester Steam Ship Co. Ltd from 1929, specializing in carrying cargo, particularly cattle between Belfast and Liverpool. The company was taken over by Coast Lines in 1945 from its managing owners Samuel Lawther & Sons of Belfast and John J. Mack & Sons Ltd, Liverpool. Its fleet merged with that of the Belfast Steamship Co. in 1960, its vessels retaining their former owner's house flag and funnel colours until the last was withdrawn from service in 1969. The company is now part of P&O."
Jarig Bakker, 4 August 2004


Belle Steamers

[Belle Steamers houseflag]image by Eugene Ipavec, 13 March 2009

The Belle Steamers – all of them paddle steamers – were operated by the ‘London, Woolwich & Clacton-on-Sea Steamship Co.’ from 1888 on. This firm expanded during the following years despite serious competition on the passenger routes linking London and various harbours in South England. By the end of the century it had become the number one in that area. For one year – 1896 – the company was actually called ‘Belle Steamers Ltd’ but this well-known commercial name officially disappeared in 1897 upon the merger with the firms operating the piers at Clacton and Walton and others to form the ‘Coast Development Co.’ Pier access for berthing and fast ships proved major assets in competing with the General Steam Navigation Co. In 1905 the Co. became a Corporation and almost ousted General Steam in the area but other (land) modes of transport were expanding. Growing losses plus the outbreak of war in 1914 led to the firm’s winding up in 1915. The paddle steamers, operated by various companies (one of them named ‘Belle Steamers Ltd’), would continue to sail for many years.

Sources:
http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/BelleSteamers.html
http://www.southwoldmuseum.org/Transport%20popups/Steamers_popup.htm

The first link to the relevant Simplon Postcards page leads to a number of period illustrations a number of which shows the house flag, a pennant really: vertically divided red-white-red with initials ‘BS’ counterchanged: white ‘B’ in the red hoist stripe and red ‘S’ in the central white stripe. Direct link to black and white photo of ‘Southend Belle’ showing house flag beneath name pennant (onomast): http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/BelleSteamers/SouthendBelle-10_900.jpg, giving the impression that the pennant was longer – in relation to its height – than suggested by the coloured drawings.
Sources:
http://website.lineone.net/~tom_lee/belle1913.htm
http://library.mysticseaport.org/initiative/Impage.cfm?PageNum=60&bibid=11061&ChapterId=8 (found in the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels)

Jan Mertens, 11 March 2009


Ben Line

[Ben Line 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 Ben Line, Edinburgh. A white rectangular flag with broad red border and a blue anchor 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 toggle is attached.

The company was founded in 1825 by two brothers Alexander and William Thomson who set up as shipbrokers in Leith. Their family had a background in the building trade and marble importation. With a declining demand for marble, Thomsons' ships exported coal to Canada and imported timber. From the 1850s the company began to explore routes to the Far East. The company took delivery of their first steamer in 1871 shortly after the opening of the Suez Canal. From the 1860s, the trade in Canadian timber trade ceased to be economical and was replaced by a steamer trade to the Baltic; this side of the business continued until 1927.

In 1919 Ben Line Steamers Ltd was formed, ending 'one ship accounting'. In 1972 Ben Line Ship Management Ltd was formed with Galbraith Wrightson Ltd as part of a diversification programme. During the 1970s the company also became involved in oil drilling, containerisation and chemical transport. In 1991, it combined with East Asiatic Co., Copenhagen, to run a weekly service to the Far East. The firm's role as a ship owner ended the following year when they sold all their remaining ships."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004


Belfast Steamship Co. Ltd

[Belfast Steamship Co. Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2004

Belfast Steamship Co. Ltd. Formed in 1851 and for a long time under the control of Coast Line Ltd., the fleet ended up being absorbed as part of P&O Ferries Ltd. Griffin 1895 reverses the colours i.e. a red circle on a white pennant but this would appear to be simply an error as nobody else, before or after, suggests that such a flag ever existed.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004


Alan C. Bennett & Partners

[Alan C. Bennett & Partners houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 28 November 2005

Alan C. Bennett & Partners, Rochester - horizontal black-white-blue flag, with on black at the hoist yellow "ACB".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 28 November 2005


Bennett S.S. Co. Ltd.

[Bennett S.S. Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

The Yorkshireman John B. Bennett of Goole owned the Bennett S.S. Co. Ltd. It had been founded by his father, John Bennett, in 1873. In 1931 Bennett was ordered by the Army Council to cease using its markings. There then began a battle, which lasted almost as long as the company owned ships. Bennett pointed out that his father's use of the markings has long antedated the Act which forbade them. He argued the injustice of forcing him to abandon a symbol which has been in use for over 50 years, with the exception of the war period. For a further four and a half years, he countered every argument and finally, when it seemed that the War Office was poised to crack this tiny shipping company, he had the field of flag and funnel band colored to a very pale buff. Bennett considered himself undefeated, for the shade was virtually indistinguishable from white at any distance. Yet it fulfilled the requirements to the letter. Sadly, his shipping company was wiped out by war losses. After the war, a service under the name of the Bennett S.S. Co., was operated from Goole by the General S.N. Co., and as late as the 1960s the red cross could occasionally be seen.


British Shipping lines: continued


 
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