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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: bolton steam shipping | fb | booker brothers mcconnell | booth steamship | borchard | boston deep sea & fishing | boyd line |
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F. Bolton & Co. (Bolton Steam Shipping Co., Ltd.)

[Bolton Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by James Dignan, 8 October 2003

Based on an illustration by Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 8 October 2003

Company based in London, UK. Stewart & Styring (1963) shows periods following each initial.
Phil Nelson, 9 October 2003

Brown 10: Bolton Steam Shipping Co., Ltd., London
Funnel: Black
Flag: 2:3, Red, in a white diamond throughout in red the text "F.B.", in letters approximately one-third in height.

James' image is:
Flag: 2:3, Red, in a white diamond throughout in red the letters "FB", in letters approximately one-third in height. I have the impression several companies originally used periods to indicate abbreviations, but later improved the flag image by dropping those. Earlier this year I went looking for information on this firm, but all I could gather was that there were already Boltons in shipping in London in the Napoleonic era; the time frame, and the initials, suggest Fred Bolton; the company was still active as a liner in 1996.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 October 2003

Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. Sources vary as to whether there were dots after the letters. According to Talbot-Booth the company originated 1885, apparently as Frederic [spelling taken from Lloyds 1904] Bolton & Co. trading as Bolton Steamship Co. Ltd. but Griffin 1895 shows them as Bolton & Kenneth. In 1982 they were bought by Nosira Shipping (Carnival Cruises Line Group) with Carnival in turn selling them both in 1987 to the Mountleigh Group. Whilst part of the Carnival Group it seems that Bolton Maritime Management Ltd. was set up to manage the fleets of Bolton Steamship and Nosira Shipping but these two seem to have got out of ship-owning soon after and by 1992 the management company are noted in Lloyds Shipowners acting for a non related company but after that the trail is cold.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004

Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd was founded by Frederick Bolton in 1874 as F. Bolton & Company. The company ran a small fleet of tramp steamers to the Middle and Far East. Bolton being the son of a painter, all the ships were called after artists. After buying out a partner, Henry Kenneth, the company was re-named Bolton Steam Shipping Co. Ltd in 1897. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 1917 prior to Sir Frederick Bolton's retirement (he was knighted in 1908).
In 1921 Frederick's son Louis Hamilton restarted the company the shares being held by himself and two unmarried sisters. Louis Hamilton died in 1953 and was succeed by his son Frederick B. Bolton. The company took advantage of a post-war boom, but after a slump in the market, it was sold to American Ted Arison in 1982 ending its role as a shipowner.

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/153.html
National Maritime Museum

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#39, p. 38).
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#3
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

[Burdick & Cook houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

The National Maritime Museum keeps a copy of the house flag with writing "F.B."
https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/153.html
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021


Booker Brothers McConnell and Co.

[Booker Brothers McConnell and Co. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Booker Brothers McConnell and Co., Liverpool. A blue, white and blue triband with a red 'B' on the white stripe 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.

Booker Brothers McConnell and Co. was founded in 1832 as George Booker & Co., and traded in rum and sugar. The Booker family bought their first ship in 1835, the shipping side of the business was run in addition to major sugar production interests in British Guiana. The company merged with John McConnell & Co. in 1900. This multinational conglomerate company is now primarily a food distributor."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004


Bookless Brothers

[Bookless Brothers houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Bookless Brothers (#1880, p. 126), Aberdeen-based "fish curers", as horizontally divided red-white-blue, charged in the center with two black "B's".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#91
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021


Booth Steamship Co., Ltd.

[Booth Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

Based on Wedge 1926 shows a white field with red saltire; in the center a blue "B".
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2004

Sampson (1957) shows this flag with a black B.
James Dignan, 8 October 2003

Booth Steamship Co. Ltd. Formed in 1866 the original flag has a bee on it but unfortunately there is no record of the flag colours. The next flag, adopted towards the end of that century [certainly by 1885 at least] had a small "B" wholly on the saltire with the red visible behind it as shown here. Then there was a change to a larger letter with white behind it [see image below] which occurred after the outbreak of WW2 according to Loughran (1979) though sources up to Brown 1951 show the older version with Stewart (1953) on showing the new version. I would suggest that Sampson has got the letter colour wrong with the common confusion between dark blue and black. The company itself was absorbed into Blue Star Line in 1975.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004

The origins of the Booth Steamship Company extend back to 1863 when the brothers Alfred and Charles Booth established the partnership of Alfred Booth & Co. with the main purpose of importing English light leather to the U.S.A. In February 1865 the partnership placed contracts for two ships, the "Augustine" and the "Jerome". Charles and Alfred Booth did not own these ships, instead each vessel was owned by a partnership with Alfred Booth & Co. a common partner in each. Alfred and Philip Holt assisted the Booths in these ventures and also acted as partners, holding a number of shares in each vessel. By 1871 the Booths were operating regular services to Northern Brazil along with the Red Cross Line and the Maranham Steamship Co. with whom the Booths shared a friendly rivalry.

The Booth Steamship Co. Ltd. was incorporated on 24 June 1881 with Alfred Booth & Co. having a majority shareholding in the new company. Following the invention of the pneumatic tyre in 1888 Brazilian rubber enjoyed a boom, and by 1900 the Booth Line owned 14 vessels. In 1901 the Red Cross Line and the Booth Steamship Co. amalgamated to form a new company, the Booth Steamship Co. (1901) Ltd. However at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 21 December 1901 it was unanimously resolved that the name "Booth Steamship Co. Ltd." be adopted.
Also in 1901 the Booth Iquitos Line was established, and when this was absorbed by the Booth Steamship Co. in 1913 possessed two vessels. In 1902 Alfred Booth & Co. were involved in the establishment of the Manaos Harbour Co., a venture in which they had substantial holdings, and for some time, a controlling interest.
In 1903 the Company introduced tours to Lisbon and Madeira, and in connection with these produced a guidebook.

During World War I eleven Booth Line vessels were requisitioned by the Government for the war effort and nine of these ships were lost. By the end of World War I the Booth Line consisted of 18 vessels, totaling 72,149 tons. The reduced post-war fleet caused a reduction in services, and a general fall off in the Amazon trade saw attempts by the company to diversify its interests. One such move was the introduction of the tourist cruise "1000 Miles Up The Amazon".
During World War II the Booth Line again suffered losses, and in 1946 the parent company, Alfred Booth & Co., which had substantial interests other than shipping, decided to sell the entire shipping concern with its subsidiaries in England, the United States and Brazil. In April 1946 the Vestey Group acquired the Booth Steamship Co. but it continued to function as a separate line.
In April 1955 the Company entered into the West Indian trade, in 1961 a service linking Canada, the West Indies and Brazil was inaugurated and the following year the Gulf Service was introduced.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/cc7b51e5-99cc-479a-87d3-aa5d5ff870d6
The National Archives

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of The Booth Steamship Company, Ltd. (#11, p. 37) as white with a red saltire superimposed in the center with a blue "B".

https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#2
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

[Booth Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

I have in my possession a menu that my mother picked up when she arrived in England in 1958. She tells me that 1958 was the last time RMS Hilary carried passengers because it later became a cargo ship. The menu has the coat of arms which depict a circle with the Booth Steamship Co. Ltd and inside that a white flag with red cross and a blue B in the middle. There is no red within the blue as I noted on the website.
Valletta Bayley, 4 July 2007


Borchard Lines Ltd.

[Borchard Lines houseflag] by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

White flag with a wind-rose made of a four-pointed blue star (N W S E) and a four-pointed red star (NE SE SW NE) superimposed on it.
Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Borchard Lines Ltd. Flag emblem is that of the German company Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffs Reederei Richard Borchard GmbH with the colours reversed.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004


Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice Co.

[Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice Co. houseflag] 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 Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice Co. Ltd. On a blue swallow-tailed burgee, there is a white shield with three red crowns. The design is loosely based on the arms of Boston, Lincolnshire - sable and three coronets. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and shield. The flag is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached.

The shipping company was formed on 7 August 1885 and started in business with seven second-hand fishing smacks. Two new steam trawlers were launched for the company the following November. These vessels were initially based at Hull, but a fish quay and stores were shortly after built at Boston, Lincolnshire. By the 1890s the company was making a profit. In 1922, a collier, the Steam Ship 'Lockwood' went aground across the harbour mouth completely blocking it. The vessel was salvaged by the Boston Deep Sea Fishing and Ice Co., but because the company had trouble obtaining payment from Boston Corporation for this work, the indignant owner, Fred Parkes, decided to move the business to Fleetwood and Grimsby. This marked the end of Boston as a major fishing port. During the years that followed the company acquired many subsidiaries and owned fleets in Fleetwood, Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft. It was liquidated and reformed as Boston  Deep Sea Fisheries. The company ended its operations in 1979 following the imposition of 200-mile fishing limits and EEC quotas."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004


Bowles Bros.

[Bowles Bros. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
Bowles Bros. (#502, p. 60), a London-based company, as white with a red emblem including three white square diamonds bordered in red, one bigger and the two other.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#25
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021


G.W. Bowman

[G.W. Bowman houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "G.W. Bowman" (#49, p. 39), a company based in Hull, as blue with the white letters "GWB".
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008 


C. T. Bowring & Co., Ltd.

[C.T. Bowring & Co., Ltd. houseflag] by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2004

The flag is white with a red saltire.


J.E. Bowser & Son

[J.E. Bowser & Son houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 3 May 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of J.E. Bowser & Son (#1692, p. 117), a Newcastle-based shipping company, as white, charged in the center with a white crescent inscribed in a blue disc.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#82
Ivan Sache, 3 May 2021


Boyd Line Ltd

[Boyd Line houseflag] 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 Boyd Line Ltd, Hull. A red, white and red triband with a red 'B' on a white stripe 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.

Boyd Line Ltd started in 1936 with three distant water trawlers. Although adversely affected by 200 mile fishing limits and EC membership, the company was still in operation in 2003, fishing in the North Atlantic with two filleter/freezer trawlers. The company supplies white fish to food processors and retailers. Boyd Line Management Services also act as fishery consultants."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004


British Shipping lines: continued


 
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