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British shipping companies (A)

Last modified: 2016-03-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: anchor (red) | lymphad | arc | abp | ahl | portland cement | athel | acl | swan (black) |
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Anchor Line

[Anchor Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

The website of the National Maritime Museum describes the house flag of the Anchor Line Ltd, Glasgow, as "a white swallow-tailed burgee bearing a red anchor and four links of cable. 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 image on the website, however, shows only three links.
Jarig Bakker, 3 August 2004

Anchor Line, Glasgow: Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows a white swallow-tail, a red anchor placed diagonally (flukes in upper hoist corner), three rings of the anchor chain showing in the lower fly corner. The image above shows four rings, the number of which is said to have some significance – compare this site with (it says `four links of cable'!) this site. Perhaps the on-line 1912 Lloyds is right, see No. 226 on p. 13 (four links attached to the anchor's own ring) at this site (i.e., `Anchor Line (Henderson Bros.), Ltd., Glasgow').
Jan Mertens, 4 June 2004

Anchor Line. The four links in the chain (some sources show more or less) are said to represent the four Henderson brothers who were involved in the company which originated in the 1850s as Handyside & Henderson, adopting the name Anchor Line in 1899.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004


Anchor Steam Tug Co.

[Anchor Steam Tug Co. houseflag] located by Eugene Ipavec, 6 August 2006

This North Shields company flew a white triangular pennant with a diagonally placed blue anchor. See the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels: http://www.mysticseaport.org/library/initiative/Impage.cfm?PageNum=89&bibid=11061&ChapterId=8, no. 1829, ‘Anchor Steam Tug Co., Ltd., North Shields’. I'm sending this after a chance visit to the Anderson Online page (top), ‘From North Shields to San Francisco’, detailing the career of one particular tug, the ‘Eppleton Hall’, from North Shields to a pier in San Francisco – quoting the above page - "in the livery created when her last owners France, Fenwick took over the Anchor Steam Tug Company in 1920. In his book ‘150 Years of the Maltese Cross’, published in 1993 by Tyne & Wear Tugs, John H Proud traces the North Shields tug-owning partnership of John Anderson (1836-1919) and Robert Chater in detail from c.1867 and tells how it was converted into a limited liability company - the Anchor company - in North Shields on May 25 1903” (…) the company's independent existence ended with the France Fenwick take-over in July, 1920, just one year after the death of John Anderson".
Jan Mertens, 2 December 2005


Andreadis (U.K.)

[Andreadis (U.K.) houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 9 September 2005

Andreadis (U.K.), London - white flag, red saltire, blue oval and vertical bar. (Obviously of Greek origin: the blue oval and stripe form together the Greek letter "Phi" - F).
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 9 September 2005


Anglo American Telegraph Ltd.

[Anglo American Telegraph Ltd. houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 October 2010

Anglo American Telegraph Ltd.
It was a blue swallow tail pennant with a Union Jack in the middle of the hoist side surrounded by 13 white 5-point stars, probably symbolizing the original states of the USA. A white inescutcheon containing a black vertical wavy double line, probably symbolizing a cable, was put upon the lower half of the vertical cross bar of the jack.
The Anglo-American Telegraph Company was organized in 1865 as a joint British-American venture to lay an Atlantic telegraph cable. After three failed attempts by other telegraph companies, Anglo-American Telegraph Company successfully laid and operated the first trans-Atlantic cable in 1866. The company operated cables until 1912, when they were leased to Western Union. For further information click: http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?uri=full=3100001~!140148!0#focus
Source: Campbell and Evans (1953); plate V, flag no.3
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 October 2010


Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd.

[Athel Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd., London: white, a thin blue saltire (let us say, one fifth of flag height) and a red disk in the centre, the disk being about one third of flag height. The on-line 1912 Lloyds shows this flag (with a broader saltire) under No. 1372: http://www.mysticseaport.org/library/initiative/ImPage.cfm?PageNum=67&BibId=11061&ChapterId=8
Jan Mertens
, 19 May 2004


Appleyard Lincoln & Co (Boatbuilders) Ltd.

[Appleyard Lincoln & Co (Boatbuilders) Ltd. houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 June 2009

The story of ‘Appleyard Lincoln & Co (Boatbuilders) Ltd’ (Ely, GB) is found at http://www.orcharddelight.co.uk/index.html. Quote from ‘Appleyard & Lincoln’ section (upper menu):

“Appleyard’s Boathouse, built in 1877 at Ely in Cambridgeshire, was taken over in 1946 by Harry Lincoln and became Appleyard Lincoln & Co (Boatbuilders) Ltd. During the next sixteen years they built over a thousand wooden constructed boats of which Orchard Delight was the last. Harry, whose name was associated with innovation and quality, was a pioneer of Glass Reinforced Plastic to which they switched in 1962. They went on to build over a thousand GRP boats before he retired.”

A design of theirs, the Elysian, would – after a slow start - prove to be very popular: it is easy to find these boats described and offered on the internet.

Shown on the website as a drawing, the wharf's pennant was yellow traversed by a green horizontal stripe; near the hoist was placed a yellow lozenge, outlined green, containing green initials ‘AL’ (no serifs).
Jan Mertens, 13 May 2009


ARC Marine Ltd.

[Carmet Tug Co. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 30 November 2005

ARC Marine Ltd., Southampton - horizontal blue-white-blue flag; in center black "ARC".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 30 November 2005


Asiatic Steam Navigation Co.

[Asiatic Steam Navigation 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 Asiatic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, London is a blue, white and blue triband with a five-pointed blue star on the centre stripe. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and wooden toggle is attached.

The Asiatic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd was formed in 1878, with Turner & Co. as managing agents to run steamships in the Bay of Bengal with its vessels primarily carrying cargo and local labour. The company lost many of its routes following the Second World War and Indian independence in 1947. The connection with Turner & Co. was broken in 1960 and P&O acquired a controlling interest in the company in 1961 in order to integrate the fleet more closely with the rest of P&O  group."
Jarig Bakker, 3 August 2004


Associated British Ports

[Associated British Ports houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 20 November 2005

Associated British Ports, London - blue, white "ABP".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 20 November 2005


Associated Humber 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 the Humber Line. A dark blue rectangular flag with a white disc in the centre bearing the letters 'AHL' in red. 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, 15 August 2004

Humber Line. The correct title was Associated Humber Lines Ltd. being formed in 1935 as a consortium of five rail ferry companies. Their function was originally as managers, not owners but this changed in the late 1950s until 1971 when they ceased their own operations but continued as managers for another decade.
Neale Rosanoski, 3 March 2005


Associated Portland Cement Manufactures Ltd.

[Associated Portland Cement Manufactures 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 Associated Portland Cement Manufactures Ltd., London. A yellow rectangular flag, bearing a white disc in the centre with a blue border inscribed 'PORTLAND CEMENT' in blue letters and 'BLUE CIRCLE' in black letters. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It is machine sewn and the design is printed. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 4 September 2004


Aster Steam Company

[Aster Steam Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Aster Steam Company, Limited, Cardiff - red swallowtail; white 5-pointed star; black "B'.
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies [Wedge 1926]
Jarig Bakker, 20 February 2005


Athel Line

[Athel Line houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 17 October 2003

Houseflag: Navy Blue; ATHEL in blue letters in white diamond.
Jarig Bakker, 17 October 2003

Athel Line was a subsidiary of United Molasses. London UK.
Phil Nelson, 18 October 2003


Atlantic Container Line, Ltd.

[Atlantic Container Line, Ltd. houseflag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 November 2010

A dark blue sigla over a wavy stripe on a white background.
Jorge Candeias, 1 May 2004

This is the new house flag of Atlantic Container Line Ltd., London, a consortium formed 1966, with an international membership. The partners are Cunard Line, the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, Holland-Amerika Lijn, Svenska-Amerika Linien, Transatlantic Rederi, and Wallenius Line. Its specialty was roll-on, roll-off.
Jarig Bakker, 1 May 2004

[Atlantic Container Line, Ltd. houseflag] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 7 November 2010

Description of variant:
It is a white flag containing the company in celestial blue. For further information click www.aclcargo.com.
Source: I spotted this flag on 12 April 2009 on a ship in the docks of Blohm & Voss
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 May 2009

Old flag

[Atlantic Container Line, Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

The firm's monogram alone formed the emblem of the original house flag. With the appearance of the later vessel, such as the "Atlantic Cognac", a new house flag was adopted, bearing simpler initials.
Source: "A Survey of Mercantile Houseflags & Funnels", by J.L. Loughran (1979)
Jarig Bakker, 1 May 2004


Atlantic Steamship Co. Ltd.

[Atlantic Steamship Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 December 2001

Atlantic Steam Navigation Co. began in the 1930's, but had no ships until 1945/46 when they acquired ex-navy landing craft, and later pioneered purpose built RoRo [roll-on-roll-off] ships. They also traded under the name Transport Ferry Service. The flag was a white burgee, bordered in blue and with a bluebird motif in the centre. In 1974 the company was acquired by Townsend Thoresen and the flag slowly phased out as ship liveries were changed at refit.
Ted Harrison
, 11 December 2001

Atlantic Steamship Co. being actually Atlantic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. as pointed out by Ted, also had a commodore's flag which was the normal flag with a miniature placed in the canton i.e. a flag upon a flag. Most sources show the flag without a top and bottom border i.e. just the "bluebird" in the tail. In 1987 having come under P&O the company followed its flag into oblivion becoming P&O European Ferries (Felixstowe) Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 9 February 2004


Auchen Steam Shipping Co.

[Auchen Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 14 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Auchen Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. (Purdie, Glen & Co.)" (#7, p. 37), a company based in Glasgow (Scotland), as white with a blue border, a blue saltire and, in the middle, the name of the company, "AUCHEN", in blue.
   The "Mariners" website lists SS "Auchencrag", owned by "Purdie, Glen & Co." as captured and sunk by a submarine U.84 on 12 January 1917 20 miles west from Ushant (France), when sailing from La Plata (Argentina) to Cherbourg (France).
Ivan Sache, 14 March 2008 


Australind Steam Shipping Co.

[Australind Steam Shipping 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 Australind Steam Shipping Co. Ltd (Trinder Anderson & Co.), London, has on a blue background a yellow cross. In the centre on a yellow disc, a black swan is shown. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and a toggle is attached.

The company managed services and cargo between the UK and Western Australia taking over from the ship broking firm of Oliver and Wilson. They also started a service between Freemantle and Singapore. Trinder, Anderson & Co. with Bethell, Gwynn & Co. were involved in the transport of emigrants. They set up a steamer service called the West Australian Steam Navigation Co., London in 1886; a company that later became the Australind Steam Shipping Co. In 1904 the two firms amalgamated. 
Jarig Bakker, 3 August 2004

Concerning the Austalind Steam Shipping Co, The comments taken from the National Maritime Museum regarding the companies established is a bit misleading. There were two companies both being formed by the same other two companies and both used the black swan on yellow circle.

[Australind Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010

Firstly in 1886 The West [also given as "Western" by some sources] Australian Steam Navigation Co. was formed by Trinder, Anderson & Co. and Charles Bethell & Co. [and other Australian shipping agents] for the Fremantle to Singapore trade and continued to trade to the East until around 1936. The flag from Loughran (1979) was blue with a yellow circle on which a black swan swam to fly on a sea representation. Lloyds 1904, 1912, Reed 1912 and Brown 1926 to 1934 show similar with a bit smaller circle.
Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010

[Australind Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010

The Log of 5/1988 shows a different version with the swan facing the hoist and no lines of sea but I have doubts on this one based on the Western Australia emblem of its operating period [see below].

Subsequently in 1892 Charles Bethell was joined by Walter J. Gywn to form Bethell, Gwyn & Co.
Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010

[Australind Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010

In 1904 Trinder, Anderson & Co. and Bethel, Gwyn & Co. formed the Australind Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. for the UK/Australia emigrant trade. This company subsequently became part of the P&O group and went out of ship-owning around 1980. Its flag was in line with that shown by Jarig Bakker except the swan faced the fly which is shown by all sources from Lloyds 1904 up until the LJC livery sheet on 1966 when the hoist facing version was shown. The change would seem to result from the charge being based on the badge of Western Australia where the black swan on a yellow circle faced the fly or sinister until 1953 (Flags of the World 1978 P209). With the change happening sometime between these dates this fits in with the NMM dating.

All of these companies were UK based. Trinder Anderson were ships agents to at least 1980 and Bethell, Gwyn & Co. Ltd. seem to be still around though what as I do not know.
Neale Rosanoski, 28 November 2010


Avenue Shipping

[Avenue Shipping 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 Avenue Shipping Co. Ltd, London shows "on a rectangular white field, there is a blue cross with a blue bordered white diamond in the centre, bearing the blue letter 'A'. 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.
Jarig Bakker, 3 August 2004


British Shipping lines: continued