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British shipping companies (C)

Last modified: 2016-03-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: cenargo | chapman and wilson | charente | china navigation | city line | charlton steam | x | ss |
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Cenargo Navigation Ltd.

[Cenargo houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 October 2005

Cenargo Navigation Ltd., London - blue flag, the firm's yellow logo.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker
, 10 October 2005

Other sites:

Chapman and Willan, Ltd

[Chapman and Willan. Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Flag divided per saltire white-red.
Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

[Chapman and Willan. Ltd houseflag]    [Chapman and Willan. Ltd houseflag]

Chapman & Willan. Originated in 1878 as Chapman & Miller placing the black letters "C" and "M" in the respective white segments. In 1896 it became R. Chapman & Son and the letters became "RC&S" with the "RC" being red on the white quarters and the "&C" white on the red quarters. Around the beginning of the 1950s it became Chapman & Willan Ltd. finally being sold in 1974. At some stage the letters were dropped and whilst it was logically occurred after the last name change, the letter-less version is shown under the name of R. Chapman & Son by Reed 1912, the Liverpool Journal of Commerce 1930 chart and Brown 1951.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 April 2005

Charente Steamship Company

[Charente Steamship 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 Charente Steamship Co. Ltd., Liverpool. A white rectangular flag with a red Maltese cross placed across it. 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, 8 August 2004

Company continued as T & J Harrison in the 1950's.

Charente Steamship Co. The flag is that of Thom. & Jas. Harrison Ltd. who formed The Charente Steam Ship Co. Ltd. [named after the port from which Harrisons imported brandy] in 1884 to own the Harrison ships with Harrison doing the managing.
Neale Rosanoski, 15 April 2004

Charlton & Thompson

[Charlton & Thompson houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 15 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Charlton & Thompson" (#24, p. 38), a company based in Sunderland (England), as blue with the white letters "C&T".
Ivan Sache, 15 March 2008 

Charlton Steam Shipping Co.

[Charlton Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

A.k.a. Chandris
Al Fisher, 27 Jan 1999

Blue flag with white horizontal margins and a white X in the middle.
Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

[Charlton Steam Shipping Co. houseflag]   [Charlton Steam Shipping Co. houseflag] images by Rob Raeside

Charlton Steam Shipping Co. The company was taken over by Chandris group at the end of WW2, hence their use of the flag shown but previously they were in the colours of the founders, Charlton, McAllum & Co. Ltd. There is doubt about their original flag which is shown by Reed 1891 as being blue within a light blue border with the field bearing a white diamond changed with a "C" enclosing an "M" both in red with Talbot-Booth in 1944 describing it as "may have been". Thereafter the flag is shown without the border with the size of the diamond varying but most having it placed throughout the field.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 April 2005

R.B. Chellew Steam Navigation Company, Limited

[Woods, Tylor & Brown houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels [Wedge 1926]

R.B. Chellew Steam Navigation Company, Limited, Cardiff - red flag, white "C".
Jarig Bakker
, 5 February 2005

[R.B. Chellew Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

R.B. Chellew Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. A company of several name changes or variations as shown by sources finally, going by Lloyds, becoming Chellew Navigation Co. Ltd. before in 1955 being absorbed by Esk Shipping Co. Ltd. Whilst most sources just record this red flag with white "C" flag through to Stewart in 1957, who also shows it under the last manager Baden H. Roberts, Talbot-Booth between 1937 and 1944 shows another flag of 9 horizontal red and white bands with the 2nd red broken by the field in the hoist on which is borne a black "C" but as he keeps showing it under slightly different titles it is not clear where it fitted in although in 1944 he does show both flags, the red for Chellew Navigation Co. Ltd. and the banded version for Chellew Steamship Management Ltd. As at this stage both were under the managership of F.C. Perman who preceded Roberts, this may have a bearing, then again maybe not.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 April 2005

China Mutual Steam Nav. Co.

[China Mutual Steam Nav. Co. houseflag]image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 July 2008

Based on:

‘The Ships List’ site mentions ‘China Mutual Steam Navigation Co.’ in its ‘Blue Funnel Line’ (Alfred Holt) section (
“The China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. was taken over in 1902 together with their fleet of 13 steamers and their route between China and the West Coasts of Canada and the USA. Although ships were nominally owned by China Mutual SN Co. after this date, these are not shown separately for the purposes of this list.”
And the ‘Red Duster’ page lists ships of China Mutual, the earliest being built in 1883 (this Liverpool based company seems to have been founded in 1882). Similar sources add that the firm was considered a serious rival of Alfred Holt’s until the takeover, and that the name was used – nominally, I would think – for decades after this event; the most recent trace I found was 1974.

An Ogden cigarette card offered on some – now inaccessible – webpage (it may have been ‘Nostalgia Lane’) a few years ago shows the house flag is yellow bearing a blue saltire, and above the flag flies a slightly longer blue pennant or streamer bearing the word ‘MUTUAL’ in yellow. This is a practice not unheard of in British shipping. The same card (clickable image) can be seen on-line (NYPLDigital Gallery - enter “china mutual” in the search box).

An interesting variant is shown in Griffin’s 'Flags national and mercantile' of 1891, no. 402 (plate 18, steam vessels), where the
(rudimentary?) picture shows an oddly rendered blue saltire – meant to convey ‘light blue’ perhaps? – and a streamer without any name. London is mentioned as the company seat.
Jan Mertens, 23 May 2008

China Navigation Company, Ltd.

[China Navigation Company, Ltd. houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 12 October 2003

China Navigation Company, Ltd. (John Swire & Sons, Ltd.), Hong Kong - China Coast and South East Asia.
Houseflag: red and white quartered diagonally, with vertical blue band.
Jarig Bakker, 13 October 2003

China Navigation Co. Ltd., London: Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows white, a blue vertical stripe in the middle, one seventh of flag length (say), red triangles to the left and right of it, the apexes touching the stripe. This may sound odd, and indeed Sampson (1957) shows a flag (see above) really quartered per saltire and the stripe hiding the point where the triangles cross. Also under `Swire Group' (Hong Kong). A company history can be found at this site. All other flag pictures I've found confirm the saltire quartering - I dare say Sandy Hook (illustrator for Larousse) was not very precise in his drawing.
Jan Mertens, 4 June 2004

"Flags and Funnels of the British and Commonwealth Merchant Fleets" shows a flag like the image above, with the blue not *on* the red triangles, but rather
between them; i.e., the tips are visible.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 June 2006

I can state confidently that the tips of the red triangles are hidden behind the blue bar, as seen on a Swire flag flown at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami.
Al Kirsch, 18 May 2009

Wm. Christie & Co.

[Wm. Christie & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 March 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "Wm. Christie & Co., Ltd." (#119, p. 42), a company based in London, as white with a white and red border and the red letters "WC&Co."
Ivan Sache, 28 March 2008 

The City Line

[The City Line houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 12 October 2003

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

The houseflag of the City Line is flown with a blue pennant with JRE in white over a red flag with SS in White (all ships were name city of ***).
Jarig Bakker, 12 October 2003

Originally named George Smith & Sons. From
- commenced ship-owning in 1840 and traded to India with sailing vessels. By 1852 voyages were being made to Valparaiso and the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand and later between India, New York and the UK. In 1901 the company was sold to J. R. Ellerman and became Ellerman's City Line.
Phil Nelson, 12 October 2003

British Shipping lines: continued