This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: shipping lines |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



See also:

Bray Shipping Co., Ltd. (E.J.B. Mavroleon)

[Bray Shipping Co., Ltd. (E.J.B. Mavroleon) houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005

Bray Shipping Co., Ltd. (E.J.B. Mavroleon), London - red with two narrow horizontal white lines; in center blue disk (slightly tarred) (Mavroleon in Greek means: black lion; a black lion appears on the flag of the Traditional Traders of London, and the Falaise Ore Carriers of Hamilton, Bermuda, owned by the Mavroleon brothers).
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005


Alfred Brewis

[Alfred Brewis houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Alfred Brewis (#931, p. 81), a Newcastle-based company, as blue with a white "B" in the center.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/46/
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021


Breydon Marine Ltd.

[Breydon Marine houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 29 August 2005

Breydon Marine Ltd., Great Yarmouth - blue burgee, yellow slanting "BM".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 29 August 2005


J.G. Bright

[J.G. Bright houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of the J.G. Bright (#648, p. 67), a Glasgow-based company, as white with a horseshoe centered.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#32 
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


Bristol City Line of Steamships Ltd.

(Chas. Hill & Sons)

[Bristol City Line of Steamships 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 Bristol City Line of Steamships Ltd, Bristol. A swallow-tailed white burgee with a five-pointed blue star 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.

Bristol City Line was part of a company with shipping, shipbuilding and ship repairing interests that started in the 18th century. The founder Charles Hill, took over the Hilhouse business from his partner, George Hilhouse in 1845 and changed the name to Messrs. Charles Hill & Sons. The Bristol City Line, began in 1879, running steamships to New York in competition with the Great Western Steamship Line. In contrast to its rival, the Bristol City Line carried cargo rather than passengers and was based in Bristol docks rather than at Avonmouth. Following the closure of the floating harbour at Bristol by Bristol City Council in 1980, shipbuilding ended in Albion Dock and Charles Hill of Bristol PLC was taken over in 1981."
Jarig Bakker, 5 August 2004

Bristol City Line of Steamships Ltd. According to Loughran (1979) an ordinary rectangular version was used between 1935 and 1950 with the swallowtail version being the original and then reverted to. However no early source seems to support with their portrayals as they all show the rectangle until Stewart in 1953. Most sources show the livery under or also in the name of Charles Hill & Co. whilst the Bristol City Line itself was acquired by the Bibby Line in 1972 but this may not have included the livery as Charles Hill continued in their prime activity as a shipbuilder.
Neale Rosanoski
, 19 May 2005

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#521, p. 61) as white with a blue saltire.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#26
Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021


Bristol Steam Navigation Co.

[Bristol Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

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

The company funnel colours were black with a white band until 1946 when with the introduction of motor ships, the house flag was painted on a panel on the funnel. During the 1950s the lettering was unofficially coloured blue on the funnels until management insisted it be reverted to black.
The shipping company ran services across the Irish Sea and to Welsh ports and was the first company to work the Bristol to Cork passenger route. The firm underwent various changes of name including, War Office Steam Packet Co. from 1821 to 1827; General Steam Packet Co. from 1827 1834; Bristol Steam Packet Co. from 1834 to 1835; Bristol General Steam Navigation Co. from 1831 to 1871 and Bristol General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd from 1871 from 1877. It was sold to Cork interests in 1877 and dropped 'General' from its title becoming known as the Bristol Steam Navigation Company. The passenger service ended in 1914, because of competition from Fishguard. The company continued to run general cargo services (particularly Guinness shipments) across the Irish Sea until 1980.

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/166.html
National Maritime Museum

The flag kept at the National Maritime Museum is white with a red saltire cantonned by the black letters "B", "S", "N" and "C" (not "C").
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

[Bristol Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Bristol Steam Navigation Co. Coastal company with origins said to go back to around 1822, sources vary on the flag letters under two points. The first is whether the letters were black or blue and the second whether they were "BSNC" or "BSNCo." with the "o" being enhanced and the dot under it. According to Loughran (1979) the answer is that they were always black and he ascribes the confusion as resulting from an experiment in the 1950s when the colours on the funnel panel were changed to blue by a mate (I presume this only affected one ship therefore) but after he upgraded to a brighter blue the company, which had been gauging the effect, instructed a return to black but sources used this experiment as meaning a flag change had also occurred and so kept showing blue letters for it as well. However this seems to only apply to Stewart (1963), and as sources from Reed 1912 on show blue letters the confusion is probably due to the difficulty of distinguishing between black and dark blue. No comment is made on the "o". Some early 20th Century books show a different version with the red letters "SBNC" [see above] which is said to have originated from 19th Century sources but with company records having been decimated in a 1951 fire its use is uncertain. The company itself ceased around the early 1980s.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Bristol Steam Navigation Co. (#445, p. 58) as white with a red saltire cantonned by the red letters "B", "S", "N" and "C".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#23
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021


British Shipping lines: continued