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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: brittany ferries | brocklebank | brussels steamship | bssco |
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Brittany Ferries Truckline

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Thos. and Jon Brocklebank Ltd

[Thos. and Jon Brocklebank Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 12 March 2006

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963

Pre-1820 house flag, T. & J. Brocklebank Ltd.

[Thos. and Jon Brocklebank Ltd former houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

T & J Brocklebank, Ltd. was founded about 1770. Their first houseflag was altered in 1820 to the one which flies today at the foremast. The reason usually given for this is that many of Brocklebank's early vessels were privateers, whose mainmasts were reserved for the letters-of-marque pennant, so the houseflag was relegated to the fore. In books it is asserted that Brocklebank's is the only houseflag worn thus - however Sandbach, Tinne & Co. did it too.

Source: Loughran (1979) "A Survey of Mercantile Houseflags & Funnels"
Jarig Bakker, 28 February 2004

See also: British Privateers

Larousse Commercial Illustré (1930) shows Anchor Brocklebank & Well Lines, Liverpool: vertically divided white-blue, white nearest the hoist. On FOTW-ws under 'Thos. and Jon Brocklebank Ltd'. The company name Larousse gives makes more sense if we know that Cunard purchased Brocklebank and Anchor Line in 1911, followed by the Well Line in 1916.
Jan Mertens, 28 May 2004

The business was founded by Daniel Brocklebank, who after an early career as a New England shipbuilder and British merchant retired to shore as a ship owner and shipbuilder, based in Whitehaven. In 1800 he passed the business on to his sons Thomas and John, (the firm was re-named Thomas & John Brocklebank in 1801). It originally traded with the Americas, but after the ending of the East India Company's monopoly of trade with India, the company opened routes to the subcontinent in 1815 and later to the Far East, starting services to China in 1860. In 1819 Thomas Brocklebank opened an office in Liverpool which city became the company's main base. The company acquired its first steamer in 1889, but operated sailing ships until 1906. By this time the firm were mainly ship owners. In 1919 Cunard acquired the majority holding of Brocklebank shares, the rest was held by Anchor Lines; however the composition of the board remained unchanged. The company sustained heavy losses in the First and Second World Wars and was hit by the trade restrictions that followed the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. The temporary closure of the Suez Canal and containerisation led to the end of trade to India. Cunard sold the two last liveried Brocklebank ships in 1983 and this marked the end of the company as a separate entity.
National Maritime Museum

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#974, p. 83).
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Bromley Shipping plc

[Bromley Shipping plc houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005

Bromley Shipping plc, Bromley - blue flag bordered white; stylized white "BS".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005

Bromport Steamship Company, Ltd.

[Bromport Steamship Company, Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Bromport Steamship Company, Limited, Liverpool - blue flag, white 6-pointed contoured star, with in center white "L", in all corners white "BSCL".
Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies [Wedge 1926]
Jarig Bakker, 20 February 2005

Bromport Steamship Co. Ltd. The company, which operated from 1916 to 1923, was a subsidiary of Lever Brothers which presumably accounts for the extra "L".
Neale Rosanoski
, 19 May 2005

Broomhill Collieries, Ltd.

[Broomhill Collieries, Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Several collieries existed in the coastal area near Amble. In 1783 there was a “colliery and seam of coal” situated on the rocks at Amble Point. A shaft was sunk in the early 1800s in Hauxley township and named Radcliffe. It closed in 1892 when flooding and fire occured. Togston pit opened a few years later with a line connecting it to the Radcliffe Colliery line. Another shaft was sunk in 1900, a mile from the original pit at Radcliffe, and named Newburgh. At that time, the pits, the railways between Broomhill (where another mine existed) and the coal staithes, as well as Amble harbour and the ships, were taken under new ownership and the entire business renamed Broomhill Collieries.

The engines or “tankies” operating on the mineral line from Broomhill to the staithes at Amble harbour were named after Northumbrian rivers including the Coquet, and the coal boats or “colliers” were named after local villages such as Togston. Newburgh closed in the 1920s due to severe flooding. A shaft sunk at Hauxley in 1926 survived until the late 1960s and some miners were transferred to Shilbottle and Whittle. A drift mine sunk at Radcliffe closed in 1962. With coal production in decline, the last shipment left Amble harbour in the late 1960s, followed by the demolition of the staithes.
Bailiffgate Collections

The company was registered on 1 November 1900, for the purpose of taking over as going concerns the businesses of three other companies, the Broomhill Coal Company (Limited), the Radcliffe Coal Company (Limited), the steamers of the Broomhill Shipping Company (Limited), and of purchasing all the debentures of the Warkworth Harbour Commissioners.
The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Broomhill Collieries, Ltd. (#1143, p. 91) as blue with the white letters "B.C.L.".
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Joseph Brown & Son

[Joseph Brown & Sonhouseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 27 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Joseph Brown & Son (Northfield S.S. Co., Ltd) (#856, p. 77), a Liverpool-based company, as white with a blue cross, charged in the center with a red disc inscribing a white smaller disc. 
Ivan Sache, 27 April 2021

Wm. Brown, Atkinson & Co., Ltd.

(Sea Steamship Co., Ltd.)

[Wm. Brown, Atkinson & Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Wm. Brown, Atkinson & Co., Ltd. (Sea Steamship Co., Ltd.) (#481, p. 59), a Hull-based company, as triangular, vertically divided in 16 stripes, in turn blue and white.
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

John Bruce & Co

[John Bruce & Co houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 3 May 2021

"Mr John Bruce, who has died at his home in Helensburgh, was senior partner of John Bruce and Co. (Shipping) Ltd., shipowners, Glasgow, until his retirement a few months ago. He was 69.
Mr Bruce, a native of Helensburgh, was a former chairman of the Clyde Steamship Insurance Association; a director of the Glasgow and Clyde Shipowners' Association, the Glasgow Shipowners' Benevolent Association; and the North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association. He was also a member of the committee of Lloyds and the Chamber of Shipping. [...]

"The Glasgow Herald", 4 July 1961,395790

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of John Bruce & Co. (#1639, p. 115) as blue, charged in the center with a white saltire not reaching the corners of the flag.
Ivan Sache, 3 May 2021

Brussels S.S. Co.

[Brussels S.S. Co.. houseflag] image by James Dignan

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

This company was registered in London (Stewart & Styring, 1963). In 1954 the company appears to have had two coastal vessels: the "City of Brussels" and the "City of London." But this is different from the other more famous "City of Brussels" which was the first ship to cross the Atlantic in 8 days (different owner, different era).
Phil Nelson, 12 October 2003

British Shipping lines: continued