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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2019-06-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: bsl | hb&s | b | bcsn | bk&co | bc | bm | boc |
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B.T. (Marine) Ltd.

[B.T. (Marine) Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 25 December 2005

B.T. (Marine) Ltd., Southampton - per white fly diagonal blue over red flag.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker
, 25 December 2005


Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd.

[Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd. houseflag]

Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd., (British and Colonial Line) had its seat in London, with ships able to transport passengers first class from London to Madeira, Las Palmas, Teneriffa, Kaapstad, Algoabay and Natal.
Source: Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, 14th ed (c. 1907)
Jarig Bakker, 15 October 2003

"Flags and Funnels of the British and Commonwealth Merchant Fleets" shows this flag with sans-serif letters.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 June 2006

Bucknall Steamships Lines, Ltd. was acquired by the Ellerman Group as Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co.

[Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

Bucknall Steamship Lines Ltd. Originated 1850 with Henry Bucknall & Sons who used a plain red flag with the white letters "H.B&S" according to Reed 11891 though Loughran (1979) shows dots also after the "B" and "S". In 1890 the company split into Bucknall Nephews & Co. (manufacturing interests) and Bucknall Brothers (shipping interests).

[Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

The former remained in shipowning until 1910 and used a white flag with a widish red border and red "B" whilst the latter formed the British & Colonial Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

[Bucknall Steamship Lines, Ltd. houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

The British & Colonial Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. flag was blue with 4 white diamonds dividing the field bearing the red letters "BCSN", this company being reformed in 1900 as Bucknall Steamship Lines Ltd. with the flag as shown here. After being acquired by Ellerman Lines in 1908 it changed its name in 1914 to Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co. Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004


Bulk Oil Steamship Co. Ltd

[Bulk Oil Steamship co. Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Flag horizontally divided white-pink-white.
Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Bulk Oil Steamship Co. Ltd. Formed in 1921 by James W. Cook & Co. Ltd. with Talbot-Booth showing under that name. The colour is mauve and is said to be based on the colours of the Victoria Cross which was won by the founder in WW1. Not an easy colour for sources to portray so colours do vary between brown and blue in several cases. The ships were acquired by William Cory & Son in 1958 and although the company appear to have continued initially, by the mid 1960s they were absorbed into the Cory fleet.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004


Bullard, King & Co.

[Bullard, King & 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 Bullard King and Co., London. A red rectangular flag with a narrow white cross. In the  centre, there is a white label with the red initials 'BK & Co'. 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, 7 August 2004

Founded 1850 and purchased in 1919 by Union Castle.
Phil Nelson, 19 October 2003

The British & Commonwealth Shipping Co.'s burgee is flown superior to House flag.
Jarig Bakker, 19 October 2003

Bullard, King & Co. Operated as the Natal Line, Natal Line of Steamers and/or Natal Direct Line. In 1960 its fleet was absorbed into the Springbok Line. Most sources show a dot under the "o".
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004


Burdick & Cook

[Burdick & Cook houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker after Wedge 1926

Burdick & Cook, London; blue, over all a white diamond, charged with red "BC".
Jarig Bakker, 13 December 2004


Buries Markes Ltd

[Buries Markes Ltd houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker after Brown (1951)

White with a blue border. In the centre is a red diamond containing some kind of plant. Above the diamond and to the hoist is a letter B, below and to the fly is a letter M (both letters black?)  Source: Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 19 October 2003

Founded 1930, acquired by Louis Dreyfus in 1938.
Phil Nelson, 19 October 2003

Lloyd's description: White edged blue; gold ear of corn on red diamond and BM in red.
Jarig Bakker, 19 October 2003


Burmah Oil Co., Ltd (Tankers)

[Burmah Oil Co., Ltd (Tankers) houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Red, white and blue diagonal tricolor; white B, black O, white C. Source: All about Ships & Shipping, 1938
Jarig Bakker, 20 October 2003

A very prominent company in the British oil business. When the first commercial oil discovery was made in the Middle East in 1908, Burmah provided 97% of the funding for the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later British Petroleum).
Phil Nelson, 20 October 2003

[Burmah Oil Co., Ltd (Tankers) houseflag] image by Rob Raeside

Burmah Oil Co. Ltd. (Tankers). They later adopted a white flag bearing what was, I understand, the petrol-pump sign of a triband panel of red-white-blue, the top and bottom edges being pointed and the white band bearing the black legend "Burmah". These days their only shipping involvement appears to be a joint venture with Shell in the 104T tanker "Lady Myrtle" based Mumbai, India.
Neale Rosanoski
, 22 March 2004


Burnett Steamship Co., Ltd.

[Burnett Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Flag horizontally divided black-yellow-black.
Ivan Sache, 29 February 2004

Burnett Steamship Co. Ltd. Talbot-Booth shows a vertical triband but he is the only source to do so.
Neale Rosanoski, 22 March 2004


Burns & Laird Lines

[Burns & Laird Lines 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 Burns and Laird Lines Ltd, Glasgow. A blue rectangular flag bearing a gold lion rampant, crowned holding a globe. Originally the house flag of G. & J. Burns Ltd, the similarity to the Cunard house flag reflects George Burns' early association with Samuel Cunard. The company livery and house flag went out of use in 1976. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The details on the lion are printed. A rope and toggle is attached.

Burns and Laird Lines Ltd was an amalgamation of two old-established Glasgow companies that had pioneered steam services between Scotland and Ireland. George Burns had been involved in the development of steam shipping around the British coast; his brother James remained a provision merchant. Their company was known as G. & J. Burns from 1842. Alexander Laird was a shipbroker working with various steam packet companies running from Greenock. From 1868 Alexander A. Laird & Co. became sole agents for the Glasgow and Londonderry Steam Packet Company. This became the Glasgow, Dublin and Londonderry Steam Packet Company Ltd in 1885 also known as the Laird Line, a name formally adopted in 1906.

Laird Lines joined Coast Lines Group in 1919 followed shortly afterwards by G. & J. Burns Ltd on the death of the founder's son John Burns. The company name, the Burns & Laird Line was adopted in 1922. The company livery combined the Burns house flag with Laird's funnel. The Coast Lines Group succumbed to competition from road transport during the 1960s and was taken over by P&O in 1971. Coast Lines two Irish Sea services were amalgamated under the name Belfast Steamship Co. Ltd. The last vestige of Burns and Laird disappeared in 1976."
Jarig Bakker, 8 August 2004

"Flags and Funnels of the British and Commonwealth Merchant Fleets" shows a more upright lion, like Cunard's.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 June 2006


Burrell & Sons

[Burrell & Sons houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

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

Burrell & sons, Glasgow - blue swallowtail, white disk with red Maltese cross.
Jarig Bakker
, 31 January 2005

Burrell & Son. Operated ships 1866-1921 with most sources for this period (Reed, Griffin and Lloyds) showing the flag as a tapered swallowtail. The only support for Wedge is the 1909 Liverpool Journal of Commerce sheet.
Neale Rosanoski
, 19 May 2005


British Shipping lines: continued