Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: geest line | galgate co. | general steam navigation co. | gsnc | globe |
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image by Ivan Sache, 20 March 2008
Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912)
shows the house flag of "John Gaff & Co." (#45, p. 39), a company based in
Glasgow, as white with a blue saltire charged in the middle with a red letter
Ivan Sache, 12 March 2008
image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 2008
Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912)
shows the house flag of "Galbraith, Pembroke & Co. " (#127, p. 43), a company
based in London, as divided per saltire white-red-white-blue.
Ivan Sache, 29 March 2008
The company was formed in 1877 to trade mostly to the Mediterranean. A short
lived venture into tankers was attempted in 1895 but these ships were sold in
1899-1900. The tramp fleet expanded rapidly and in 1897 were registered under
the ownership of Austin Friars Steamship Co. By this time the company was
trading worldwide and by 1914 owned thirteen ships, but lost three during the
In 1919 the fleet was sold to Houlder, Middleton & Co who traded the Austin Friars SS Co until 1921 when it went out of business. Galbraith, Pembroke & Co withdrew from ship owning during the inter war years but continued as ship brokers until 1940 when they purchased three old ships. The Basra Steam Shipping Co was formed in 1945 and operated until 1952 when it was sold to Graig Shipping Co, Cardiff. Galbraith, Pembroke & Co returned to ship broking and are still in business.
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021
image by Ivan Sache
Galgate Co., Ltd. (John Joyce & Co.), Liverpool
The flag is red with a white saltire and J (blue) in the middle of the saltire.
Source: 1911 Lloyd's flagbook, as illustrated at The Mystic Seaport Foundation.
Ivan Sache, 24 January 2004
image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021
Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Game Cock
Steam Towing Co. (#1856, p. 125), a Gravesend-based tugging company, as blue
with a yellow game cock in the center.
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021
image by Eugene Ipavec,
image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 February 2009
Gamecock Tugs Ltd (or Steam Towing Co.) is described on
“The Gamecock Steam Towing Company was formed in 1880, originally being a consortium of London River Pilots. In 1928, a company with Turkish roots, The Ocean Towage And Salvage Company Ltd acquired Gamecock, but they continued to trade under their own name. In 1950 they became part of the Ship Towage [London] Ltd combine.”
Gamecock’s contribution to Ship Towage was four vessels.
The images above are based on the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels:
No. 1856 ‘Game Cock [sic, jm] Steam Towing Co., Gravesend’. Blue flag with
yellow cock or rooster, standing, facing the hoist.
The Hull Museums Collections’ poster by H.H. Rodmell shows a modern rendition of above house flag. Easiest reached by filling in “rodmell” in the search box: http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/, then selecting the first item: third picture on page. This has a different blue colour and the fowl is standing on a ground, also yellow: a difference in design, however small.
Jan Mertens, 15 February 2009
image by Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021
William Guthrie Gardiner (c1848-1935) was one of the [Glasgow] University's most
generous benefactors. With his younger brother Sir Frederick Crombie Gardiner,
he endowed the Gardiner chairs of Music (founded 1928), Physiological Chemistry
(1919 - renamed Biochemistry in 1958), Bacteriology (1919, renamed Immunology in
1990)), Organic Chemistry (1919, the restriction removed in 1942 and the Chair
simply named the Gardiner Chair of Chemistry) and the Gardiner Chair in the
Pathology of Diseases of Infancy and Childhood (1928). The brothers had endowed
a lectureship in Organic Chemistry in 1898. The cost of building the Gardiner
Institute of Medicine, which opened in 1938, was met from their bequests.
Gardiner was a shipowner who founded James Gardiner & Co with his brothers Frederick and James c1880. They sold their company at the end of the First World War. Gardiner lived in Stirling, where he supported several local charities and served as a President of Stirling Royal Infirmary. He bequeathed £10,000 to the University to fund research scholarships in science and medical subjects.
University of Glasgow
Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of James Gardiner & Co. (#44, p. 39) as swallow-tailed, blue with a white border and a blue "G" in the center.
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021
image by Jarig Bakker, 29 January 2006
Gardline Shipping Ltd., Lowestoft - blue flag, a white canton. charged with
stylized blue "GDL".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 29 January 2006
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 J. & A. Gardner & Co. Ltd., Glasgow. A
dark blue rectangular flag with a red 'G' in the centre. The flag is made of
cotton fabric and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 18 August 2004
image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021
Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Gate
Steamship Co., Ltd. (Thomas Middleton & Son) (#1536, p. 110), a Hull-based
shipping company, as triangular, red with the white letters "TM&S".
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021
image located by Jan Mertens, 21 January 2011
GBLT Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd is a British, Glasgow based subsidiary of tanker
shipping company BLT, Indonesia. Website:
GBLT acts as a local BLT representative:
“Today our main function is as a commercial office trading and operating group vessels in co-ordination with BLT and Chembulk. GBLT (UK) become involved with pre- and post-fixture activities when the BLT and Chembulk [US firm now owned by BLT, jm] vessels are located West of the Suez Canal.”
We learn that more and more of the eighty-strong BLT fleet shows up in that area where GBLT is in charge of all commercial and technical aspects, training, and quality standards. For the fleet, see: http://www.gblt.co.uk/fleet_entire.shtml. As may be seen throughout the website and especially on these pages: http://www.gblt.co.uk/2007_december_11.pdf, and http://www.gblt.co.uk/news.shtml, the house flag is displayed prominently but as a drawing only. Clearly it is based on BLT’s flag – red field with blue diamond touching the flag’s edges bearing white initials “GBLT” without serifs.
I suppose the “G” makes the link with “BLT” to indicate Great Britain.
Jan Mertens, 21 January 2011
White with two light blue horizontal stripes
near the upper and lower edges. A yellow lozenge
centered with a thick red border and a fancy red
"G" inside. Crampton ’90
[cra90] shows this
flag and calls the company “Geest Industries,
Jorge Candeias, 24 Feb 1999
House flag of this Southampton (UK) based maritime company at
Dov Gutterman, 28 Jan 1999
Geest Line. The company originates from the van Geest family in the
Netherlands, beginning in Britain in 1935 and forming their shipping company in
1964. The flag was also used by the Netherlands company of Waling van Geest en
Neale Rosanoski, 14 July 2005
image by Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005
Geest North Sea Line, Spalding; blue flag, "Geest" under a small disk between
two drop-like things, all white.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005
image by Ivan Sache, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.
A white flag with the letters (clockwise from honour point) G S C N in the four
corners in red. between the N and C is the date "1824". In the centre is a ring
containing a globe (constructed from latitude and longitude lines, no lands
James Dignan, 18 October 2003
Founded 1824 in East London. In 1834 they were awarded contract to provide mail
service to various European ports. In 1920 it was bought by
merged (1960) into P&O and no longer operates independently.
Phil Nelson, 19 October 2003
image by Neale Rosanoski
General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. As befits a small image sources tend to differ
or not clearly show the more intricate detail. This includes the colour of the
globe, its outline and longitude/latitude lines, whether there was a riband
around the globe, whether the date was in red or black, and whether there were
continents shown on the globe. In the latter case for example Griffin 1895 and
Reed 1912 both show continent outlines but everyone else gives no such design
until at the end Stewart (1963)
and Brown 1978 both show a globe with continents. The company was formed with the original intention of
trading worldwide hence the adoption of the globe. Talbot-Booth in a
1944 book claims that the original flag was red with a yellow ring
enclosing a yellow circle with the latter having blue lines of longitude
and with a red upright cross placed across the centre. This flag was
reputed to be worn by the "Trident" when Queen Victoria traveled in it in
either 1842 or 1847, the flag being discovered in 1944 in good
condition. This is the only mention I have found of this flag so I am
somewhat doubtful of it. Otherwise the original flag is noted as the one
described but without the date which was not added until 1880 though
this is shown by sources between 1885 and 1909 and without a riband
which is confusing. The Fleet Commodore had a pennant of the flag with
the design placed in the hoist with the length of white in the fly
providing the ready differential from the house flag. The company itself,
according to Lloyds, continued in name until the early 1970s, becoming
General Steam Navigation (Trading) Ltd. and still being noted as using
the flag by a 1975 publication before finally becoming completely
absorbed by P&O.
Neale Rosanoski, 4 June 2004
The house flag of the General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London. A rectangular
white flag with a red globe in the centre surrounded by a red ribbon. The
letters 'GSNC' in red are in the corners. The date '1824' is placed below the
globe. 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.
In 1821 a small group of London businessmen and steam packet operators formed a syndicate for the purpose of developing steam-ship communication. The success of this venture prompted the membership to turn the existing arrangement into a joint stock undertaking and in 1824 the General Steam Navigation Company was incorporated by private Act of Parliament. One of the earliest steamship concerns on the Thames and almost certainly the first to operate a steamer service to foreign ports, the new company began to increase its tonnage and by the time of the first half-yearly meeting of the shareholders owned fifteen steamers; by 1834 it had won the contract for carrying the mails from London to Boulogne, Ostend, Rotterdam and Hamburg. Earlier, in the mid-1820s, the company had gained permission for its ships to engage in the movement of goods as well as passengers, whereupon it moved into the carriage of live cattle from the Continent, a trade upon which the prosperity of the company was to be founded for much of the nineteenth century.
In 1836 the company acquired the London and Edinburgh Steam Packet Company, a purchase which included six steamers and property in both London and Edinburgh. Soon afterwards the Margate Steam Packet Company was also taken over and by 1840 the General Steam Navigation Company operated forty steamers serving all the principal East Coast and near Continental ports. After its early success the company encountered a number of setbacks. The railways began to affect the passenger business while the cattle trade was adversely affected, by an outbreak of plague on the Continent and also by the Order-in-Council of 1884 prohibiting the carriage of live cattle, which by the early 1890s had virtually put an end to this trade. In 1902, under the chairmanship of Richard White (d.1926), the structure of the company was reorganized and its capital reduced. During this period the company consolidated its long association with the London river, where in the 1880s it had successfully revived the excursion trade between the capital, Southend and the North Kent resorts. At the same time it took over the firm of John Crisp and Sons, whose activities included not only a service between London and East Anglia, but the river trade as well, a transaction which incidentally made G.S.N. the operator of a fleet of Norfolk wherries.
At the end of the First World War, the company was able to expand its interests in several fields but larger companies, keen to acquire a fleet of smaller ships to provide feeder services and a network of agency services for their own vessels, began to look at the potential of G.S.N. in this respect and in 1920 it was taken over by the P&0 Company. In turn, G.S.N. acquired several other small companies. Although wholly owned by the larger company, the G.S.N. Company led a largely autonomous existence until 1971. In this year the P&0 Group, as it had now become, reorganized its subsidiaries and the old G.S.N. Company became a part of P&0 European and Air Transport Division.
National Maritime Museum
Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#48, p. 39).
Ivan Sache, 21 April 2021