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British shipping companies (L)

Last modified: 2016-03-05 by rob raeside
Keywords: lloyds | ll |
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Lindsey Steam Fishing Co. Ltd.

[Lindsey Steam Fishing Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 31 May 2006

Lloyds (1912) shows the house flag of Lindsey Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Grimsby, as red with the white letters LY placed horizontally in the middle of the flag.
The flag is also found at . [The Lindsey company was not based in Davenport.]
Ivan Sache, 31 May 2006

Link Line

[Link Line 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 Link Line Ltd., Liverpool. A rectangular flag, divided into black and yellow with a black letter 'L' in each yellow quarter. The flag is made of nylon fabric. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached. The design is based on the International Code signal flag 'L'."
Jarig Bakker, 19 August 2004

Liverpool & Maranham (Silvain Steams. Co.)

[Link Line houseflag] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2012

The flag is quarterly divided into blue and white.
Source: [el1897 - Elbe Flag Chart 1897 – part 9; “Gratis Beilage zu Deicken und Behrmann’s Neuen Monatsheften Neue Ausgabe Sommer 1897"]
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 May 2012

Liverpool & N.Wales Steamship Co.

[Liverpool & N.Wales Steamship Co. houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 February 2007

At are some pages about the Liverpool & North Wales Steamship Co. As explained there, the firm was founded in 1891 being the result of a merger between the New North Wales Steamship Co. and its competitor, the Liverpool, Llandudno and Welsh Coast Steam Boat Co. That was rather remarkable as the first company was barely one year old but then it had a formidable paddle-steamer against which the other firms' ships could not compete. The new company's name indicated its area of activity which came to include the Isle of Man in 1892. Liverpool & North Wales took over the Snowdon Passenger Steamboat Co. (founded 1892) in 1899, neutralizing another competitor. From then on, the company maintained its position, replacing and modernizing its ships – witness the many post cards – but along with other firms it suffered from the excursion market’s decline starting in the fifties. Operations came to a halt in 1963.

Now and then the house flag is shown – very small of course – on a Simplon site post card. It was a white swallowtail bearing a blue cross throughout, a typical Welsh symbol in the middle: the three ostrich feathers, all in yellow.
Jan Mertens, 27 December 2005

Post card collection confirms the design; the larger image shows that the feathers are placed on a regular crest torse.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 February 2007

Liverpool Screw Towing

[Liverpool Screw Towing houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 December 2009

The Liverpool Screw Towing & Lighterage Co. of Liverpool, Great Britain, is presented at, giving a list of ships (the famous “Cock tugs”) and showing the house flag – in fact two of them opposing each other, very appropriate in fact as they bear roosters! But a glance at the on-line Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows us how things really are:

White field, black rooster looking to the hoist. on p. 95 of book, ill. no. 1228.

Founded in 1877 by W. Becket hill, “Liverpool Screw Towing was greatly involved in deep-sea work and after the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, operated a fleet of flats, barges and steam barges” (quoting National Archives). In 1966 Alexandra Towing took over Liverpool Screw and a subsidiary, North West Tugs.

Jan Mertens, 7 December 2009

Corporation of Lloyds

[Lloyds houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 March 2000

[Lloyds houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 28 March 2000

A company flag of Lloyds. From: I. O. Evans 'The Observer Book of Flags', 1959: 'The St. George's Cross, red on white, distinguishes a number of civic flags associated with London. That of the city of London bears in the canton, in red, the sword which beheaded St. Paul <...> On the shield which forms the badge of the Corporation of Lloyd's the Cross and Sword of London City are placed above a foul anchor in gold. Lloyd's signal stations fly a blue ensign with this badge in the fly; Lloyd's burgee for boats places it in the canton of a long pennant whose field shows a St. George's Cross with its arms traversed by a narrow blue cross.'
Jarig Bakker, 21 December 1999

Lloyd's boats were entitled to fly a Blue Ensign with their badge: Admiralty Warrant 9th September 1882. This is now used only ashore at Lloyd's offices and occasionally at Gibraltar Signal Station.
David Prothero, 27 December 1999

I chanced upon some more information about Lloyd's flags in ADM 1/8950.

1882. Admiralty Warrant for Blue Ensign with Lloyd's badge in the fly. 9 Sep 1882.

1894. Lloyd's asked for permission to fly a white ensign with a blue overall St George's cross and their badge in the fly (presumably in the fourth quarter). Admiralty refused to allow it for use on boats because it would have been too much like the RN White Ensign, but did not have the authority to ban its use on signal stations. However Lloyd's dropped the idea.

1896. Admiralty approved white ensign with Lloyd's badge in the fly and no overall cross for Signal Stations. Flags of this design had probably been in use since 1894.

1900. Admiralty suggested that this flag should not be flown.

1904. Admiralty agreed that there was no harm in this flag being flown at Signal Stations abroad.

1914. Use of Lloyd's white ensign abandoned.

There is some inconsistency here in that Admiralty are said to have no authority over flags ashore, but are then approving a flag for a Signal Station. I think the explanation is that although the Admiralty's authority legally extended only to flags flown at sea, and on rivers, lakes and inland waters, they claimed the right to regulate the use of any flag that looked similar to a maritime flag. Thus yacht clubs that had warrants for Blue or Red Ensigns defaced with their club badge in the fly, were not allowed to fly them ashore at their club-house. RN barracks could fly the White Ensign because they were considered to be extensions of ships-of-war, but Dockyards and Naval Hospitals had to fly the Union Jack. An exception was made for Customs and Excise who were allowed to fly the Customs ensign on Customs Houses.
David Prothero, 29 January 2000

An incorrect image of a supposed Lloyds flag as a red ensign was found in a series of Danish stickers issued by Danmark Coffee Co. (circa 1935).
Ole Andersen, 21 December 1999 The Lloyd's badge on a blue disc on a Red Ensign is an error. It is perhaps a misinterpretation of the Admiralty Flag Book. Badges that appeared direct on Blue or Red Ensigns, but did not appear on UJs, were shown on a blue circle or red circle respectively. David Prothero, 30 December 1999

Lloyd's Yacht Club was founded 1938 and granted the defaced Red Ensign 1950.  Here is a picture of it in use from
David Prothero, Ole Anderson
, 28 March 2003

A photo of the Lloyds of London white ensign can be seen at the Port Cities website and of the blue ensign also at the Port Cities website.
Jan Mertens, 20 February 2005

Lockett Wilson Line

[Lockett Wilson Line houseflag] image located by Eugene Ipavec, 6 August 2006

On the Kennedy, Hunter & Co. agencies list is the Lockett Wilson Line Ltd, London. See the history pages of the Dundee, Perth and London Shipping Company site:

“In 1954 the company acquired a minority interest in a small London-based firm, Lockett Wilson Ltd. This was to lead to another happy and profitable association as Lockett Wilson Ltd. were not only using Dundee Wharf, but were also in the market to buy ships. Soon the “Clova” and “Crombie” were transferred to the new firm and sailings were operated from London to Paris and also from Goole and Hull to Paris and Brussels. (…)
   The coastal home trade became increasingly difficult to operate profitably during the 1950’s and 1960’s (…and…) there were significant changes in the distribution pattern of cattle feedstuffs. As a result, important decisions were made about the future of the company. The most radical was the termination of the liner service between Dundee and London which had been run since the formation of the company in 1826. (…) The only coastal liner service remaining was the occasional voyage to Southampton with potatoes. The coastal fleet was reduced to four vessels by the beginning of 1963. (…)
   The year 1967 was the end of the line and in March the “Kingennie” tied up in the Tyne after a voyage from Swansea and the company flag (of Dundee, Perth & London, jm) was run down for the last time. The “Kingennie” was the last ship to be owned by the company and a ship-owning era of just over 140 years was at an end.
   The company maintained its interest in Lockett Wilson Line and Channel Shipping and their five ships. However, these were facing severe competition from ro-ro ferries and container ships. Dundee Wharf was sold in October, 1969.”

See this photo of a ship owned by LW 1963-1968:

I do not know when Lockett Wilson was founded and the house flag must logically have been adopted before the takeover by Dundee, Perth & London. The flag is white and bears a large blue diamond, bordered white (visible thanks to black holding lines) and on which the white company initials L and W appear, the W floating above an L with an extended lower leg.
Jan Mertens, 15 February 2006

The Lockett Wilson Line was created by Air Commodore Charles Edward Stuart Lockett. Born 15 April 1910. Died 20 August 1966. He was an excellent pilot and instructor although he spent most of WW2 in German Prison Camps (escaped a few times and was re-captured). Retiring from the R.A.F., he became a ship owner in Jersey (Channel Islands), becoming a Lloyd's Agent in 1961 and German Consul for Jersey and Guernsey in 1966. He was killed flying his private plane off Alderney in a flying accident (fog). That's the "L".

My father in law was John Wilson (The "W") who was a second officer in the Merchant Navy during WW2. He was serving on a merchant ship on a secret mission. They had a Royal Navy Officer on board who was going to deliver secret documents. The Captain got drunk and sailed into a minefield. My father took over the ship and tried (successfully for a time) to get out of the minefield but they eventually hit a mine which sunk the ship. The only person killed was the R.N. Officer who went below to collect the secret documents from a safe intending to throw them overboard in a weighted container but went down with the ship. Hanging on to some wood with his right arm for a considerable time (days) in the minefield, when rescued by Germans his right arm had to be amputated. He eventually escaped from the Germans and made his way back to England obtaining valuable information. He was awarded the D.S.C by King George in person. (While serving on the LW Board of directors he obtained his Captain's papers, but never sailed as a Captain). Born February 6, 1907. Died: April 3 Rd.1979 in Jersey Channel Islands. When he left the Lockett Wilson Line he also became a Lloyds of London Agent and had no trouble climbing a rope ladder with only one arm. Unfortunately for the flag remained unchanged.
Hugh McCaffrey, 8 July 2010

London & Edinburgh Shipping Co.

[London & Edinburgh Shipping Co. houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 August 2007

Based on a postcard collection.

A white flag with an ogival shield with the London armorial bearings on the upper hoist and the Edinburgh armorial bearings on the middle fly.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 August 2007

London & Overseas Freighters Ltd.

[London & Overseas Freighters 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 London & Overseas Freighters Ltd., London. A pennant divided horizontally into white over blue with a red five-pointed 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
Jarig Bakker, 20 August 2004

London & Peterhead Steam Fishing Co.

[London & Peterhead Steam Fishing Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 23 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "London & Peterhead Steam Fishing Co., Ltd." (#289, p. 50), a company based in London, as white with a blue border and the red letters "LP" in the middle.
Ivan Sache
, 23 April 2008 

London & Rochester Trading Co. Ltd.

[London and Rochester houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

Shown on the website of the National Maritime Museum, as the Crescent Shipping line, this is the flag of the London & Rochester Trading Co. Ltd., Rochester, as depicted in Loughran (1979) with proportions 2:3 instead of 1:2 as on the Museum site.
Jarig Bakker, 10 August 2004

[London and Rochester houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 December 2007

The postcard collection says (on card #8, 4th row, 1st flag): "London & Rochester Trading Co." and shows a ~2:3 red flag with a large and very narrow white crescent turned to the hoist, pointing slightly up.
António Martins-Tuválkin
, 10 December 2007

The company now continues as Crescent Shipping.

London Court Line Ltd.

[London Court Line 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 London Court Line Ltd. A rectangular white flag bearing a black tower and crescent. The flag is made of a machine sewn, wool and synthetic fibre bunting. The tower motif and the hoist are made of cotton fabric. A rope and toggle is attached. The Court Line Group purchased tankers from 1963 and these carried a blue house flag with a bird design.

The line was a tramp shipping company founded in 1905 by Philip Edward Haldinstein and based on London. His ships were all called after country houses with the suffix 'Court'. The fleet expanded greatly in the 1920s and was badly affected by the depression, many vessels being laid up. The company moved into bulk carriers in the 1960s and tankers. The company changed its naming scheme with new vessels having the prefix 'Halcyon' and also its livery. The group's diversified interests in airlines, package holidays, shipbuilding and repairing led to cash flow problems. As a result it went into liquidation in 1974."
Jarig Bakker, 20 August 2004

C. M. Los (London) Ltd.

[C.M. Los (London) Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 20 September 2005

C. M. Los (London) Ltd., London - triband blue-white-blue, in center red turned "V" (= Greek letter lambda (L))
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 20 September 2005

Lougher Line (Lewis Lougher & Co. Ltd.)

[Lougher Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 14 July 2005

A picture of a pitcher showing the flag can be found at The flag is a red
field, white diamond with blue letter ‘L’. The website describes this company as 'Redcroft Steam Navigation Co., Ltd. (Lewis Lougher), Cardiff'.
Jan Mertens, 12 July 2005

W. Lund & Sons, Ltd. (Blue Anchor Line)

[Lyle Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag] image located by Jan Mertens, 14 July 2005

The striking flag of the ‘Blue Anchor Line', 'Lund’s Line' ('W. Lund & Sons, London') can be seen on various kinds of pottery at It is white, a blue anchor placed in a diagonal position. The company was founded 1869 by Wilhelm Lund to ship passengers to Australia and - at first - bringing back tea from China. First steamship bought in 1880, transformation of fleet completed in 1890. Mysteriously lost ‘SS Waratah’ in 1909 causing it to be nicknamed later “Titanic of the Southern Seas”. This blow was crippling to the company; a year later its competitor P&O bought the ships and Blue Anchor stopped its activities.
Jan Mertens, 14 July 2005

Lykiardopouldo & Co., Ltd.

[Lykiardopouldo & Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 25 December 2005

Lykiardopouldo & Co., Ltd., London - white flag, red 5-pointed star.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker
, 25 December 2005

See also:

Lyle Shipping Co. Ltd.

[Lyle Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 11 April 2000

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

British Shipping lines: continued