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British shipping companies (B)

Last modified: 2008-07-19 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

The company was founded in 1801 in Whitehaven (Lake District), with one sailing ship trading coal. In 1813, the monopoly of the East India Company to India was abolished, and India became Brocklebank's main field of operation, along with Northern and Southern America, and West and East Indies. In 1819, the company moved to Liverpool. It bought its first steamships in 1889 but carried on operating sailing ships until 1901. After the Second World War, the company had only eleven ships. In 1947, the independence of India and Pakistan imposed new trade rules in the area, where Brocklebank's trade was more than halved. The closure of the canal of the Suez Canal in 1967 and the containerization caused the end of trade with India. In 1968, Brocklebank pooled its ships with Cunard in the Cunard-Brocklebank Ltd. The last two ships under Brocklebank's flag were sold in 1983, and it was the end of the company.

Source: The Ships Lists website

The house flag of Brocklebank was vertically divided white-blue. It can be seen on a medal kept in the National Maritime Museum in London. The medal commemorates the loss of SS Matra, mined and sunk by enemy action off Ramsgate on 13 November 1939.

Source: National Maritime Museum website

Ivan Sache, 28 February 2004

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

[Thos. and Jon Brocklebank Ltd former houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

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

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

John Brown & Co.

[John Brown & Company, Ltd. houseflag] image by Martin Grieve, 8 March 2008

 John Brown Shipbuilders flag is a white flag with a red saltire. The initials J B & Co. occupying one of the 4 white triangles and in red.
Martin Grieve, 6 March 2008

Two brothers, James and George Thomson, established a marine engine-building business at the Clyde Bank Foundry. Both of these brothers had worked under the pioneering engineer and entrepreneur, Robert Napier. The shipyard had its origins in the Finnieston area of Glasgow in 1847. Finnieston is on the south bank of the River Clyde, and there is a time-honoured saying that if a ship is not "Clyde-built", then it is not worth sailing on.

In 1871, 32 acres of farmland were acquired for a new yard at Barns of Clyde diagonally opposite the mouth of the River Cart. The shipyard was transferred from Govan bringing with it the name Clyde Bank later to be taken for the town that would grow around the yard. In 1899 the works were taken over by John Brown & Co, the Sheffield forgemasters and armour plate makers. John Brown & Co. Ltd. were amalgamated into the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in 1971 and are now defunct.

An impressive inventory they leave behind:
RMS Lusitania
RMS Aquitania
HMS Hood
HMS Tiger
HMS Repulse
RMS Queen Mary
RMS Queen Elizabeth
RMS Queen Elizabeth II

The image above is based on "The Observer's book of flags" 1966 edition by IO Evans F.R.G.S. page 191.
Additional research quoted:
Martin Grieve, 8 March 2008

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