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House flags of British shipping companies (9)

Last modified: 2004-06-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: house flag | w | worldfast line | wight link | william cory | lozenge | cockerline |
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W. H. Cockerline & Co. Ltd.

[W. H. Cockerline & Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Ivan Sache, 8 March 2004

Trapezoidal flag with six white and red vertical stripes.

W.J. Tatem, Ltd.

[W.J. Tatem, Ltd. houseflag] by Phil Nelson, 8 April 2000

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

Watts, Watts and Co. Ltd.

[Watts, Wats and Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Phil Nelson, 6 April 2000

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

Watts, Watts & Co. Ltd. Originated as Watts, Ward & Co. with flag shown under this name by LJC 1885 and Griffin 1895. It changed its name in 1896 but in 1894/5 they had formed Britain Steamship Co. Ltd. and it is through them that the fleet was registered. Bibby Line are noted as taking over Britain Steamship in 1967 but it is not clear whether this also involved Watts, Watts & Co. Ltd. as these latter two are still being shown in association by Lloyds Shipowners in 1970.
Neale Rosanoski, 16 February 2004

Wight Link

[Wight Link houseflag] by Jorge Candeias and Roy Stilling, 02 Apr 1999

White with a whide blue border all around and a red lozenge centered. Very maritime-looking.
Jorge Candeias, 01 Apr 1999

The red lozenge represents the Isle of Wight, which is diamond shaped. In fact the lozenge has a small “nick” out of it to represent the estuary of the River Medina. The whole flag is an adaptation of the "W" flag from the International Code of Signals, and the former livery of Wightlink ferries had the name "WIGHTLINK" spelled out in painted signal flags but with the house flag substituted for the "W" flag.
Roy Stilling, 01 Apr 1999

William Cory & Son

[William Cory & Son houseflag] by Ivan Sache, 8 March 2004

William Cory & Son. Originally in the coal trade they became tug operators, taking over several other companies and eventually consolidating under the control of Cory Towage Ltd. Around 1985 the flag emblem was altered from a white diamond to a blue one edged white. They were taken over and absorbed effective 20 February 2000 by Bureau Wijsmuller B.V.
Neale Rosanoski, 16 February 2004

William France, Fenwick & Co., Ltd.

[William France, Fenwick & Co., Ltd. houseflag] by Phil Nelson, 6 April 2000

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

William France, Fenwick & Co. Ltd. Formed 1901 by a merger with the flag being that of one of the parties, Fenwick, Stobbart & Co. Ltd., previously to 1893 being Fenwick & Co., with the flag applying at that point as confirmed by Reed 1891. According to Loughran (1979) a slightly different version showing a cross of a lighter blue was used in the Goole-Yorkshire coal trade as the company itself diversified into deep sea tramping before folding in 1975. There are a couple of variations shown with Reed 1912 showing the red letters "WF" on the panel and Harnack who shows a white cross. The latter is probably a printing error but the Reed image, which is unsupported, refers to another of the merging parties, William France & Co. They originally had a blue flag with the white letters "WF" but in 1895 adopted a blue flag with a white cross which, according to Loughran (1979), was surmounted by a blue circle defined black and bearing the white letters "WF" [see image below] with Griffin 1895 differing by showing a white circle defined blue bearing the red letters "WF".
Neale Rosanoski, 16 February 2004

[William France, Fenwick & Co., Ltd. houseflag] by Ivan Sache

William Robertson, Shipowners, Ltd.

[William Robertson, Shipowners, Ltd. houseflag] by Phil Nelson, 6 April 2000

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

William Robertson, Shipowners, Ltd. Griffin 1895, Lloyds 1904 and the Liverpool Journal of Commerce all show the white band being very broad with equal bands then shown by all sources from 1912 onwards, suggesting that there was a change in the basic design. Robertsons had their fleet under the name Gem Line Ltd. from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, the ship names being after minerals or semi-precious stones, then around the mid 1970s seem to have been absorbed by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd.
Neale Rosanoski, 16 February 2004

Worldfast Line

[Worldfast houseflag] by Jorge Candeias, 22 Mar 1999

White with a blue and white logo centered. The logo is a disc with a very fat "W" "sailing" on wavy lines.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Mar 1999

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Yeoward Line

[Worldfast houseflag] by Ivan Sache

The National Maritime Museum in London keeps an enamelled badge (, acquired on a cruise to the Canaries in 1928, decorated with the house flag of the Yeoward Line. It is the badge of SS Avoceta, built in 1923 and sunk by a submarine in 1941. The flag is horizontally divided red-yellow-red, with the letters Y.B. in gold.

The company still exists today as Yeoward (Shipping) Ltd, a member of the Yeoward group in Liverpool, and is registered as ship agents and forwarding agents. There is also a Yeoward Boatyards in Salcombe, South Devon, specialized in supply, maintenance, repair and dry storage of motor boats. On the company website, a flag similar to the one pictured on the badge is shown, but with black letters. It is highly probable that the original house flag also had black letters, which were enamelled in gold for aesthetical purpose. The original name of the company seems to have been Yeoward Bros and Bonny, which may explain the Y and B letters on the flag.

A book was dedicated to the history of the Yeoward Line: Theodore W.S. Barry. Sunward by Yeoward. Granta Editions, 1994.

See also: Yeoward home page
Ivan Sache, 26 February 2004

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