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British shipping companies (S)

Last modified: 2005-03-12 by rob raeside
Keywords: saint line | scottish shire line | scottish tanker co | shaw savill & albion | sheaf steam | shell mex | shell tankers | ship towage | shipwrecked fishermen | silver line | sloan & co | smith | william reardon smith |
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Saint Line Ltd.

[Saint Line houseflag] by Jarig Bakker

From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Cape Town, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).

Saint Line Ltd., London - bottom: white flag with top an bottom red stripes; red "R.G."; top: blue flag, yellow map of Africa; "Ao(?)C". RG = Rankin Gilmour, (formerly) based in Liverpool.
Jarig Bakker, 6 January 2005


Saint Line Ltd (America)

[Saint Line Ltd. (America) houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Saint Line Ltd (America), London. A white rectangular flag with a red saltire. There is a white shield in the centre with a red and yellow sun motif. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 27 August 2004


Scottish Shire Line Co.

[Scottish Shire Line Co. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Turnbull Martin and Co. Ltd, London. A blue swallow-tailed burgee bearing a white saltire and a red diamond in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Brown (1951) lists this too as Scottish Shire Line Co. Ltd., London (Turnbull, Martin & Co., London)


Scottish Tanker Co. Ltd.

[Scottish Tanker Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Scottish Tanker Co. Ltd., London. A pale blue rectangular flag with a white saltire. In the centre is a white diamond with a red rampant lion. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The lion on the flag is printed."
Jarig Bakker, 27 August 2004


Shaw Savill and Albion Co. Ltd

Shaw Savill and Albion houseflag by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

Shaw Savill and Albion Cy.Ld., London. White, a red St George's  cross, a blue canton with another red St George's cross and a white cross in the centre of each blue field and four six-pointed white stars. 
Jan Mertens, 28 May 2004

See also: New Zealand flag of the United Tribes for the influence of this flag on the development of the flag of New Zealand.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Shaw Savill and Albion Co. Ltd, London. A rectangular white flag with a red cross. In the canton, there is a red cross on a blue background with a five-pointed white star in each quarter. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The design is the same as the national flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand used from 1834 to 1840 (see note).

Robert Shaw and Walter Savill set up office in London in 1858 as Shaw Savill & Company to participate in the New Zealand trade, primarily as cargo brokers. However within a year they were carrying their first passengers and became known as 'The Passengers' Line of Packets'. The discovery of gold in New Zealand in the 1850s led to a increase in passenger numbers. In 1862 the company sent forty-five sailing ships, and in 1863 sixty nine. In 1873, the 'Mongol', an iron screw steamer owned by the company, made the first commercial voyage by a full powered steamer from London to Otago, in only 58 days (sailing took from 74 - 100 days).

Shaw and Savill had been in competition with Albion of Glasgow since they set up business, and the two companies had a virtual monopoly on the New Zealand trade. With the creation of the competitive New Zealand Shipping Company, and the incentive of a subsidy from the colonial government for a direct steam service connecting New Zealand to Britain, the two companies merged to form Shaw Savill and Albion in 1883. In 1884 the White Star line joined forces with SS&A to  run a combined service. White Star ships wore both house flags. By the time the Panama Canal was fully operational in 1918, passage time had dropped to 30 days. By 1908 all SS&A sailing ships had been disposed of. SS&A joined the Australia trade from 1905 when they acquired the Aberdeen Line, and in 1934 purchased White Star interests in the Australia line.

In the 1939 to 1945 War, over half the fleet was sunk. New ships were built with the post war compensation so that by 1967 the fleet was at its largest in the company's history. However by the 1970s the world economic climate was changing and the company fortune's waned. The last ship was sold in 1986. The company was eventually taken over by Hamburg Sud, and the UK holding company name is Shaw Savill Holdings Ltd."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004

Note  Not quite. The Otago Museum has a handful of shipping flags, one of which is the design as mentioned here. The flag used by NZ, however, had dimensions much closer to the current (British) white ensign - I'm sure the red parts were nowhere near as broad as on the image here. Also, the image sent seems to have the cross offset towards the hoist - it was centred in the NZ flag.
James Dignan, 29 August 2004


Shamrock Shipping Company, Limited

[Shamrock Shipping Company, Ltd. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker

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

Shamrock Shipping Company, Limited, Larne Harbour - blue burgee, red cross, in the center white "S". Larne is a town just north of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Jarig Bakker
, 31 January 2005


Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.

Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. houseflag by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne. A rectangular pale blue flag with a coloured wheat sheaf in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The sheaf is printed. A rope and two Inglefield clips is attached.

The company was founded by W. A. Souter in 1906 and named after the Sheaf River that ran through his home city of Sheffield, although the company was based in Newcastle. Starting out in the Baltic, Biscay and Mediterranean trades the company operated in both deep sea tramping and the North East coal trade between the wars. The company suffered heavy losses during the Second World War. At the end of the 1950s it moved out of deep sea tramping and into the iron ore trade, acquiring bulk carriers from the 1960s. Its subsidiary Bamburgh Shipping Co. Ltd was sold to Ben Line in 1976. The remaining ship management side of the business was taken over by Danish shipbuilders Burmeister & Wain and traded as Souter Hamlet."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Shell Mex and B. P. Ltd.

Shell Mex and B. P. Ltd. houseflag by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Shell Mex and B. P. Ltd., London. A rectangular flag divided horizontally white over yellow with a red and a green vertical stripe placed, slightly separated, across the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Shell Tankers Ltd.

Shell Tankers Ltd. houseflag by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Shell Tankers Ltd., London. A red rectangular flag with a white disc in the centre bearing a gold shell. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Ship Towage (London) Ltd.

Ship Towage (London) Ltd. houseflag by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of Ship Towage (London) Ltd., London. A swallow-tailed burgee divided into nine blue and white checks. It has a broad red border and the central white check has a blue motif of two hooks. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society

Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society houseflag 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 Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society. A white rectangular flag with a red St George's Cross with a crown in the centre and the letters 'SFMS' in the quarters. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The design is printed."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Silver Line Ltd.

Silver Line Ltd. houseflag 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 Silver Line Ltd., London. A rectangular blue and white triband with the word 'SILVER' in blue across the centre stripe. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."
Jarig Bakker, 28 August 2004


Silvertown Services Shipping Ltd.

Silvertown Services Shipping, Ltd. houseflag by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004

Silvertown Services Shipping Ltd., London - five horizontal stripes of white and blue; red "SS".
From Scott, R.M., The Caltex book of Flags and Funnels, Capetown, Caltex Africa Ltd. (1959).
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2004


Silvertown Telegraph Works

Silvertown Telegraph Works houseflag from Port Cities

located by Jan Mertens, 7 February 2005, provided by London Borough Tower Hamlets

The house flag of the Silvertown Telegraph Works, a subsidiary of the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company. The parent company was founded in 1852 by Samuel Winkworth Silver, who gave his name to the district on the north bank of the Thames. The company stopped making telegraph equipment around 1930, and eventually became part of BTR Industries (formerly the British Tyre and Rubber Company). This later merged with Siebe to become Invensys.


Wm. Sloan & Co.

[Wm. Sloan & Co. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum. 

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, the house flag of William Sloan and Co., Glasgow. A rectangular blue flag with a white diamond bearing the red letters 'WS & 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, 4 September 2004

Wm. Sloan & Co. Originated 1825 as the St. Rollox Shipping Co. with sailing vessels carrying chemicals for the works at St. Rollox which was operated by an uncle of William Sloan. This company used a blue flag with the white letters "St.R" over "Co.". I have no information on the formation of William Sloan & Co. though it could have resulted from the advent of their 1st steamship in 1852 and resulted in the first Sloan flag which was a blue pennant with the white letters "W.S.Co" with the "o" being enhanced and the other letters being of equal height. This flag was apparently also associated with the St. Rollox company, presumably as managers. By Lloyds 1912 the Sampson flag is shown although Brown 1926 shows a blue pennant with the white letters "WS" but this, like the version shown by the Journal of Commerce in their 1966 chart of blue with the white letters "WS&Co", are probably incorrect.
Neale Rosanoski, 24 May 2004


Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd.

[Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd. houseflag]
by Phil Nelson, 11 April 2000

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

Sir W. Reardon Smith & Sons, Cardiff: red, a large black letter `S' (with serifs) in the centre, taking up about one third of the flag's width and four fifths of its height. Stewart and Styring's show it as `Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons Ltd.', but letter without serifs; I checked the on-line 1912 Lloyds Flags & Funnels and found this flag under No. 749 on p. 38 as `W.R. Smith & Son, Cardiff" next to No. 750 (`P. Samuel & Son, Ltd., Cardiff'), exactly the same but for the serifs. It must have been difficult to distinguish between them unless you recognized the ships of course.
Jan Mertens, 4 June 2004

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