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British shipping companies (G)

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: geest line | galgate co. | general steam navigation co. | gsnc | globe |
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John Gaff & Co.

[John Gaff & Co. houseflag] 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 "G".
Ivan Sache
, 12 March 2008 


Galbraith, Pembroke & Co.

[Galbraith, Pembroke & Co. houseflag] 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 


Galgate Co., Ltd. (John Joyce & Co.)

[Galgate Co., Ltd. (John Joyce & Co.) houseflag] 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


Gamecock Tugs Ltd.

[Galgate Co., Ltd. (Gamecock Tugs Ltd.) houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec,

[Galgate Co., Ltd. (Gamecock Tugs Ltd.) houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 February 2009

Gamecock Tugs Ltd (or Steam Towing Co.) is described on http://www.thamestugs.co.uk/GAMECOCK-S--T--Co--Ltd-.php:
“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: http://library.mysticseaport.org/initiative/Impage.cfm?PageNum=90&bibid=11061&ChapterId=8: 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


Gardline Shipping Ltd.

[Gardline Shipping Ltd. houseflag] 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


J. & A. Gardner & Co. Ltd.

[J. & A. Gardner & Co. 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 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


GBLT Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.

[GBLT Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd. houseflag] 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: http://www.gblt.co.uk/index.shtml. 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


Geest Line

[Geest Line houseflag] image by Jorge Candeias, 21 Mar 1999

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, Ltd.”
Jorge Candeias, 24 Feb 1999

House flag of this Southampton (UK) based maritime company at http://www.geestline.co.uk
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 Zonen.
Neale Rosanoski, 14 July 2005


Geest North Sea Line

[Geest North Sea Line houseflag] 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


General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

[General Steam Navigation Company houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 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 (colour unknown) containing a globe (constructed from latitude and longitude lines, no lands shown), also colour unknown.
James Dignan, 18 October 2003

"1824" is black; ring is red as are globe and latitude and longitude - another version has a Q-like ring, (Q turned, Lloyd names it a girdle).
Jarig Bakker, 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 P&O and eventually merged (1960) into P&O and no longer operates independently.
Phil Nelson, 19 October 2003

[General Steam Navigation Company houseflag] 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.

The shipping company was originally intended to engage in world wide trading, hence the globe and ribband on the flag. In practice, most of the firm's business was on coastal or short sea routes. The date of the company's foundation was added to the flag in 1880."


British Shipping lines: continued