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British shipping companies (Q, R)

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: q | racal | r | regent | rl | rmsc | rm&co | jr | rmc | rr&co |
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Queen Steam Fishing Co Ltd.

[Queen Steam Fishing Co. 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 Queen Steam Fishing Co Ltd., Grimsby. A white flag with a blue saltire and a red letter 'Q' in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a linen hoist and is machine sewn.
Jarig Bakker, 24 August 2004

Queenship Navigation Ltd.

[Queenship Navigation Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Brown (1951) shows exactly the same flag as the Queen Steam Fishing Co. flag (but proportioned 2:3) for the Queenship Navigation Ltd., London.
Jarig Bakker, 24 August 2004


RACAL Energy Resources Ltd.

[RACAL Energy Resources Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005

RACAL Energy Resources Ltd., London - yellow flag, red rounded rectangle, white "RACAL".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 11 November 2005

The company started off in the late1950s in electronics, manufacturing communications equipment based on a method for generating High Frequencies for long range communication invented by a South African electronics engineer. Their customers were mainly the navies of the West. The advent of satellite communications probably forced them to diversify.
Andries Burgers, 12 November 2005


M.A. Ray & Sons

[M.A. Ray & Sons houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "M.A. Ray & Sons" (#306, p. 51), a company based in London, as white with the red letters "M.", "A.", "R." and "S." in the respective corners and "&" in the middle.
Ivan Sache
, 24 April 2008 


R. & J. H. Rea

[R. & J. H. Rea 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 R. & J. H. Rea, Liverpool. A red flag with a white-bordered black diamond in the centre bearing a white 'R'. 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, 24 August 2004
 


G.T. Redhead & Co.

[G.T. Redhead & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 31 May 2006

Lloyds (1912) shows the house flag of G.T. Redhead & Co., Newcastle-on-Tyne, as blue with a white diamond charged with a red R. Also displayed at http://library.mysticseaport.org/initiative/ImPage.cfm?PageNum=30&BibId=11061&ChapterId=8 .
Ivan Sache, 31 May 2006


Red Funnel Line

a.k.a. Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Public Limited Company

[Red Funnel Line] image by Ivan Sache, 8 March 2004

Quartered per saltire in white, green, red and blue.
Jorge Candeias, 23 Feb 1999

The Southampton Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Public Limited Company. Universally known as Red Funnel for short.
Roy Stilling

The Southampton and Isle of Wight RMSP Co Ltd used a diagonally divided flag that was - clockwise from the top - white, green, red and blue.
James Dignan

The funnel livery has changed through time, see here: http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/redfunnel. This page of the same website gives the origin of the flag colours: "The Company's famous house flag was derived from the names of four steamers that were in the newly merged fleet in 1861- Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby and Pearl.  Blue to mast, green to fly, red on deck, white on high."
Jan Mertens, 28 January 2007

The postcard collection: 10.2.1: Red Funnel Line
Postcard #11, 1st flag of the collection reads " reads "Red Funnel Steamers Ltd. (Southampton, Isle of Wight & Royal Mail Steam Packet Public Co. Ltd.)" (i.e., not the exactly same name).
António Martins-Tuválkin
, 5 May 2010


Red 'R' Steamship Co. Ltd.

Stephens and Mawson;  Stephens, Sutton & Stephens

[Red R Steamship 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 Red 'R' Steamship Co. Ltd. A white rectangular flag with a red 'R' in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."

[The only match I found was in Brown (1951) for Stephens Sutton Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne (GB)]
Jarig Bakker, 24 August 2004

Red "R" Steamship Co. Ltd. - Jarig is correct with his matching with Stephens, Sutton Ltd. as the latter was the parent company and this is a case of the flag producing the company rather than vice versa. The origins go back to Daniel Stephens who left the sea in 1871 and the following year founded Stephens & Kendrick in Newcastle. In 1873 this became Stephens, Kendrick & Mawson who acquired their first steamship in 1874. In 1878 it became Stephens & Mawson with a separate company of Stephens, Mawson & Goss being started in Newport.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 December 2010

[Stephens & Mawson houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2010

Two flags are given for Stephens & Mawson by Lloyds 1882 with the first also being given under the name of the Red Cross Line, being white with a red saltire. This is also shown, without the alternative name, by Griffin 1893 and 1895 and Reed 1891.

The second flag was white with a red "R" i.e. as shown by Jarig and predating the formation of the Red "R" Steamship Co. Ltd. which was formed as a subsidiary but not until 1887. The "R" possibly comes from the practice of the ships names beginning with that letter. The first allocation found of the flag to the subsidiary is by Reed 1901 which does not mention the parent company. The subsidiary lasted until 1917 when it went into voluntary liquidation but in 1929 the name was re-activated but it is not clear whether the company was likewise brought back to life. Whichever applies, it does not appear to have survived WW2.

The parent company in the meantime changed name in 1901 to Stephens, Sutton & Stephens and the white flag with red "R" is shown under this name by Lloyds 1912 and Reed 1912, both as well giving the Red "R" name and the latter indeed giving them both an entry. Then in 1919 the parent company changed again to Stephens, Sutton Ltd. which went into liquidation in 1967. The flag of white with a red "R" is shown under this name by all the main sources subsequent to this date though Brown 1926 shows a yellow flag instead of white which is presumably a printing error.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 December 2010

[Stephens, Mawson & Goss houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2010

There were other flags involved. The firm of Stephens, Mawson & Goss is shown as having a white flag with a red diamond bearing a white "C" by Griffin 1895 and Reed 1901. Why a "C" is not clear but as "R" seems to have come from ship names perhaps "C" comes from 2 [out of 3] ships given for the company which started with this letter. The company acquired its first steamer in 1880 but was wound up in 1895 and reformed as Stephens, Mawson & Co.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 December 2010

[Stephens, Mawson & Co. houseflag]  [Stephens, Mawson & Co. houseflag] images by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2010

In 1901 Arthur Mawson took over the company and moved to Cardiff where he traded under his own name until retiring in 1915 when his fleet was sold. Two flags have been shown. Lloyds 1912 shows a blue flag with a white border, except at the hoist, and bearing a white "M" whilst Reed 1912 shows it as white with a very broad horizontal blue band bearing a white "M" both as Arthur Mawson & Co. and as the Mawson Shipping Co.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 December 2010

[Red R Steamship Co. Ltd. houseflag]   [Red R Steamship Co. Ltd. houseflag] images by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2010

And Daniel Stephens of Newcastle, presumed to be the man himself, appears in Reed 1901 with a white flag bearing a red star and crescent with a version being given in Lloyds 1904 for Stephens, Sutton & Stephens. This flag is mentioned by Talbot-Booth in his "Merchant Ships" 1942 and 1944 books under the Red "R" Steamship Co. Ltd. as having been used by tank steamers previously owned by that subsidiary.
Neale Rosanoski, 5 December 2010


Red Rose Navigation

[Red Rose Navigation Ltd. houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 23 June 2010

The Red Rose Navigation Co. Ltd. flag is seen at http://www.allatsea.cx/images/memorabilia/Peter_Murphy_House_Flags2.jpg (second row, central image). This firm is briefly mentioned here: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/holt.htm:

“In 1965 the Guinea Gulf Line with a subsidiary of Holt, the Red Rose Navigation Co. Ltd at Bermuda, was acquired by Elder Dempster Line Ltd...”
Elsewhere we learn that this company was established at Liverpool – just enter “bocna” under “Name” and click “SEARCH” (later click “VIEW”): http://www.hartlepoolbuilt.co.uk/form.html. I suppose Red Rose Navigation (‘Bocna’ was first named ‘Rose of Lancaster’ – also look at the funnel) moved to Bermuda for fiscal reasons. Certainly active 1958-1965 but no other ship found yet.

The house flag appears to have been square: dark blue field, large white disk bearing a red rose seeded and barbed green.
Jan Mertens, 21 June 2010


Regent Petroleum Tankship Co. Ltd.

[Regent Petroleum Tankship 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 the Regent Petroleum Tankship Co. Ltd., London. A white flag, in the centre with a disc divided into red over blue and a blue-edged white border. The name 'REGENT' is in blue letters on a white background across the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The design is printed. A rope and two Inglefield clips is attached. The company ships were absorbed into the Texaco fleet by 1968 and their own livery was abandoned."
Jarig Bakker, 25 August 2004


Regents Line

[Regents Line houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Brown's Flags and Funnels (1951) lists for Regents Line (Grand Union (Shipping) Ltd.), London, a yellow flag with over all a blue Y; in top a white disk with three blue horizontal stripes; at the hoist a black capital R; at the fly a black capital L.
Jarig Bakker, 25 August 2004


Rhondda Merthyr Steamship Company

[Rhondda Merthyr Steamship Company houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

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

Rhondda Merthyr Steamship Company, Cardiff - white flag, red cross, in the center red disk; "RMSC" in blue in all quarters.
Jarig Bakker, 15 January 2005


Richards, Mills & Co.

[Richards, Mills & Company houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 19 April 2008

The tenth photo on this page, showing details of plates and other things recovered from shipwrecks (and showing a flag): http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~indigo/flags.htm. The house flag’s colours are not shown. The firm’s initials are put in the corners (R, M, &, C with raised 'o' arranged in the usual fashion) and in the centre are the Prince of Wales’s feathers and coronet.

I haven’t been able to find out much about this firm, other than that they were managing the Dominion Line of Liverpool (in other places called ‘Mississippi & Dominion Line’), the British & North Atlantic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. and the Welsh Castle Line. Traces found date from the 1890’ies. On this page (Aberystwyth Castle, first ship’s file) it is said that the firm had a "reputation for closeness”. I like more the sound of ‘Welsh Castle Line’ which at least has the merit of suggesting the feathers and coronet. But that too, proved a dead end.
Jan Mertens, 26 November 2005

Found the house flag illustrated on the Liverpool Journal of Commerce chart for 1885. It is white, the letters are black, and the Prince of Wales's feathers (depicted on the chart as an ornate fleur-de-lis) are red.
Ian Sumner, 9 December 2005

Griffin’s ‘Flags national and mercantile’ (1891), no. 161 (plate 12, steam vessels). As a matter of interest, the same flag – smaller feathers, however: different drawing – is shown in Griffin as no. 625 (plate 23, sailing vessels) representing the same firm.
Jan Mertens, 16 April 2008


J.N.O. Ridley, Son & Tully

[J.N.O. Ridley, Son & Tully houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 3 April 2008

Lloyds Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of "J.N.O. Ridley, Son & Tully" (#166, p. 44), a company based in Newcastle-on-Tyne, as horizontally divided white-black-white.

SS "Newton Beech", built in 1925 in Sunderland, operated the Tyneside Line for "John Ridley, Son & Tully" when she unfortunately met the German "Admiral Graf Spee" on 5 October 1939, south-east of Ascension Island. On 7 October, SS "Ashlea" was captured and the crew placed on the "Newton Beech". After the combined crews were again transferred to the "Graf Spee", "Newton Beech" was sunk by "Graf Spee" on 8 October off the coast of Angola.
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~treevecwll/spees.htm
Ivan Sache
, 3 April 2008 


River Bulk Shipping Ltd.

[River Bulk Shipping / Coastal Bulk Shipping houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 6 March 2009

River Bulk Shipping Ltd. is a British firm established at Rochester (Kent) on the River Medway, operating two small self load & discharging vessels able to transport all kinds of commodities including projects or special loads. RiverBulk (Truro) Ltd is a subsidiary engaged in warehousing whereas Coastal Bulk Shipping – same address – is an associated company. In addition to that, a specialized barge is mentioned “suitable for the storage of up to 1400 tonnes of water sensitive and other high grade cargoes”.

The photo gallery offers clickable pictures often showing the attractive livery of a yellow star – on vessels’ bows and cranes – on a green background. The house flag proper appears as a drawing and is also visible in the cloth, on the starting page. Horizontally divided green-white-green, a yellow five-pointed star in the centre of the white stripe (no high visibility I am afraid): see attachments.
Jan Mertens
, 5 March 2009


Rivers Steam Navigation Co. Ltd.

[Rivers Steam Navigation 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 Rivers Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London. A white, swallow-tailed burgee with a blue saltire. A red disc is placed in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn."

It is similar to the flag of the Anglo Saxon Petroleum Co., London, with white field, blue saltire with red disk, according to Loughran (1979).
Jarig Bakker, 26 August 2004


J.R. Rix & Sons, Ltd.

[J.R. Rix & Sons, Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005

J.R. Rix & Sons, Ltd., Hull - blue flag, red diamond, intertwined white "JR".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005


R.Rix & Sons

[J.R. Rix & Sons, Ltd. houseflag] image located by David Prothero, 9 February 2008

House flag of R.Rix & Sons in Ships and the Sea by Talbot-Booth (1937)
David Prothero, 9 February 2008


RMC Group, p.l.c.

[RMC Group p.l.c. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 9 September 2005

RMC Group, p.l.c., Feltham - orange flag, black outlined diamond, black "RMC".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 9 September 2005


British Shipping lines: continued