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House flag, Ellerman and Bucknall Steam Ship Co. Ltd


Object connections:

Collection Textiles, House flag, Flags
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Ellerman Lines Ltd

Object details:

Object ID AAA0221
Description The house flag of Ellerman and Bucknall Steam Ship Co. Ltd, London. A rectangular blue flag with three white diamonds bearing the red letters 'E & B'. Ellerman Lines's blue pennant is hoisted above with the white letters 'JRE'. The flag and pennant are made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. They have cotton hoists and are machine sewn. The letters on the items are printed. The pennant and flag are on a single rope with a toggle attached. A company with strong family ties founded in 1742 as Henry Bucknall & Son, producers and importers of cork. In 1859 a fleet of ships was purchased to expand trade, with sail increasingly giving way to steam. During 1880 the name changed to Henry Bucknall & Company. Eight years later, Edward Lloyd, an expert broker, joined to develop the ship owning side with Bucknell Nephews as managers. Bucknall Brothers were formed in 1890 to act as brokers and charterers. The British and Colonial Steam Navigation Company set up by Lloyd carried coal and railway supplies to South Africa, often returning via Burma with rice. 1893 saw a joint venture between Bucknell Brothers and Castle Line, running between the USA, South Africa and Calcutta carrying cargoes of manufactured goods outward and jute and spices home. Passenger services followed with an offshoot, the Bucentaur Company, providing services to Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Homeward cargoes were of wool and wheat. War in South Africa led to severe congestion in the ports precipitating a decline in family fortunes which the formation of Bucknall Steamship Lines in 1900 did little to reverse. Rapid expansion proved unwise and by 1908 the strain on finances became severe. Advice was sought from Sir John Ellerman who, by 1909, had gained control. A further name change in 1914 to Ellerman and Bucknall Steamship Company Limited led to the development of a multi-vessel fleet and eventually to the celebrated all one class passenger service to the Cape. By 1973 the Bucknall name had disappeared with the absorption of the company into Ellerman City Lines. The complete demise of that company followed a few years later.
Date made circa 1951

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection. Reproduced with kind permission of P&O Nedlloyd.
Materials wool; synthetic blend; cotton; machine sewn; printed
Measurements pennant: 660.4 x 1752.6 mm; flag: 1143 x 1778 mm
  • House flag, Ellerman and Bucknall Steam Ship Co. Ltd (AAA0221)
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