House flag, Westcott and Lawrence Line Ltd

The house flag of the Westcott and Lawrence Line Ltd, London. A blue rectangular flag with the yellow initials 'W & L' (Westcott and Lawrence) and a blue pennant above bearing the white initials 'JRE' (Ellerman lines). The pennant and flag are made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. They have cotton hoists and are machine sewn. The Ellerman's initials are printed. The pennant and flag are on a single rope with a toggle attached.

The Westcott and Laurence Line was founded in London in 1864 as Westcott and Houseden by a former captain of the Greek & Oriental Shipping Line, W.G. Westcott, and Robert Houseden. In 1867, their first steamer, the Harriet Agnes, was launched. Westcott and Laurence ran trade routes to various ports in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as ports in the Black Sea and the River Danube. In 1901 the company was acquired by Ellerman Lines, Ltd. of Glasgow. The line kept its name, however, and the ships flew both the Westcott and Laurence flag as well as the Ellerman flag, which was in the superior position. At this time of the acquisition the company owned nine ships.

During World War I most of the ships in the Ellerman Group were requisitioned, but the company restored both its passenger and cargo services after the war. At the beginning of World War II, the group operated a total of 105 vessels. However during the conflict it lost a total of 60 ships. Again the company restored its building of cargo and passenger ships and by 1953 was back up to 94 ships. In 1973 the company was restructured and a new shipping division called Ellerman City Lines took over the operation of the Westcott and Laurence Line, as well as many other lines of the Ellerman Group. Finally, in 1987, control of the Ellerman Group was handed to Cunard, which is still in operation today.

Object Details

ID: AAA0406
Collection: Textiles; Flags
Type: House flag
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1951
People: Westcott and Laurance Line Ltd, London; Ellerman Lines Ltd
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Pope Collection. Reproduced with kind permission of P&O Nedlloyd.
Measurements: pennant: 711.2 x 1778 mm; flag: 1168.4 x 1879.6 mm

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