The history of former shipping lines are frequently well chronicled in various museums.
However, what appears to be unique is a rather special restaurant in Glasgow called The Anchor Line. It is not only named after the shipping company, it actually has been opened in the former Anchor Lines booking offices at 12-14 St Vincent’s Place, Glasgow. With the assistance of the Archive Services of the Scottish Business Archive at the University of Glasgow, it is filled with remarkable ephemera and collectibles in multiple rooms and floors.
The Anchor Line Ltd, in 1838, established themselves in Glasgow, Scotland, as shipbrokers and merchants. In 1856, it ran its first transatlantic crossing and by the twentieth century, it ran regular transatlantic crossings, Mediterranean cruises and passenger sailings to India and Pakistan. The company had distinctive Scottish roots and was famous for its sleek ships and for the comfort it offered its travellers at a very affordable cost.
There were some interesting highlights in their past. In November 1869, the Suez Canal opened and this made India as important to the Anchor Line as America now that the Far East was 4,000 miles closer. An Anchor vessel made the first British merchant ship journey, southbound through the canal, on the day following the opening.
A further notable development was their association with the Cunard Steamship Co Ltd who bought the whole of the Ordinary shares of the Anchor Line (Henderson Bros) Ltd in 1911. It was a time that heralded numerous developments including changes in ownership within the industry, particularly during the Great Depression in the 30’s. Of further interest to shipping historians, however, is that in 1960, Anchor Line Ltd and the Cunard Steamship Co Ltd entered an agreement to provide a joint fortnightly London–Le Havre–Glasgow– USA service.
Further relevant information in regard to the history is on display within the restaurant including framed images from the archive collection of Glasgow University.