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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ahoy Shipmates.

Does anyone have any information on the Bowater Boats. I sailed on the Gladys Bowater which I sailed on in the 1960s. I joined her at Ridham dock in October 1962 and sailed for Umea in Sweden, via the Kiel Canal, the only time I ever sailed through this famous canal. from Umea we went to Ellesmere Port to discharge then returned to Sweden, this time to Holmsund, not far from Umea, again discharging at Ellesmere Port, this time we went to Norway where we called at Porsgrunn, Risor, Larvik and Fossing, before Heading to Northfleet to discharge. The fourth trip was across the Atlantic to Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, which we discharged at Belfast, Dublin and Manchester, where I signed off in January 1963. I had a hankering for warmer climes.
There is very little information given regarding these beautiful little ships in any of the shipping magazines. What did happen to the 'Gladys'.
I was walking round the docks at Aberdeen (in the early 1980s I guess) and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what was obviously a Bowater Boat tied up alongside. It was the 'Elizabeth' and was being used by Wimpey as a floating laboratory for the North Sea oil industry. I believe her name was Wimpey ---.

ps. Is the Station Hotel in Ellesmere Port still standing. My favourite watering hole.
 

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albertwebster said:
Ahoy Shipmates.

Does anyone have any information on the Bowater Boats. I sailed on the Gladys Bowater which I sailed on in the 1960s. I joined her at Ridham dock in October 1962 and sailed for Umea in Sweden, via the Kiel Canal, the only time I ever sailed through this famous canal. from Umea we went to Ellesmere Port to discharge then returned to Sweden, this time to Holmsund, not far from Umea, again discharging at Ellesmere Port, this time we went to Norway where we called at Porsgrunn, Risor, Larvik and Fossing, before Heading to Northfleet to discharge. The fourth trip was across the Atlantic to Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, which we discharged at Belfast, Dublin and Manchester, where I signed off in January 1963. I had a hankering for warmer climes.
There is very little information given regarding these beautiful little ships in any of the shipping magazines. What did happen to the 'Gladys'.
I was walking round the docks at Aberdeen (in the early 1980s I guess) and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what was obviously a Bowater Boat tied up alongside. It was the 'Elizabeth' and was being used by Wimpey as a floating laboratory for the North Sea oil industry. I believe her name was Wimpey ---.

ps. Is the Station Hotel in Ellesmere Port still standing. My favourite watering hole.
Wimpey Sealab?
 

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They were various sisters as you surely know,GLADYS BOWATER 72- GIGI 76-
AGINOR 76- and ALEXANDRA ,i think scrapped beginning 80s.
Gp
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info Tanker. Does anyone know where she was built? I think it was at Caledon at Dundee, not very sure though.

regards Albert Webster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Shipmate

just viewed the Wimpey Sealab. I'm sure she didn't have a drilling derrick when I saw her.
regards Albert Webster.
 

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Hi Albert;
Friend of mine sailed with Bowaters around that time . Ian Scott ( Scotty ) he was I think apprentice or 3rd mate at the time . From Dundee . Poor lad got married and swallowed the hook . Derek
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Derek.
Sorry, the name Ian Scott dosen't ring any bells but I know how he feels, only I swallowed the hook then got married. Still am after 38 years.

I have a 1962 Christmas menu from the Gladys, signed by the crew, I will rescue it from the loft and see if his name is on it and will keep you posted. Albert.
 

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bowater

Hi Albert, I have just checked the dates that you mentioned and realised that I also did the trip from Ridham Dock (Oct 62) to Sweden and left the Gladys at Ellesmere Port in November. I also don't recall who were the two apprentices on board at the time but I do know that G. Scott was an apprentice with the company. The Master at that time was Jim McLarty, I was the Chief Engineer.

The Constance and Elizabeth were built at Caledon's, Dundee, the Alice came from Cammell Laird at Birkenhead and the Gladys and Nina were built at Denny's, Dumbarton. The first four were built in 1958, the Nina in 59.

Regards, John
 

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Hello Albert, and all you chaps that are on this Bowater thread. My dad sailed with Bowaters in the 1960`s as a deck officer. His first ship with them was the Liverpool Packet, followed by Alice Bowater, Gladys Bowater(April-Septeber 1962), Nicolas Bowater, Elizabeth Bowater, Margaret Bowater and Constance Bowater. He really enjoyed his time on all of them, to him they were great ships, well maintained to the highest standards which obviously attracted the best crews. I have been putting together a project on his sea time for the past ten years, he also sailed with Shell Tankers, Clan Line and Union Castle. My main interest is the Bowater fleet and i have contacted many ex-crew members and collected many photographs and even a few bits of memarobilia. I was lucky enough to go to Esjberg, Denmark a few years ago were the Norskald ex-Elizabeth Bowater was laid-up awaiting her final fate, infact i ended up going on three occasions and apart from a load of photographs, i managed to get the clock from the Captains cabin, i found some Bowater china in a drinks cabinet and i even took the engineroom telegraph off her on my final visit. I am thinking of putting a webpage together dedicated to Bowaters, what do you think? Albert any chance of having a copy of your Christmas menu?Bye for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Jet.
Thanks for that information re the Gladys. I downloaded a photo of her from the websites given by Bruce Carson (see 19th December post) I now have it as my screensaver.

Regards, Albert Webster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Bowaterssco.

I will gladly send a copy of that menu. The only problem is that unfortunately it won't be till after the New Year. Too busy over the festive season. Incidentally I also sailed with Shell, was an AB on the Helcion from October 1958 to January 1959, doing the Curacao to American east coast ports.

Will keep in touch, regards, Albert Webster.
 

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Bowater

Hi Bowaterssco, A web page would be very good. There was no doubt that the company and the ships were up amongst the best in their day, prior to them being managed by B & C of course.

Do you recognise the initials R.H.

Regards John
 

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Hi Jet,My dads name is Richard Howatson so yes i would recognise the intials R.H.
Some of the other ex-Bowater chaps i have contacted are Keith Gearing (Steward) George Fairbrass(greaser)Alex Dilworth, David Ashton, John Powell, Simon Gledhill, Mike Walsh, Tom Roddis, Thyge Enevoldson, Jack Towler, James Rooney, Derek Meredith, Bob Wilson, Allen Ford, Roger Stone, Charles Mintoff, Bob Petty to name but a few, i have one special contact Capt Patrick Toomey, he sailed with Bowaters in the early days and was on the Elizabeth Bowater on her maiden voyage as 2nd Mate, he has an excellent memory for all things Bowater and kept a daily journal during his sea career. He left Bowaters when they were taken over by B&C and joined the Canadian Coastgaurd, that were he got his Maters ticket.
 

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Bowater

Hi Bowaterssco, your father and I sailed together on the L.P. in 61, spent period (Jun - Sep) transporting pulpwood from Baie Verte, Tommy's Arm and Hare Bay back to Cornerbrook in Newfoundland. At that time he was 3rd Mate and I was 3rd Engr.

Derek Meredith was 3rd Mate on the Margaret when I was on there (Christmas in Holmsund 61).

I need to correct my list of the ships, as I missed out the Phyllis Bowater. She was the one built at Caledon's in 1959 and the Nina was built later, not sure if it was Caledon or Denny. Someone else is bound to know the answer.

It was interesting to hear that the Liverpool Packet survived as long as it did. I was on the Constance for the 63 season, Cornerbrook - Great Lakes & Eastern Seaboard and my recollection is that we heard the L.P. had gone, presumeably for scrapping. Knowing her condition earlier in the year that was a reasonable assumption.

Regards John
 

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Hi John,Its great to know that i have found another one of my dads shipmates, he will be well chuffed when i tell him. You must have sailed with George Fairbrass as well as he was a donkeyman/greaser on the Liverpool Packet at the same time. He doesn`t live that far from me, i live in Bexleyheath, he lives in Chatham, my dad and i meet up with him, i`ll tell you i couldn`t get a word in edgeways! Catch u all later. Ian
 

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Gladys Bowater

Hi All, Just to go back to the start of this thread. When Gladys Bowater had become Aginor she caught fire off the north coast of Africa in January 1977, the crew abandoned ship, the fire was put out and the ship was towed into port. The whole of the accommadation was gutted and although she was declared a constructive loss amazingly she was rebuilt and put back to sea. I have a photograph of her laid-up and looking in a very sorry state.
 

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Bowaters

Hey Ian,
You forgot to mention my name in that thread where you rattled off all of those names of your dad's old ship mates. We sailed for eleven months on the YANKY coast aboard the "Nicolas Bowater", together flagship of the fleet.
A fine ship
Cheers
Geoff Bray
 
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