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The Ships

s.s Liverpool Packet

t.s.s Markland

s.s Margaret Bowater

s.s Sarah Bowater

s.s Nicolas Bowater

m.s Elizabeth Bowater

m.s Constance Bowater

m.s Alice Bowater

m.s Gladys Bowater

m.s Phyllis Bowater

m.s Nina Bowater

When they were sold

m.s Norskald visit Esjberg 2003

Crew Lists

Photograph Collections

Bowater Standing Orders

Cargo Handling by Capt T.Kearsey

Cinefilm Clips

Shell Tankers

Clan Line

Union Castle Line

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m.s Gladys Bowater
m.s Gladys Bowater, from the Skip Gillham Collection
Gladys Bowater was named after Sir Noel Bowater`s daughter and launched at the Leven shipyard of Denny`s of Dumbarton on August 27th 1958, she was named by Mrs. Aitken, wife of the Hon. Max Aitken and was the fourth of the motorships.

Her basic dimensions were 325x50x24 with a gross tonnage of 4045ton the hull was a part welded part rivoted construction. She had the Denny-Sulzer type 6-SD-60 engine developing 270bhp at 135rpm, which gave her a speed of 12knts. Electricity was supplied by three diesel driven Ruston generator sets each having an output of 180KW. Steam for auxilary purpose was provided by an oil fired exhaust gas boiler.

Four cargo holds were served by eight six ton derricks with electrically driven winches.The cargo holds had a bale capacity of 250,000cu.ft and built without pillars, tween decks or any other obstructions. A total of 450 tons of cargo could be stowed on deck.

Like her sisters she was also fitted with the Pleuger "Activ" rudder which assisted her to maneuvere in confined waters such as the River Swale and the St. Lawrence Seaway

Gladys Bowater was finlly sold out of the fleet in 1972 and took her first name under a flag of convenience which was Gigi.Aginor, Alexandra and finally Lamyaa followed before she was finally scrapped at Gadani Beach in 1985.

A picture of the Plueger "Activ" rudder as fitted to all of the Bowater motorships, the picture is m.s Elizabeth Bowater.
m.s Gladys Bowater seen at the Bertrand H.Snell lock on the St.Lawrence Seaway. Named after the late congressman Bertrand H.Snell of Potsdam, N.Y, who authored the seaway bill in Congress. It is one of two American locks on the seaway.
Gladys Bowater has a few claims to fame for your average paper carrier. Firstly she features on a postcard(see above) I have been told that this photograph was actually taken on her maiden voyage, the chap that told me this was the Chief Engineer at that time Eric Jones. He said that all the rust streaks on her bow were due to the lack of paint applied at the shipyard. You will also notice that she has not got the permanent fenders welded to her hull. This job was carried out on her return to the U.K in November 1959.Secondly she was part of the offical opening ceremony of the St.Lawrence Seaway, being the fourth ship behind the Queen on the Royal Yacht Brittania. Thirdly she was the first Bowater ship to travel the 2000 miles from Corner Brook to Chicago along the entire length of the Seaway.
Here are two photographs taken of m.s Gladys Bowater at the offical opening of the St.Lawrence Seaway. They were taken by the Chief Engineer Eric Jones. You will notice the starboard side lifeboat has been launched, testing the motor was the excuse given to be able to take these pictures.
m.s Gladys Bowater in of the Welland Canal flight locks 1959.
m.s Gladys Bowater leaving the Eisenhower lock 1959.
Another photograph from Chief Engineer Eric Jones. m.s Gladys Bowater on her second year of service on the Great Lakes. Note permanent fenders installed at first refit, Grayson Roll0`s, Birkenhead, February 1960.
Crew Contacted
Richard Howatson

Capt Larry Corner

Capt.T Kearsey

Charles Batchelor

Eric Jones

Jerry Scott

Steven Gilchrist

George Fairbrass

Terence Keatley

Archie Summerville

Sid Rosenthal

Maurice Lee

Robert Petty

Simon Gledhill

Mike Walsh

James Rooney

Derek Meredith

Ronnie Hughes

Mike Corden

Desmond Twatt

Ken Fothergill

3rd/2nd Mate


2nd Mate

3rd Mate

Chief Engineer

Second Steward

Second Cook


Chief Engineer

1st trip "Peggy"




Deck Officer


2nd Mate

3rd Mate


Deck Apprentice


3rg Engineer


1959 M/V




















"First Trip Peggy" Archie Summerville.Gladys Bowater 1969.
I have had the privilege to contact Capt. Corner in late 2006. He was the Master on the Gladys Bowater for her maiden voyage and also the first Bowater Captain to take a ship along the length of the St.Lawrence Seaway. This event is captured in a very interesting and informative article in the January 1961 issue of "Bowater World" that I have.

This is what Capt. Corner told me. "I joined Bowaters from Furness Withy in August 1956, and was appointed Chief Officer on the Margaret Bowater. After two voyages on the East Coast U.S.A, Corner Brook to a wide range of Us ports, lasting more than 12 months, I took some leave.

An excellent shot of m.s Gladys Bowater taken in May 1963, at Lock 7, Welland Canal, Ontario, Canada, Courtesy of Willian Lafferty
Capt. Larry Corner
I was next apointed to Sarah Bowater as Master and spent some time on the US coast before being ordered to Holsmund, in the Northern Baltic. Late in 1958 I went on leave to await appointment to Gladys Bowater. I had asked for this appointment, because I liked the idea of going up the St. Lawrence Seaway.
I Joined the Gladys Bowater early January 1959, in Denny`s yard and took her on her maiden voyage on 9th January 1959. I was ordered to Holmsund, in north Sweden. Once into the Gulf of Bothnia we ran into ice, and often need assisatnce from an icebraker to get through. We continued on this run until mid April. On leaving, the local agent told me that was the first time since 1928 that the port had been kept open throughout the winter.

After discharging our cargo of pulp, and making a few crew changes, we were ordered to Corner Brook. I would like to mention the deck crew on the ship. They were all from the Western Isles mostly Barra and probably the best crew I ever sailed with.

Archie Summerville and Roger the "Captains Tiger" onboard the m.s Gladys Bowater. The photographs were taken in the Officers dining room. Silver service was the order of the day, unless the weather dictated otherwise.
m.s Gladys Bowater moored up at Pier84, Philadelphiea 1959. Photograph by Francis Palmer from the Dave Boone Collection.
There was still ice floating in the Seaway, but nothing to worry about. Skilled pilots were in short supply, and were only carried in the firt section of the Welland canal. Going alongside in many places involved laanding two or three men, for this purpose we had small derricks fitted at the break of the foc`sle. Only in the locks were men standing by to take moorings.
Initially the Chief Engineer was Tom Callaghan but he was replaced by Eric Jones after a month or so, as mentioned above the poor quality of the paint was due to finishing off in the winter months, not helped by pushing throgh the Baltic ice. The big wooden fenders in the photographs above were made in Corner Brook at the end of the first trip up the lakes. Normal fenders being totally inadequate. The Gladys B entered drydock in Quebec on the return from a later trip, mainly to try and repair the Pleuger Activ rudder, but the opportunity was taken to fit the steel fenders, made from split 6`dia steel piping
One of the items of memorabillia that I have collected over the years. Apparently it is part of a uniform issued to the deck seamen on her maiden voyage, to be worn when the ship was entertaining newspaper managment and personnel etc.
A great photograph of m.s Gladys Bowater passing under the Verrazano bridge,New York photographed by Capt T.Kearsey.
Simon Gledhill was an officer cadet on the Gladys Bowater the last of the Bowater ships to come under the B&C managment.The ship was on its last delivery down the Eastern Seaboard, when it docked up at a brand new quay in New York(all new concrete) the officers and crew wrote in 4` letters "Gladys Bowater last of the big spenders" This shows the apprehension that the officers and crew had regarding the pay and conditions that would come there way once intergrated with B&C officers and crews.
m.s Gladys Bowater, Courtesy of John & Marion Clarkson
m.s Gladys Bowater at anchor in Corner Brook 1963.The picture was taken by John Talbot who was Chief Engineer on the Constance Bowater at the time.
m.s Gladys Bowater, on the Thames at Tilbury, May 19th 1967. Courtesy of the Malcolm Cranfield Collection.
One of the items my Dad kept from his Bowater days, it shows a pilotage plan from Cape Henry to Carmaville.
A fine view of m.s Glady Bowater taken in October 1970. Courtesy of the Rene Beauchamp Collection.
One of a few Robert Walton presentation folders that I have managed to collect.
A super-rare view of the motorship Aginor ex-Gladys Bowater moored in Eleusis, Greece close to Athens. Look at the state of her it`s enough to make you want to weep. Photograph taken by Robert Davies, Engineer merchant navy.
m.s Gladys Bowater in drydock, Courtesy of John Page
In January 1977, the Aginor ex Gladys Bowater caught fire 25 miles South West of Sicily, with a cargo of cement. The crew abandoned ship, and twenty members and the master were picked up. One man was missing presumed lost.

Ultimately the fire was extinguished and the ship taken in tow by the tug Capo Soprano, arriving at Palermo on January 10th. The midships accommodation ,bridge, wheelhouse, chartroom and monkey island were gutted by fire, which originated in an electric stove.

Although deemed a constructive total loss she was rebuilt and put back into service.

An excellent shot of the motorship Alexandra ex-Gladys Bowater after her fire gutted accommodation was rebuilt. The photograph was taken at Piraeus in 1984, whilst the photographer was on holiday. Courtesy of Harold Appleyard.
Another fine view of Alexadra, the name Gladys Bowater can clearly be seen on the bow. Courtesy of Harold Appleyard.
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