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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

Ship Models



E-Mail Me

m.s Elizabeth Bowater
Elizabeth Bowater photographed on 14th Sept 1967 off the Norfolk & Western coal pier (Lambert Point), Norfolk, Va taken by Bill Schell from the Malcolm Cranfield collection
The Elizabeth Bowater, first of the motorships, longest survivor of the Bowater fleet, although in a much altered guise and my personal favourite.

She was completed by the Caledon, Shipbuilding & Engineering, Co,Ltd, Dundee in June 1958, Yard No512. With dimensions of 325x50x30 she was powered by a 6 cylinder SD60 Sulzer engine producing 2700bhp and a speed of 12knts.

Accommodation for Officers and crew were excellent and there was even two owners/guest suites on the boat deck.

Things didn`t get off to a good start however as Capt. Patrick Toomey has told me." I was 2nd Mate on the maiden voyage of the Elizabeth Bowater, which got off to a bad start(serves them right for sailing from Dundee on Friday 13th, June 1958)as the propeller for the Pleuger"Activ" rudder fell off while leaving the Caledon Shipyard in Dundee. We went straight to the drydock in Leith to have another one fitted before leaving for Risor, Norway for our first load of pulp." Who would have thought she would go on to give 45 years loyal service.
m.s Elizabeth Bowater, probably in the Thames, Northfleet area.Alex Duncan.
What is a pleuger "Activ" rudder? It is a 150hp electric motor mounted on the rudder. It drives a three bladed aluminium bronze propeller and can give around 4000lb of thrust. Elizabeth Bowater was the first British built ship to be fitted with this device. They were fitted to all the motorships and there purpose was to aid manoeuvrability in the St. Lawrence Seaway and the river Swale. Experience showed that when passing through the locks on the St. Lawrence manoeuvres could be reduced by as much as 80% and so a much safer passage was assured. The Plueger was controlled from the bridge. This brought about its own problems as David Wood who was an engineer on the Elizabeth Bowater between 1969/70 has informed me. If the Pleuger was left on by accident and the main engine was started the Pleuger would fly off. Plueger going ahead engine astern or visa-versa, off it would come. It`s said the Seaway is littered with them!
Pleuger "Activ"shown while the m.v Pholas was in drydock.

Here is a better picture of the Pleuger "Activ" rudder you can clearly see the bulb on the rudder which contains the 150hp motor.

Elizabeth Bowater, Leith 1958.

Lizzie B, 21-1-1959.J.G Callis
Jerry Scotts payslip. Jerry was 2nd Steward on Elizabeth Bowater between 1960/61.
Crew Contacted
Alex Dilworth

Richard Howatson

Capt. Patrick Toomey

Simon Gledhill

Capt William Barr

Capt Charles Batchelor



Derek Meridith

George Bowie

Francis Hodder

David R Wood

Terence Keatley

Mark Bayliss

Capt.Thomas Kearsey

Ivor Hurst

Thomas Kirby

Alex McGrouther

Capt.Tony Blackler

Eric Jones

Nicolas H.Alabaster

Phil Thompson

Jerry Scott

John Page

Paul Thomas

Chris Walford

2nd Cook/Baker

2nd Mate

2nd Mate

Deck Apprentice

Chief Officer

Deck Apprentice

3rd Mate

Chief Officer

2nd Mate

2nd Mate


4th Engineer

Chief Engineer


2nd Mate



Chief Steward

2nd Mate

Chief Engineer

Deck Apprentice

Deck Apprentice

Second Steward


3rd Mate

Deck Apprentice



1958 M/V



1958 M/V





















Well down on her waterline. Terry Bolton Collection
Mark Bayliss was in the Catering Dept on the Elizabeth Bowater in 1966. One of his memories is when on the 11th January he was docked a days pay for not cleaning the "Heads" properly.He says "the Captain at the time was Ian Bennett, not the most popular skipper I sailed with, although we were a bit of a motley crew in those days.The day after he docked my pay he was walking along the port companion way to the bridge wing when his hat blew off...We all reckoned it was divine intervention"!!
This is the first Lloyds Certificate in a folder that I took off the Norskald ex-Elizabeth Bowater in 2003. The folder contains all the certificates from 1959-1974 and a few from 1977. Most of them are just maintenance schedules but some of them make for interesting reading such as a voyage in 1970 when she encountered very heavy weather and the No1 hatchcover was damaged so badly as to be letting in water.
m.s Elizabeth Bowater Courtesy of V.H Young & L.A Sawyer Collection
Elizabeth Bowater at a freezing Corner Brook. Bob Macenzie.
A lovely shot and one of my favourites, Elizabeth Bowater On the St.Lawrence Seaway from the Skip Gillham Collection
Here is the crewlist from the March 1968 trip on the Elizabeth Bowater. THe Purser onboard at the time was Ivor Hurst and fortunately for us he has kept a copy of all the crewlists from the trips he made with Bowaters. As an addition to these I have collected a number of the British & Commonwealth house magazines "The Review" and "Clansman" which also have various crewlists to view them Click Here.
Bridge Telegraph off the Norskald ex-Elizabeth Bowater now in the shipbreakers office in Esjberg, Denmark
Probably the last photograph taken of Elizabeth Bowater in the Bowater colours. She is seen here on the slip at South Shields in the early stages of conversion
Elizabeth Bowater photographed in 1970, from the Rene Beuchamp Collection
A Typical Nine month Trip on a Bowater Vessel-by Richard Speight
Elizabeth Bowater - April 1970 to January 1971

To explain. My name is Richard (Dick) Speight and I worked for Cayzer Irvine from 1968 to 1981 going from Deck Cadet to Chief Officer. Whilst your crew list of April 1970 does not name me I did sail with Captain Morton and the crew listed from South Shields on 9th April 1970. With one exception, this crew remained together until the following January when the ship returned next to the UK and therefore we all got to know each other rather well. The exception was the 3rd Engineer Ivan O'Rourke who was relieved part way through the season but I cannot remember the name of his relief. Phil Thompson was the other Cadet with me initially although he too was relieved partway through the season as he had his time in for 2nd Mates. Another Deck Cadet, Robin Page subsequently joined.

I have many memories of the 9 months and I did keep a diary of Ports of call which I will list below. This may be of interest to you as it clearly shows the sort of voyages the Bowater vessels undertook during a season on the US Coast although as you will see we did end up in Spain!.

Joined Brigham & Cowans Dry Dock South Shields - 6/4/70

Sailed South Shields - 9/4/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 18/4/70 Dep 20/4/70

Rochester NY - Arr 26/4/70 Dep 28/4/70

Buffalo NY - Arr 29/4/70 Dep 2/5/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 6/5/70 Dep 8/5/70

Baltimore - Arr 13/5/70 Dep 13/5/70

Norfolk - Arr 14/5/70 Dep 16/5/70

Liverpool NS - Arr 19/5/70 Dep 20/5/70

Alexandria - Arr 23/5/70 Dep 25/5/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 30/5/70 Dep 2/6/70

Tampa - Arr 10/6/70 Dep 12/6/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 19/6/70 Dep 26/6/70

Detroit - Arr 2/7/70 Dep 4/7/70

Rochester - Arr 6/7/70 Dep 6/6/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 9/7/70 Dep 16/7/70

Port Canaveral - Arr 22/7/70 Dep 24/7/70

Tampa - Arr 26/7/70 Dep 28/7/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 4/8/70 Dep 7/8/70

Detroit - Arr 13/8/70 Dep 15/8/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 20/8/70 Dep 21/8/70

Rochester - Arr 25/8/70 Dep 28/8/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 1/9/70 Dep 9/9/70

Chicago - Arr 17/9/70 Dep 19/9/70

Cleveland - Arr 21/9/70 Dep 23/9/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 28/9/70 Dep 29/9/70

Buffalo - Arr 4/10/70 Dep 4/10/70

Rochester - Arr 5/10/70 Dep 8/10/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 12/10/70 Dep 15/10/70

Detroit - Arr 20/10/70 Dep 23/10/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 28/10/70 Dep 31/10/70

Alicante Spain - Arr 10/11/70 Dep 13/11/70

Barcelona - Arr 14/11/70 Dep 15/11/70

Cueta (Morocco) Bunkers - Arr 16/11/70 Dep 17/11/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 27/11/70 Dep 3/12/70

Richmond - Arr 9/12/70 Dep 10/10/70

Norfolk - Arr 10/12/70 Dep 11/12/70

Cornerbrook - Arr 16/12/70 Dep 24/12/70

New York - Arr 29/12/70 Dep 30/12/70

Baltimore - Arr 31/12/70 Dep 3/1/71

Alexandria - Arr 4/1/71 Dep 5/1/71

Bay of Despair (Milltown) - Arr 10/1/71 Dep 16/1/71

Bay of Despair (St Albans) - Arr 16/1/71 Dep 19/1/71

Ridham Dock UK - Arr 28/1/71 Paid Off

Just typing that up has brought back so many memories. Of interest you will note that we spent a lot of time in Cornerbrook. We always seemed to arrive at the end of a string of Bowater ships or Chartered vessels and spent several days waiting for Cargo. Hardest for us all was our last and final call to Cornerbrook when they sailed us Christmas eve. The Chief Officer had been delaying cargo due to heavy snow in an attempt to keep us in for Chrismas but in the end they sailed us without a full cargo. Ironically we spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day in a force 10 gale on our way to New York. The storm was one of the worst I ever experienced and the Elizabeth sustained significant damage to DB plating which only became apparent much later. It certainly was fun being in the North Atlantic in Winter in a 4000 ton vessel.

From my perspective the whole voyage was a fascinating experience. I was 19 and spending about 9 months on the US Coast - and the range a voyages undertaken - Lakes/US East Coast/Liverpool to Alex/Spain/Logs to Ridham - covered the whole Bowater types of trip. I considered myself to have been very lucky.

Interestingly I sailed with Captain Morton again in 1977 on the 'Winchester Castle' and he was responsible for my promotion to Chief Officer.

Hope the above information is of interest.

Richard Speight

In 1972 she was sold out of the fleet to Wimpey (Marine)Ltd who carried out a two year conversion to transform this modest paper carrier into a deep sea survey vessel.The work was carried out at the Middle Docks & Engineering Co.Ltd South Sheilds and when she finaly emerged she looked like this.
Still very recognisable as a Bowater ship but now she has a drilling rig on her foredeck a moonpool and retractable positioning dynamic thrusters under the hull. The photograph above was probably taken after a furthur refit as she has Bower anchors fitted fore and aft and also a topside extension just forward of the accommadation. Some of Wimpey Sealab`s earliest exploration work was carried out on the Channel Tunnel project.
Port and Starboard forward thrusters being deployed for maintenance at Bremerhaven shipyard September 1997
One of the things I did when I first started this project twelve years ago was go to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and look through all the old copies of Lloyds Register of Shipping. Through this I found out that two of the Bowater ships were actually still in existance Elizabeth Bowater, now a survey vessel named Pholas and Phyllis Bowater who was under the Turkish flag and called Naz-k.

Armed with this information I used to keep a reasonably regular check on the two of them. In 1996 I wrote to Coe Metcalf Shipping to find out more about the m.v Pholas.

This was a bit of a disappointment but I still kept an eye on the Lloyds Registers. Once I had my computer I e-mailed DSND the then owners of Norskald. Everything was going well until I mentioned going to Norway where the ship had been laid-up to have a look over her. That was the last I heard from DSND. Then by chance in late 2002 I recieved an e-mail from a chap who runs a shipping website in Norway. He knew my interest in this ship and told me that she had been towed to Denmark to be scrapped. It was now or never if I was to get to look over her. A quick bit of surfing on the net and a few e-mails secured permission for my Dad and I to go to Esjberg.
I have collected so many photographs of this ship that I have had to have one page for each name change in her lifetime so click on the appropiate image below to view the pictures.

In 2003 my Dad and I went to Esjberg, Denmark to have one last look over the Norskald ex-Elizabeth Bowater before she was finally scrapped to view this final part in this ships history click on the image below.

Wimpey Sealab
Pholas, photograph courtesy of Patrick Hill
Click to go back to the ships
Esjberg, Denmark 2003 The end of the Voyage
Charles Batchelor,Cadet Maiden Voyage of Elizabetth Bowater:I`ve just been visiting the website and reading all the history of Lizzy B.As Friday 13th 1958 was also the start of my sea career-14.00 to be precise, when I hoisted the Bowater Houseflag at the mainmast-for me it was never bad luck, or a bad ship. I think 45 years service proves that much.Not sure if I mentioned to you that Lizzy B. was the first and last ship I sailed on under the Bowater / B & C houseflag. In addition to being Cadet, I was also 3rd Mate on her in 1963 and later as Chief Mate. I signed off as Ch.Off in Northfleet on 19th Aug 1968. My first and last voyages both being to Risör, Norway.

Captain Alan Stewart: I was C/O on Sealab for the Channel Tunnel project in 72/73, but it wasn't for the tunnel that was built, it was the last failed attempt! I also stood by her during the major conversion and brought her out as Master in 74. I stayed with her until Wimpey's sold her in 79.I've got quite a lot of stuff on Sealab and also some photos of the Alice, on which I spent all of 65 as 3/O. - including the one on the cover of the Dec 63 Review of the Alice in ice between Tilbury and Gravesend!

Tony White Personnel Dept, Cayzer House:It was said that when they took her for sea trials, the first substantial sea that she put her nose into created such a surge of water up through the drill space where No 2 hold had been, that the winches and other gear in the design were basically ripped apart and disappeared into the depths of the North Sea! The project was taken back to the drawing board. I believe she did start work while under the B& C banner. My name is Jeremy Scott,although the only person to call me Jeremy is my mother,apart from her I have always been called Jerry or more often than not Gerry.I wonder if the G Scott in the crew list refers to me

My name is Jerry Scott,although the only person to call me Jeremy is my mother,apart from her I have always been called Jerry or more often than not Gerry.I wonder if the G Scott in the crew list refers to me My name is Jeremy Scott,although the only person to call me Jeremy is my mother,apart from her I have always been called Jerry or more often than not Gerry.I wonder if the G Scott in the crew list refers to me.I worked for BSC for nearly two years 19/1/60 -12/12/61.I was 2nd Steward for most of this time,on the Elizabeth until 30/6/61and then on the Gladys until I left the MN to get married and take up a new career.The Captains I sailed with were Capt Bosanquet,Capt Bessant,Capt Basil Biggs and one or two others I can't remember and whose names I can't decifer from my Discharge book.Chief Stewards Isailed with were Joe Nugent who was responsible for my promotion to 2nd Steward,Dai Rees,Errnie Gelling,and Ronnie Hinton,they were all nice guys apart from Rees who was a bit of an old missery.Like all BSC crew I loved the Bowater ships and they still give me much pleasure with the memories. Although some memories are not so pleasurable like the one where one of the deckhands whilst larking around on top of one of the Samson posts fell to his death,we were sailing in calm seas up the Swedish coast at the time heading for Holmsund.Another memory worth a mention is the pounding meter the Elizabeth had on the bridge it measured the pounding stresses which were pretty severe in these ships with no tween decks when they were in ballast, which was nearly 50% of the time,I say nearly 50% because on one occassion we carried a load of cars in the bottom of the Elizabeths holds.These meters had a scale of 1-20 tons and they often went off the scale altogether in the North Atlantic.

Stephen Lingwood I have just been told today by a work mate about this web site dedicated to the bowater shipping company he worked on most of the ships as ships cook as for my self i was sent by the pool to join the lizzy bowater in ellsmere port and paid off 6 weeks later that was thwe first of 2 stints with working bowaters my next stint was lizzy again i joined her at elderslie dry dock 28/1/71-11/3/71 i then joined her again 30/3/71-12/11/71it was that voyage that we sailed from charlston to south africa with news print then we came back to run between newfoundland/nova scotia/and the eastern seaboard and great lakes then my next trip 1/12/71-30/5/72 they were good days we use to watch tv cartoons on the east coast in cornerbrook we went to the labour club to drink big dipper rum or as it more commonly known as screech in witch we use to see pink elephants going through my discharge book was a trip down memory lane as my mind started to thinck about people i sailed with TERRY ONIELL PURSER THOMAS HARDYi have a photo of me and thomas hardy with to ladies from cornerbrook SHIPS COOK ALLISTER PATTERSON BAKER HAROLD BARDSLEY STEWARD KEN JACKSON BAKER DEREK STANNARD SECOND STEWARD IVOR HURST PURSER have you heard from any of these people it would be nice to get in touch with them