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Bowman & Webster, Cork Manufacturers
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Bowman & Webster, Cork Manufacturers

Historic Documents
David Oswald
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Bowman & Webster, Cork Manufacturers
Historic Documents
164
Bowman & Webster, Cork Manufacturers
A receipt from Bowman & Webster, Cork Manufacturers & Bottle Merchants. The document dating from 21st April, 1916 features illustrations of the premises at 8 & 10 South Constitution Street and lists other offices in Dundee and Sevilla, Spain. The receipt is for the purchase of beer corks by the Douglas Arms Hotel in Banchory.

The business of Bowman & Webster had a long history in the City of Aberdeen. It was initially a partnership between Thomas Bowman and Fred Webster. The partnership was dissolved in 1901, with Bowman leaving, but the company retained its original name throughout its history.

Thomas Bowman died suddenly, aged between 40 and 50, on 28th August 1905 and his obituary can be read in the next day's Aberdeen Journal. Like his father and grandfather he had joined the army and served in North India with the Gordon Highlanders.

Fred Webster and his son ran the business after the departure of Bowman. A descendant of the family has been touch and explained that both had troubled lives and died relatively young. The business was then taken over by John Webster, Fred's brother, in 1925.

The obituary of Fred Webster can be read in the Press & Journal of 25th June 1924. In addition to describing his successful business and work in Spain, the article describes him as follows:

"A man of genial disposition, Mr Webster was exceedingly popular with all who knew him. He was a keen bowler and a member of the Northern Bowling Club. For many years Mr Webster was a well-known pigeon fancier and breeder, and won prizes all over the country, including Crystal Palace, and his services were often in request as a judge."

Before taking over the business, John and his wife had spent twenty years living and working in Canada. Fred willed the company to a daughter of John's called Evelyn. John successfully ran the business as its Managing Director until his death on 8th November 1961, aged 78. He was a life-long member of the Thistle Swimming Club and lived at 122 Desswood Place.

John's son, Edwin John Webster, then ran the business until it closed down in the later 20th century. The growing influence of large brewers made business and survival more difficult for local companies involved in the licensed trade.

Edwin John Webster died, aged 78, on 30th September 1990.

Many thanks to Michael John Webster (from Angus), son of Edwin, for providing us with additional information about the family and business.
Receipt
RC_A41
Corks, Beer, Glass, Licensed Trade
Aberdeen Local Studies
Yes
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