Tributes paid to 'Glass receptacle miniature artefact inserter'

One of the world’s leading ship bottlers has died.

Dennis Newton, 67, who was based at Liverpool’s Merseyside Maritime Museum and had bottled model ships for the Royal Family, died on 30 January after a long illness, the museum’s director Tony Tibbles said.

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Mr Newton jokingly referred to himself as a ‘glass receptacle miniature artefact inserter’. ‘But he was one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject,” said Mr Tibbles.

The highlight of his bottling career came in 1993 when he was invited to make a model of the Royal Yacht Britannia and present it to the Queen on board the ship. “It was one of Des’s proudest moments when he was invited on to HMY Britannia to see his model on the dining room sideboard and then to find that the royal family kept it when the yacht was retired,” Mr Tibbles told BBC News.

Contrary to popular belief, a “ship in a bottle” is first assembled outside of the bottle, then placed inside. Masts, spars and sails are built separately and then attached to the hull of the ship with hinges so the masts can lie flat against the deck. The ship is then placed inside the bottle and the masts are raised with strings.

See how it is done here