Archive for April, 2009

Ship in A Bottle

Posted in News and Tittle Tattle with tags on April 3, 2009 by craigherbertson

My old friend Desmond Newton died on 30.01.2009. His obituary is in the Times.

Des was a uniquely talented man. He put ships in bottles. He was proud to present a miniature of the royal yacht Britannia to the Queen when she visited the Liverpool Maritime museum but prouder, doubtless, to have entertained thousands upon thousands of children with his talents.

My old Partner Bernie Shaw wrote a song about him called ‘Ship in a Bottle’ and Des played it on Children’s BBC ‘Corners’ when he demonstrated his skills to the world.

‘There’s a man down the dock, Des Newton’s his name catching the spirit of the sea is his game’

Well, sadly he’ll no longer walk down the dock between the buildings of the Maritime museum but that’s where I’ll always remember him – smiling, laughing and joking with us two buskers on the Pierhead. And something of him will always remain in those fantastic bottles with their miniature ships.

Des once came to me on the Pierhead looking unusually agitated. He had his old Burns guitar, very rare and he could have sold if for a lot of money. He’d come to give it to me for a song because he was desperately keen that it go to someone who would both cherish and play it. I assured Des that if I didn’t use it enough I would give it away to someone who would know it for it was. After many years I finally passed it on to my friend Rob Carroll who plays it to this day. The guitar case still contains the promotional photo of Des in his cabaret days, laughing and smiling as he always did.

I’ll certainly miss him..