WINNERS at a popular awards ceremony will take home world famous crystal favoured by James Bond and the Crawley family at Downton Abbey.

Cumbria Crystal is an official supplier to 007 with Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan both drinking from tumblers created by the business while playing the world’s most famous secret agent on the big screen, and all crystal featured in the hit ITV series Downton Abbey are also supplied by the company.

The UK’s last remaining luxury crystal manufacturer has also individually crafted the personalised glass bowls which will be presented as trophies to the victors at next week’s Heart of Ulverston Awards.

The awards will be held for the first time since 2018 on May 16 at Ulverston’s Coronation Hall, and there is huge excitement in the South Cumbrian town about its impending return.

And Cumbria Crystal, which creates luxury crystal and glass products from its base next door to Booth’s Supermarket in the town’s Canal Head, will add further sparkle to the glitzy, invite-only event.

Chris Blade, the company’s Chief Executive, said: “What is special about the winners’ trophies is that every single piece is unique because all of the glass bowls have been made by our Master Glass Blower Steve Brettle, supported by James Devins, and they aren’t mass manufactured like other award trophies are.

“Cumbria Crystal was founded in 1976 by Lord and Lady Cavendish, and we pride ourselves on using traditional glass blowing techniques developed by the Romans 2,000 years ago to individually craft each item, and everything is produced from our base in Ulverston.

“We are delighted to be supporting the local community by providing the awards winners’ prizes, and we know how much these awards mean to local people as our operations manager Beverley Frankland is a past winner of the Employee of the Year Award.

The Westmorland Gazette: Chris Blade, the Chief Executive of Cumbria CrystalChris Blade, the Chief Executive of Cumbria Crystal (Image: Supplied)

“Receiving one of the glass bowls is something a bit different to your typical trophy, and it will be something that people will cherish forever knowing that they own an item renowned for its quality across the world.”

Glass blowing is a traditional skill which is dying off across the UK and there are only 30 production glass blowers remaining. Chris is currently lobbying for the art to be listed on the Red List of Endangered Crafts in a bid to improve support for the trade.

Cumbria Crystal continues to support local people through its employment programme, and it is hoping to attract more young workers to keep the tradition going.

Chris said: “Everything we make is produced by humans; made by your neighbour in Ulverston as a lot of our staff joined us straight from school.

“Sadly, glass blowing is a dying tradition across the UK and that is a great shame because it is such an art and an amazing process, and our aim as a company is to keep the tradition going and make sure people across the world can continue to buy some of the most luxury crystal produced here in Cumbria.”

Members of the public are invited to tour Cumbria Crystal’s Ulverston base to witness the mesmerising process of glass blowing for themselves. The company is open to the public Monday to Friday to watch glass blowing and cutting. Booking is not required.

The company also runs a number of experience sessions where people can make their own crystal baubles, Halloween glass pumpkins, paperweights and tumblers or vases with the support of a professional glass maker.

Winners at the Heart of Ulverston Awards will receive their unique Cumbria Crystal glass bowl trophies at next week’s ceremony after the community came together to support the return of the awards through a campaign launched by PR and communications agency 32West.