Radleys celebrate opening of new glassblowing facility

PUBLISHED: 10:55 18 March 2019

Bill and Iris Radley with their son Mark at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Bill and Iris Radley with their son Mark at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Copyright © 2019 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved.

Radleys in Saffron Walden celebrated the opening of its new glassblowing facility on Saturday with a morning of demonstrations, live music and a barbecue breakfast.

Founders Bill and Iris Radley listen to their son Mark, address the visitors and guests, whilst the Hairy Handlebars (sponsored by Radleys) watch from behind. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYFounders Bill and Iris Radley listen to their son Mark, address the visitors and guests, whilst the Hairy Handlebars (sponsored by Radleys) watch from behind. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

The family business, which is based at Shire Hill, has manufactured scientific glassware and laboratory instruments for more than 50 years.

Visitors enjoyed live music, entertainment for the kids and plenty of food and refreshments at the grand opening.

Jack Cullen played his guitar and sang for visitors and Oliver and Jess Radley, grandchildren of the founders of Radleys, Bill and Iris Radley, helped out with the breakfast barbecue.

George Cullen and Ben Cook from The Hairy Handlebars, who are raising funds for Movember by cycling from London to Tokyo this year, also joined the celebrations. Radleys is sponsoring the pair on their adventures.

Mark Radley addressing the visitors and guests. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYMark Radley addressing the visitors and guests. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Radley, managing director, said: “More than 150 family, friends, neighbours and local suppliers attended our grand opening of Radleys’ new scientific glassblowing facility. Having spent nine months and well over £1.2 million on the building purchase and refurbishment it was a proud moment to have the opportunity to showcase our skills in our state-of-the-art premises.

“We often forget quite how unusual what we do is, so it was nice to see our guests wide-eyed in amazement.”

Oliver and Jess Radley, grandchildren of the founder of Radleys, help with the breakfast BBQ. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYOliver and Jess Radley, grandchildren of the founder of Radleys, help with the breakfast BBQ. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Jack Cullen provides the music. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYJack Cullen provides the music. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Jack Cullen provides the music. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYJack Cullen provides the music. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

How's that?! Jess Radley checks her handiwork of a bend in a glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYHow's that?! Jess Radley checks her handiwork of a bend in a glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

And blow - gently! Jess Radley is instructed whilst bending a glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYAnd blow - gently! Jess Radley is instructed whilst bending a glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Jess Radley  tries her hand at bending a glass tube, under the guidance of Mark. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYJess Radley tries her hand at bending a glass tube, under the guidance of Mark. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Some finished glass products. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYSome finished glass products. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A glass blower sights down a spiral glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA glass blower sights down a spiral glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A glass blower diverges from making scientific glass products to fun items. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA glass blower diverges from making scientific glass products to fun items. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A glass blower sights down a spiral glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA glass blower sights down a spiral glass tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A visitor - as seen though the bowl glass product. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA visitor - as seen though the bowl glass product. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A glass product becomes a subject of discussion. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA glass product becomes a subject of discussion. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A visitor discovers the skills needed to blow glass to make a test tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA visitor discovers the skills needed to blow glass to make a test tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube under an expereinced eye. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube under an expereinced eye. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A glass blower show how a glass bowl can look when blown. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA glass blower show how a glass bowl can look when blown. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Blow the glass- but not that hard. A visitor discovers the skills needed to blow glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYBlow the glass- but not that hard. A visitor discovers the skills needed to blow glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube under an experienced eye. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube under an experienced eye. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA visitor begins to make a 'simple' test tube. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

A highly trained glass blower demonstrates some of the techniques of the trade. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYA highly trained glass blower demonstrates some of the techniques of the trade. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Visitors are invited to try their hand at bending glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYVisitors are invited to try their hand at bending glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Visitors are invited to try their hand at bending glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYVisitors are invited to try their hand at bending glass. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

Picture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHYPicture: CELIA BARTLETT PHOTOGRAPHY

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