IS it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a futuristic superhero-style urn, specially crafted to hold your loved one’s ashes.

And one funeral director is predicting that this Superman container and others like it may catch on in this country as more and more people look for different ways to keep alive the memory of departed family members.

It’s a craze that has started in the US, but Bill Craddock, from Craddock and Lamb funeral directors in Haydock, is confident that it will take off here.

Bill, who has worked as a funeral director for 23 years, said: “They have recently launched in the USA and the man behind them is asking if anyone wanted to do them over here.

“I think it’s a belting idea, but it’s a case of dipping your toe in the water and see how you get on.

“A lot of people hold on to a photo of their loved ones. When they say ‘my dad was Superman to me’, why not have his ashes in an urn like this?

“A small amount of ashes actually go into the head of the figure. I would send them out to the US and they would send the complete figure back to me.

“People are always looking for different ways to remember their loved ones, whether it’s a horse drawn hearse or one pulled by a lorry; it’s a different generation, who want something else.”

The urns are created using just one or two photos. A patented 3D modelling method is then used to construct the face and body of the figure, which stands approximately 12 inches.

Software is used to adjust colour and is able to capture any age.

Bill added: “You can’t behave like it’s the olden days; you have to move forward.”

And now, not only can they immortalise your young ones in an urn shaped like Superman, Craddock and Lamb have been granted a certificate, which allows them to send people’s ashes soaring into space.

They are one of three funeral directors in the country and the only one believed to be in the north who provide this stratospheric space trip.