The chocolate 5k race for St Mary’s Hospice
25th April 2015

April 13th, 2015


If you’re looking for a challenge with a difference then join St Mary’s Hospice for Birmingham’s tastiest event – The Chocolate Run.

From Rowheath Pavilion, participants will approach chocolate stations along the 5k course offering a variety of chocolate treats and plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

On finishing the course, runners will receive a chocolate medal and gain free entry into the post-run chocolate buffet which is sure to leave you feeling sweet.

Runners can sign-in on the day of the event from 9.30am and start the chase for chocolate from 11.00am.

Refreshments and toilet facilities will be available at the start/ finish point of the chocolate run.

All finishers will receive a commemorative gift and the opportunity to purchase some refreshments.

All participants must pre-register.

Adults – £10.00 per person
Children – £5.00 per person

(under 5’s – FREE)

More details at http://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Event/the-chocolate-5k

Lloyds Bank on the Bournville Green to close

February 27th, 2015

Bournville residents will be shocked and disappointed to learn that Lloyds Bank is to close its Bournville Green branch, at 29 Sycamore Road, on the 22nd May this year.

No reasons have been given only a poster in the branch announcing the imminent closure along with the details of the nearest alternative Lloyds Bank.
The most likely explanation is a cost cutting exercise brought about by a change in banking habits as well as the severe banking crisis five years ago. However, customers will be surprised at the news as the inside of the branch has recently undergone an attractive facelift.

It could also be considered insensitive that the closure should be announced on the same day as Lloyds Bank, to huge fanfare in the media, announces the resumption of dividend payments to its shareholders after declaring a £1.8 billion profit.
The bank has been trading from the Bournville Green since the shopping area was first built at the beginning of the 20th century. The bank has attractive stain glass windows decorated with the words Lloyds Bank Limited.

Thousands remember
the First World War Christmas Truce at this year’s
‘Carols on the Green’ service.

December 25th, 2014

One of the largest crowds ever seen on the Bournville Green gathered together on Christmas Eve for this year’s ‘Carols on the Green’ service.

Estimates of between 4,000 and 5,000 people, led by The Reverend Peter Babington, celebrated the imminent arrival of Christmas by singing a selection of traditional carols and listening to readings taken from the bible.
A poignant moment gripped the large crowd when the The memory of the First World War Christmas Truce was evoked with the playing of the Christmas carol, Silent Night, by Trevor Workman on the Bournville Carillon, as part of a world wide concert to celebrate the Christmas truce between German and British Soldiers in 1914.

Christmas Eve; the Bournville Carillon will celebrate the World War 1 Christmas truce.

December 18th, 2014

At the famous Bournville Green ‘Carols on the Green’ service on Christmas Eve, the Bournville Carillon will play the haunting Christmas carol Silent Night as part of a world wide concert to celebrate the Christmas truce between German and British Soldiers in 1914.

The carol was sung jointly in three different languages by German and Allied soldiers during the break in fighting on Christmas Eve in 1914.

Beginning on 24 December in Belgium, the centennial commemoration will start with a performance on the Peace Carillon in Messines – the city which was at the heart of the truce.

So far, Carillonneurs from all over the world are expected to participate in the event which will mark the centenary of the ceasefire, which continued through to Christmas Day.

The performance from Bournville’s Carillon, which is made up of 48 bells, will coincide with the annual ‘Carols on the Green’ service, organised by local churches in conjunction with Bournville Village Council.

The Bournville Carillon.
Click on the image to visit
the Bournville Carillon Facebook page.

Trevor Workman, Carillonneur to Bournville Village Trust, said: “The Christmas Truce of 1914 was an amazing event in history and has been said by historians to have been ‘the most extraordinary celebration of Christmas since the birth of Christ in Bethlehem 2014 years ago.’

“It is a great privilege to be able to participate in this worldwide commemoration as a tribute to those who lost their lives in World War 1.

“It is most fitting that the occasion of our annual ‘Carols on the Green’ should be the platform for this tribute as the vast international crowd will also be able to identify with the commemoration.”

The Bournville Carillon will aim to perform ‘Silent Night’ as close to 6.15pm as possible to coincide with the actual timing of the Christmas truce in 1914.

The Christmas truce was a series of unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front which saw German and British soldiers cross trenches to exchange seasonal greetings.

Troops from both sides entered no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to share food and drink, show one another photographs of their families and play football.
(Text of article courtesy of the Bournville Village Trust)

Geoff Davis, the man who has decorated the Bournville Christmas tree for 49 years, retires.

December 9th, 2014

He has spent the last 49 Christmases decorating one of Birmingham’s most iconic trees. But electrician Geoff Davis has decided to switch off his lighting up duties at the Bournville Christmas tree.

Geoff, a 65 year-old Bournville Village Trust worker, decorated the 60 foot tree with 650 coloured bulbs for the last time on Monday, December 1.

The grandfather-of-two first started to adorn the tree, thought to be the largest in the Midlands, in 1965 when he worked as an apprentice for an electrical firm.

Geoff Davis mounting the lights this year.

And after enduring fog, wind and sometimes show with his team of eight Geoff is happy to hand over his duties to his co-workers – confident the giant tree planted in 1948 to commemorate the 90th birthday of Dame Elizabeth Cadbury, will retain its worldwide reputation.

Geoff, who lives in Selly Oak with his wife, said: “At 16 years old, I never imagined that I’d still be hanging up the lights.

“It takes a team of eight of us nearly a whole day to do and you have to have a head for heights as the crane we use is one of the tallest in Europe.

“It’s a continuous job of securing the lights and dropping the lights so they look good.

“But the star is where it all starts.
“We’ve been using the same one for 55 years.”

Over the years Geoff has received many messages from people telling him how much the tree means to them.

Locals send photos of it to relatives across Britain, Europe and beyond.

Geoff only missed a couple years, due to ill health and a short change of job.

The famous 55 year old star.

And keeping an eye on the tree can prove to be a full time job, with some unexpected surprises.

Geoff said: “About 10 Christmases ago, I got a call from my mum after she had visited from north Wales for a Boxing Day meal.

“When she left she went by Bournville to look at the tree, but the lights had gone out.

“At about 10pm I had a call from north Wales telling me, ‘Geoff, your lights our out on the tree!’”

Steve Fellows, Head of Asset Management at Bournville Village Trust, said: “As well as decorating the Christmas tree, Geoff also hangs lights at the Trust’s nursing home, retirement scheme and the shops on the Village Green, bringing joy to thousands of people.

How the same tree, decorated by Geoff, looked back in 1975.

“He really is the man who lights up Bournville and although he will be sadly missed when he retires next year, we have an excellent team of electricians and apprentices who will carry on the much-loved tradition.”

Dame Elizabeth Cadbury’s husband, George, founded Bournville Village Trust in 1900.

October 12th, 2014

The Rest House

Come and sing at Weoley Hill.

The newly formed Weoley Hill Community Choir is going from strength to strength.
We meet EVERY Friday evening at Weoley Hill Church from 6.45 to 8pm. Tea and coffee are available at 6.30pm. Do come along and give it a try – you will be made most welcome. The only requirement is your enthusiasm!”.

No previous experience is required, and the ability to read music is optional! People of any age are welcome to attend, including children (provided they are accompanied by a responsible adult). Come along and give it a go: you will enjoy it!
For more details contact Don Fripp – Weoley Hill E-News.
Tel: 0121 604 3843 : Mobile: 0792 950 9982.

An illustrated talk on the past, present and future of the Cadbury Barn in Manor Farm Park

September 17th, 2014

George Cadbury's Barn

There will be a talk about the past, present and future of the Cadbury Barn in Manor Farm Park on Wednesday 24th September at 7.45pm for 8pm start. It will be held at the Weoley Hill United Reformed Church on Green Meadow Road in Selly Oak.

Built in 1894, the Cadbury Barn served as a base for the Friends Ambulance Unit during WWII, and played host to some very noisy children’s parties hosted by George and Dame Elizabeth Cadbury!
All are welcome to the talk with no need to book. Come and have your say about what the future use of George Cadbury’s ‘Barn’ should be!

Bring your memories!

A new future for the ‘Cadbury’ barn?

August 28th, 2014

George Cadbury's last home

The Birmingham Conservation Trust is seeking local residents’ help in finding a new future for George Cadbury’s barn.

‘The Barn’ on Manor Farm Park, just off the Bristol Road, is a large wooden building constructed by George Cadbury just after 1884 when Manor farm Park was originally part of his home estate. It was built to help entertain hundreds of inner city children. Each year, literally thousands of children from some of the most deprived areas in Birmingham and the Black Country came to his home for the day to enjoy the fresh air of the countryside, to eat and drink good food and to enjoy George Cadbury’s hospitality.

The interior of the disused Barn.

The Barn, along with much of George Cadbury’s estate was given to the city council back in 1953.
After many years, the building has now fallen into disuse.
However, the Birmingham Conservation Trust are working with the Bournville Village Trust, the Friends of Manor Farm Park, Birmingham City Council and others to find a new and sustainable future for the ‘Cadbury’ barn.

George Cadbury’s last home burns!

July 31st, 2014

George Cadbury's last home

The last home of George Cadbury, Manor House on the Bristol Road South, caught fire on Wednesday and has been left in a serious condition.

To all those who value the history and legacy of George Cadbury this is a shocking occurrence.

The authorities have hinted at arson but the question still remains how could such an historic house have been left over the years to fall into such disrepair and why was it so lightly guarded from probable vandalism and possible arson.

It is hard to imagine the last home of Sir Winston Churchill or Lloyd George or even Joseph Chamberlain being left so vulnerable and neglected.

George Cadbury bought Northfield Manor House in 1890 and the Cadbury family moved there from their home, Woodbrooke, on the Bristol Road in Bournville in 1894. They lived there together until George’s death at the house in 1922. Elizabeth continued to reside there until her own death in 1951.

Northfield Manor House was then bequeathed to the University of Birmingham in 1953 by the Cadbury family.

On acquisition by the University, the property was renamed The Manor House and converted for use from 1958 as a hall of residence. Additional wings have since been added. Its use as a hall of residence ceased in 2007, apparently because of prohibitive costs of bringing the property up to current health and safety standards.
It was then shamefully abandoned by the University allowing it to slowly fall into disrepute.

A planning application had recently been accepted by the City Council to redeveloped the house and its surrounding grounds by Banner Homes Midlands.

Bournville Village Council bids a fond farewell
to Tessa Mitchell

July 30th, 2014

Bournville Village Council bids a fond farewell to Tessa Mitchell

At a recent meeting, members of the Bournville Village Council presented Tessa Mitchell, BVT’s Head of Community Services, with a cut glass engraved bowl as some small token of their huge appreciation for all of her wonderful community work in Bournville over the last eight years.

Tessa, standing centre, is now moving on to new challenges and all members wished her the very best for the future.