Last night we ventured out to the Civic Society again, where the speaker this time was from the Bournville Village Trust, and told a slightly smaller audience about the history and values of this still extant housing association, founded by the Cadbury family in 1900 - not just for their workers, contrary to popular belief (and unlike Saltaire and Port Sunlight) but to provide pleasant, healthy housing to a wide variety of people and give them the opportunity to get out of Birmingham's slums. Bournville - and a couple of newer satellite developments - are still run on the same principles today. What I thought was great was that although no members of the Cadbury family have been involved in Cadbury's chocolate business (now owned by Kraft of course) for years, nine out of the twelve Bournville Village trustees have family connections.
Decent, sustainable housing and the lessons it has offered over the years is surely a far greater legacy than the ever shrinking Creme Egg.
Afterwards we repaired to the Swan for a pint of Directors and a packet of pork scratchings. As usual it was very busy, and we sat at a table with a couple of blokes and got talking to them, and one of them, it transpired, was the new(ish) landlord of the Bridge. We promised him that we would take our guests there next weekend rather than to Wheaton Aston for lunch. We know the Bridge's food is good (and very reasonable); it's just that mooring and winding might be a bit trickier, but I'm sure we shall relish the challenge.
I wish that I knew then what I know now.
2 days ago