Object of the Month - May 2018
There is lots of talk of the Royal family at the moment with the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle so we thought we would join in too.
In the Selly Manor Museum archive we have a comprehensive collection of Bournville Works Magazines which date from 1902 - 1968. They tell the stories of the people and events that shaped life at the Cadbury factory in Bournville and offer a fascinating insight into life at the time. As part of this collection, special commemorative versions of the magazine were produced to mark important occasions and a small booklet 'Royal Visits to Bournville' was produced in 1939.
The Royal family visited Bournville three times - in 1919, 1929 and 1939. On each occasion a huge effort was made to welcome them and show off the very best of the factory in a garden. The first visit was by King George V and Queen Mary on 21st May 1919. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham presented George and Elizabeth Cadbury to their majesties and large crowds of Cadbury employees gathered to greet them. In March 1929 the Duke of Kent (later to become King George VI) made a tour of the factory in his role as President of the Industrial Welfare Society.
On 1st March 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took part of in a programme of events in Birmingham, and as part of this toured Bournville. They were greeted by thousands of people on a sunny day with blue skies. They drove into Bournville in an open top car, having previously officially opened the new and nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital. School children waved union flags, overall clad employees cheered and held their white hankerchiefs aloft and the Carillon rang out its bells across the village.
The King and Queen were met by Edward Cadbury, Chairman of Cadbury Brothers and the other directors, as well as the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain - who himself had grown up just a couple of miles away. As it was nearly Easter, a special presentation of chocolate Easter eggs was made for Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
Below left: L to R the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, King George V, Queen Mary and George Cadbury in 1919.
Below right: The Royal Procession crossing the Men's Recreation Ground in 1939.