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Free heritage open day is back and bigger than ever

A heritage open day, which will see beautiful historic gems in a Birmingham village, throw open their doors for free for a day, is back and bigger than ever.

The Bournville Heritage Open Day event, which last year welcomed over 2,500 people, will take place on Saturday 14th September from 10am-4pm.

A total of 15 venues, including four new ones, will all be open to the public to tell the wonderful story of the Cadbury family and Bournville’s founder George.

The event will be one of 5,000 taking place across England as part of the national Heritage Open Days Festival, which celebrates the country’s rich history and culture.

Daniel Callicott, Manager of Selly Manor Museum – one of the venues taking part – said: “This will be the third year Bournville has taken part in the Heritage Open Day Festival and we are really pleased to add four new venues to the day for visitors to explore.

“Many of the venues are not normally open to the public and will be putting on special exhibitions, interesting tours and hands-on activities so there will be plenty for all ages to enjoy and take part in.

“It is a great opportunity to see history come to life and learn about the lasting legacy of one of Birmingham’s most famous entrepreneurs and the Cadbury family.”

Bournville Heritage Open Day has been organised by Selly Manor Museum and Bournville Village Trust, which were both founded by George Cadbury.

Venues that are opening for the event will include the Bournville Experience visitor centre which brings the history of the village to life and includes the ‘Sweet Delights shop’ which exhibits Cadbury chocolates past and present.

Bournville Model Boat Club, founded in the early 1900’s, will also greet visitors at the pool at Valley Parkway where they will have a number of boats available for visitors to sail.

Selly Manor Museum will take part in the event for the third year in a row, opening its doors for free with dressing up, games, a family trail and exhibition all on offer.

Other buildings that will join in the Bournville Heritage Open Day 2019 include:

  • Bournville Primary School – opened by George Cadbury and his second wife Dame Elizabeth, the school features Bournville-inspired frescoes painted in 1914
  • St Francis Church – completed in 1925, George ensured land was set aside for this Anglican church despite being a Quaker himself
  • Quaker Meeting House – built in 1905, there is a bust of George Cadbury here where his ashes, and those of Dame Elizabeth, are buried.
  • Woodbrooke College – the Quaker study centre was founded in 1903 by George Cadbury and is Europe’s only centre of this type. Features beautiful grounds.
  • Rest House – paid for by employees of Cadbury, this building marks the silver wedding anniversary of George and Elizabeth in 1913.
  • The Church of the Holy Prince Lazar – highly decorative, the church was built for political refugees from Yugoslavia after World War II. Dame Elizabeth sponsored thirteen Serbian refugee children during World War I.
  • Fircroft College – a former home of George Cadbury’s son, George Cadbury Junior, which is now a college.
  • The Carillon – one of the only two working carillons in Britain and inspired by a trip George Cadbury took to Belgium.
  • Bournville Almshouses – retirement homes built in 1898 for George’s brother Richard Cadbury.
  • Rowheath Pavilion – built in 1924 as a sports and social centre for Cadbury factory workers.
  • The Beeches Hotel and Conference Centre – built in the early 1900s by the Cadbury family, formerly The Beeches College.
  • The Bournville Society and Bournville Works Housing Society – an exhibition of photographs from various archives titled The Sweet Life in Bournville.

An event map for visitors to download is available by going to the Bournville Heritage Open Day page of this website.

For information about the national festival, please visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk


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