A Glass and a Half

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, December 11, 2010

It didn't take long to travel between the Birmingham train station and the Bournville train station. When the train was approaching the Bournville station, a light drifting scent creamy delicious chocolate washes over you.  The whole town has a hint of chocolate in every breath.  Beside the station is the Cadbury confectionary factory.  Cadbury chocolate holds a special place in the hearts (and mouths) of English residents (maybe in same way that Hershey does in the U.S.).

Cadbury created the town of Bournville at their own expense when they outgrew their smaller offices.  They constructed the factory and all the houses of Bournville.  They wanted to make this town as perfect as possible, and cared deeply about the health of their employees.  They built the houses bigger, more modern, and with large gardens to accommodate the workers.  They also built many open spaces and public areas for sport and leisure.  To this day, Bournville is voted one of the best places to live in England.

Cadbury World may be aimed on imprinting Cadbury chocolate into the minds of young children, but there is fun to be had for adults as well.  The first stop was an exhibit called "Essence."  In this exhibit, I was shuffled into a room where holograms of Richard and George Cadbury attempting to create the most perfect chocolate (the answer is a glass and a half of dairy milk).  Anyway, after being shuffled through some other rooms detailing a distorted history, I was able to mix a candy of my choice (wine gums) with warm melted Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.  It didn’t matter if you chose gummy bears, rice crispies, or nuts, it was going to taste good doused in liquid chocolate.

There was an exhibit that explained how Bournville was created, and how much though was placed into creating the “perfect” town.  They put out newspapers and real accounts of people who lived during the Golden Age of Bournville.  All the stories were the same: Rachel met George at the Bournville baseball game and fell in love.  They had children that met their significant at the Bournville sac race.  And so on.  Needless to say, Bournville has been a tight knit community since its inception.

Next was a tour of the factory, which seems to employ a lot less people than it originally did. Most of the work and packaging is done by machines these days.  It was interesting to see huge vats of chocolate stirring followed by chocolate bars flowing down conveyer belts to be wrapped.  While touring the factory, there are several tour guides stationed at different points along the tour to dispense various Cadbury chocolate bars to you in the emergency that you run out of chocolate while on the tour.  There is a museum dedicated to all the various advertisements used throughout the years and the different styles of Cadbury wrappers and packaging.  At the end of the tour, there is an interactive area that has different chocolate themed games to play such as growing your own cocoa plant, stomping holograms of Cadbury Crème Eggs (which I would never do), and pictures of your likeness in chocolate.
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