Cadbury chocolate in Birmingham

Pre-intermediate / Intermediate level reading text

Cadbury's as we know it today started from small beginnings in Bull Street, Birmingham. A shop was opened by John Cadbury in 1824. It did not start as a confectionery shop but sold tea and coffee and home made drinking chocolate or cocoa which he made himself for his customers.

In those days cocoa and chocolate was a luxury and affordable by only the wealthy. John's experiments with chocolate and a strong marketing campaign soon made him a leading trader in Birmingham. The shop did very well and became more and more popular.

John Cadbury moved into the manufacturing of drinking chocolate and cocoa. By the early 1840's Cadbury operated from a factory in Bridge Street. The chocolate industry was given a boost in the 1850's when the government reduced the high import taxes on cocoa. Chocolate was now within reach of the masses. Cadbury's was given a Royal Warrant in 1854 as manufacturers of chocolate for Queen Victoria.

After such a successful start the business fell upon hard times. John Cadbury's sons Richard and George struggled with the business after their father retired in 1861. However, new processes and new products helped the business improve. By the turn of the decade they were able to move from the Bridge Street factory to what is now Bournville.

Activity 1

Questions to think about

  • What do you know about Cadbury's chocolate?
  • Have you heard of Bournville?
  • What do you know about Bournville?
Activity 2

Find a word or phrase in the passage that means the same as:

  1. something special and probably a bit expensive (a luxury)
  2. the general, working population (the masses)
  3. tried hard (struggled)
  4. a difficult period in someone's life or perhaps the development of a company (hard times)
  5. like a 'push' that is helpful and leads to an improvement (a boost)
  6. small, simple, plain, ordinary (humble)
  7. someone or something attractive to many people (popular)
Activity 3

What happened on the following dates:

  • 1824
  • in the 1840's
  • in the 1850's
  • 1854
  • 1861
Activity 4

Put the following paragraphs into the correct order.

In those days cocoa and chocolate was a luxury and affordable by only the wealthy. John's experiments with chocolate and a strong marketing campaign soon made him a leading trader in Birmingham. The shop did very well and became more and more popular.

After such a successful start the business fell upon hard times. John Cadbury's sons Richard and George struggled with the business after their father retired in 1861. However, new processes and new products helped the business improve. By the turn of the decade they were able to move from the Bridge Street factory to what is now Bournville.

John Cadbury moved into the manufacturing of drinking chocolate and cocoa. By the early 1840's Cadbury operated from a factory in Bridge Street. The chocolate industry was given a boost in the 1850's when the government reduced the high import taxes on cocoa. Chocolate was now within reach of the masses. Cadbury's was given a Royal Warrant in 1854 as manufacturers of chocolate for Queen Victoria.

Cadbury's as we know it today started from humble beginnings in Bull Street, Birmingham. A shop was opened by John Cadbury in 1824. It did not start as a confectionery shop but sold tea and coffee and home made drinking chocolate or cocoa which he made himself for his customers.

Activity 5

Put the sentences in each paragraph into the correct order

A shop was opened by John Cadbury in 1824. Cadbury's as we know it today started from humble beginnings in Bull Street, Birmingham. It did not start as a confectionery shop but sold tea and coffee and home made drinking chocolate or cocoa which he made himself for his customers.

The shop did very well and became more and more popular. In those days cocoa and chocolate was a luxury and affordable by only the wealthy. John's experiments with chocolate and a strong marketing campaign soon made him a leading trader in Birmingham.

Cadbury's was given a Royal Warrant in 1854 as manufacturers of chocolate for Queen Victoria. By the early 1840's Cadbury operated from a factory in Bridge Street. The chocolate industry was given a boost in the 1850's when the government reduced the high import taxes on cocoa. John Cadbury moved into the manufacturing of drinking chocolate and cocoa. Chocolate was now within reach of the masses.

However, new processes and new products helped the business improve. By the turn of the decade they were able to move from the Bridge Street factory to what is now Bournville. After such a successful start the business fell upon hard times. John Cadbury's sons Richard and George struggled with the business after their father retired in 1861.

Activity 7 - writing task

Complete the passage replacing the infinitive with the correct form.

Cadbury's as we know it today ............ (start) from humble beginnings in Bull Street, Birmingham. A shop .................. (be opened) by John Cadbury in 1824. It ............... (do) not start as a confectionery shop but .................. (sell) tea and coffee and home made drinking chocolate or cocoa which he made himself for his customers.

In those days cocoa and chocolate ............... (be) a luxury and affordable by only the wealthy. John's experiments with chocolate and a strong marketing campaign soon ............... (make) him a leading trader in Birmingham. The shop ......... (do) very well and ............ (become) more and more popular.

John Cadbury ............... (move) into the manufacturing of drinking chocolate and cocoa. By the early 1840s Cadbury ............... (operate) from a factory in Bridge Street. The chocolate industry ............ (be given) a boost in the 1850s when the government .................. (reduce) the high import taxes on cocoa. Chocolate .................. (be) now within reach of the masses. Cadbury's ............... (be given) a Royal Warrant in 1854 as manufacturers of chocolate for Queen Victoria.

After such a successful start, the business ............... (fall) upon hard times. John Cadbury's sons Richard and George .................. (struggle) with the business after their father ............... (retire) in 1861. However, new processes and new products .................. (help) the business improve. By the turn of the decade they ............... (be able to) move from the Bridge Street factory to what is now Bournville.

Activity 8

Read the passage again and find the places where 'passive' verb forms are used. Rewrite the sentences as active sentences. Think about why they were passive in the first place?


 

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