Bournville Village Trust

(Pre-intermediate / intermediate.)

If used with pre-intermediate students, the paragraphs could be dealt with in pairs rather than presenting the students with a long passage of text.

The Cadbury family manufactured high-quality chocolate, but this was not their only ambition. They were also a family who wanted to improve the lives of the people who worked for the company. George Cadbury was the eldest of John Cadbury's sons. He was born in 1839 and he was very busy in the manufacture of chocolate for the whole of his life. However, he was more than just the owner of a chocolate factory. He was also a man who believed in justice, equality and the importance of good working conditions.

In 1879, George made an important decision. He had seen many workers in Birmingham living in very poor conditions without clean water and good houses. He did not want the men and women in his factory to live like that. He decided to move the factory from the centre of Birmingham to a new site several miles south of the city. In 1900, he founded the Bournville Village Trust on the edge of the city of Birmingham. His aim was to provide good quality housing in a natural green environment for all of the people who worked at the Cadbury chocolate factory. It was one of the very first attempts to design a model village where all of the workers could live happily.

The new housing estate was carefully planned and was designed to continue so that the children of the workers could have comfortable homes. George Cadbury did not accept the general view at that time that workers could be mistreated and poorly paid. He showed that when workers are provided with a fair salary and good living conditions, they enjoy their jobs and help to build a fairer and more peaceful society.

When they built the Bournville factory in 1879, they built 16 houses for senior employees. In 1895, George Cadbury bought an additional 120 acres and began to build more houses in the garden city. He sought to provide affordable housing for wage earners in a healthy environment. The community was not limited to Cadbury workers, and was designed to be mixed in both class and occupation. Cottages were grouped and set back from tree-lined roads. Each plot had space for gardens, and building was restricted so the gardens were not overshadowed. In 1897, Richard Cadbury built a quadrangle of houses for pensioners.

To preserve the character of the Bournville Village for future generations, George Cadbury founded the Bournville Village Trust in 1900. The Trust was always separate from the company. Several Cadbury family members are still trustees today. The Trust continues to follow the original principles, including the preservation of parks and open spaces. The Trust has established 12 different kinds of special-needs housing, diversifying the population even more than in the early days. Self-build co-partnerships, where members do the work themselves under expert direction, built 400 homes.

Today, the Bournville Village is still there, and it still follows the principles of George Cadbury. The houses still look attractive and well designed. They are well maintained and clean. The area has no pubs and gives the visitor a feeling of quiet confidence and peace. Many people in the area still work at the Cadbury factory. Even today, the Bournville Village is seen as being an important step forward in social change in Britain.

Activity 1

List the improvements that George Cadbury wanted to bring to his workers' lives.

Re-ordering the paragraphs - read the passage quickly and then re-order the paragraphs correctly. If possible, compare with your partners' work and discuss.

Words and meaning: find words in the passage that mean the opposite to these words or expressions:

  • working people (pensioners)
  • insecurity (confidence)
  • destruction (preservation)
  • standardising / making more similar in nature (diversifying)
  • injustice (justice)
  • badly looked after (well maintained)
  • warlike (peaceful)
  • unobtainable / too expensive (affordable)
  • inequality (equality)
  • poorly constructed buildings (good quality housing)
  • natural (unnatural)
  • treated well (mistreated)
  • in sunlight (overshadowed)
  • unlimited (restricted)
  • to destroy (to preserve)
Changing the meaning of words

Preferably working with a partner think about how many different prefixes there are, and give examples. For example: happy/unhappy.

Possible suggestions:

  • un- (unhappy)
  • in- (inexhaustible)
  • a- (amoral)
  • dis- (dislike)
  • im- (improper)
  • de- (decontamination)
  • re- (reconstruction)
  • im- (impossible)
  • post- (postwar)

also:

  • downsize, downturn, downtrodden
  • endanger, enslave, enrich
  • extraordinary, extra-curricular, extravagant
  • handbag, handkerchief, hand-held
  • illegitimate, illegible, illiterate
  • lowlife, low-grade, low-level
  • midnight, mid-term, mid-life
  • misunderstood, misjudge, misplace
  • newsworthy, newspaper, newsagent
  • off-shoot, off-hand, off-colour
  • outside, outrun, outclass

Plus there are quite a few others!

After pair work, let them make their suggestions and list them on the board. When the students have suggested as many as they can, add others that they have not mentioned. Tell the students to think of other words for each type (5 minutes) and then list these also on the board.

Writing practice

In the passage below, the adjectives have been removed and listed underneath; can you replace them correctly? You can work individually and then compare their work with another student.

The Cadbury family manufactured ............ chocolate, but this was not their only ambition. They were also a family who wanted to improve the lives of the people who worked for the company. George Cadbury was the eldest of John Cadbury's sons. He was born in 1839 and he was very busy in the manufacture of chocolate for the whole of his ......... life. However, he was more than just the owner of a ......... factory. He was also a man who believed in justice, equality and the importance of good working conditions.

In 1879, George made an ......... decision. He had seen many workers in Birmingham living in very ......... conditions without ......... water and good houses. He did not want the men and women in his factory to live like that. He decided to move the factory from the centre of Birmingham to a ......... site several miles south of the city. In 1900, he founded the Bournville Village Trust on the edge of the city of Birmingham. His aim was to provide good quality housing in a ......... green environment for all of the people who worked at the Cadbury chocolate factory. It was one of the very ......... attempts to design a ......... village where all of the workers could live happily.

The new housing estate was carefully planned and was designed to continue so that the children of the workers could have ............ homes. George Cadbury did not accept the ........ view at that time that workers could be mistreated and poorly paid. He showed that when workers are provided with a ......... salary and good living conditions, they enjoy their jobs and help to build a fairer and more ........ society. When they built the Bournville factory in 1879, they built 16 houses for ........ employees. In 1895, George Cadbury bought an additional 120 acres and began to build more houses in the garden city. He sought to provide ........ housing for ........ earners in a healthy environment. The community was not limited to Cadbury workers, and was designed to be mixed in both class and occupation. Cottages were grouped and set back from ........ roads. Each plot had space for gardens, and building was restricted so the gardens were not overshadowed. In 1897, Richard Cadbury built a quadrangle of houses for pensioners.

To preserve the character of the Bournville Village for future generations, George Cadbury founded the Bournville Village Trust in 1900. The Trust was always separate from the company. Several Cadbury family members are still trustees today. The Trust continues to follow the ............ principles, including the preservation of parks and ............ spaces. The Trust has established 12 different kinds of ........ housing, diversifying the population even more than in the early days. Self-build co-partnerships, where members do the work themselves under ............ direction, built 400 homes.

Today, the Bournville Village is still there, and it still follows the principles of George Cadbury. The houses still look attractive and well designed. They are well maintained and clean. The area has no pubs and gives the visitor a feeling of ............ confidence and peace. Many people in the area still work at the Cadbury factory. Even today, the Bournville Village is seen as being an ............ step forward in ............ change in Britain.

  • affordable
  • model
  • important
  • new
  • high-quality
  • tree-lined
  • peaceful
  • social
  • comfortable
  • first
  • important
  • clean
  • general
  • open
  • natural
  • chocolate
  • eventful
  • poor
  • fair
  • senior
  • wage
  • original
  • special-needs
  • expert
  • quiet

 

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