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Published: October 19th 2018
Woolly says – Burpdays seem to be coming around quickly this year which means mine is now on the horizon and there is only Zoe’s left to celebrate before the most important one of the years arrives. The proceeding week had been one of discussion on what the weekend would hold and having discounted bingo and the cinema I thought that my suggestion was the best, well what’s not to like about chocolate!
Hmmmm sticky paws and over indulgence of my small furry friend spring to mind! Woolly says – As if! It’s hard to believe that one of the world’s most famous chocolate manufacturers in a mere stones throw away and yet I have never visited the site, Jo and Zoe have both been previously one as a school visit and the other as a Brownie so quite a few centuries ago. Feeling there was a need to refresh their memories I prepared a brief introduction for the journey.
I’m not sure that forty minutes could be classed as brief but we let him continue in the hope that he would run out of steam by the
time we had arrived. Woolly says - Cadbury, formerly Cadbury's and Cadbury Schweppes, is a British multinational confectionery company wholly owned by Mondelez International (originally Kraft Foods) since 2010. It is the second-largest confectionery brand in the world after Mars, which is another favourite snack of mine. Established in Birmingham in 1824, by John Cadbury who sold tea, coffee and drinking chocolate, the business really started to develop when his brother Benjamin joined, followed by his sons Richard and George. The Dairy Milk bar was introduced in 1905 and quickly became a world seller. Granted its first Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria in 1854, the company still hold a warrant to this day. Hopping out of the car the smell of melting chocolate wafted along my trunk as my tummy rumbled in anticipation. The queue to enter was long and as our tickets were for a set time and we had arrived slightly early it seemed like a good idea to pass the time by indulging in a chocolatey snack.
One huge slice of cake and half a pack of wet wipes later we finally entered. Woolly
says – As our e ticket was scanned the nice lady handed over our first freebies which Jo quickly popped into her bag, giving me one of those looks that conveyed that I was going to be rationed throughout our visit, so mean. The first area led us into a dark tropical forest setting where the Inca’s lived, the information boards told us how the cocoa bean had been discovered and used as a drink with an added dash of chilli before Montezuma found the source for himself and returned to the courts of Spain to provide the Spanish with a new delight. Leaving the rain forest behind we entered a Victorian street lined with shops that John Cadbury had created as soon as the chocolatey treat had arrived in the UK, his face was beamed across the room along with his sons to tell the story of how their Quaker empire had started, it was brilliantly done and had the added bonus of acquiring some more free samples, before Jo could notice I happily tucked in.
I wiped him down again and kept my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t start feeling sick from an
overload of the sweet delights. Woolly says – We found ourselves in a cinema which gave us details of how the beans are harvested, baked and finally made into the luscious delight of liquid chocolate, it was most entertaining especially as the audience was shaken and baked at the same time as the beans. As the doors opened and we moved into the next section we could watch videos’ of how Roses, Crème Eggs and Chocolate buttons are made, following the corridors round we passed walls decorated with facts and further history of the products that they produced before finding ourselves in a large room where we could try our paws at tempering the sticky liqud mess, it was a lot harder than it looked and having looked down at my paws it appeared that I had managed to gain quite a lot of liquid chocolate on my lower body parts.
With the wet wipes running low, I used the handy sink to try and clean him up, it was a long and sticky job. Woolly says – I tried to help by licking of the mess but that
seemed to make it worse! Finally, once Jo was satisfied with my level of chocolatiness we joined a line that would take us through the land of chuckle beans, were we saw them at work and play, it was splendid and although for children, in reality the adults in the party enjoyed it a lot. Things got even better as we entered the next area and were handed tubs of chocolate to consume as we watched demonstrations of moulding and decorating, having slurped mine down I didn’t dare admit to Jo that I wasn’t feeling to well, knowing that I would get short change on the sympathy front. Next came an exhibit that provided us with the opportunity to see the advertising that had been used over the years both as posters and in video format, Jo happily pointed out TV adverts she remembered from childhood as we wandered through. We finally arrived in the shop and rather than doing our usual quick march through and out of the door routine we wandered around choosing some further delights to take back with us, I managed a good haul of treats that should keep me going for the rest of the
day, my tummy gave a groan and a queasy feeling settled over my body at the thought of more chocolate but I’m sure they will keep.
The smell of chocolate was starting to make us all feel slightly sickly but with only one area left to visit it seemed a shame to stop. Woolly says – The 4D cinema wasn’t perhaps the best place to go when your innards were churning and as the film took us on a roller coaster ride to save the mini eggs I felt my complexion turning a sickly green which didn’t contrast well with the chocolate coat that I now seemed to be wearing. It was wonderful to head into fresh air and leave the sweet smells behind and rather than try and repark the car we set off on foot to have a look at the village of Bournville. George Cadbury had developed the Bournville estate, a model village designed to give the company's workers improved living conditions in the same vein as Port Sunlight which we had visited preiously, &&&&&&&&&. The Cadburys named the area 'Bournville' after a local river named ‘The Bourn’ with
'ville' being French for 'town'. Loyal and hard-working workers were treated with great respect and relatively high wages and good working conditions, Cadbury also pioneered pension schemes, joint works committees and a full staff medical service. The central green was shady with a lovely circular building at it’s centre, the Carillion had once housed huge bells but now made a small and very quaint gift and tourist information shop. The shops sported a Tudor look while the primary school had the most impressive of towers where the large bells (once rung in the Carillion) now sat quietly.
It was a lovely village although without the same appeal as Port Sunlight with its varying architecture. Woolly says – As the heavens opened we raced back to the car and it’s warm and dry interior and set off back to our base, my tummy gave out a small growl and without Jo noticing I tucked into the immense bar of chocolate that I seemed to be sat on, time to get sticky again!
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