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Bournville / Bournville Athletic

 



London Harrier
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Jul 24, 2017, 3:56 PM

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Bournville / Bournville Athletic Can't Post or Reply Privately


I’m trying to piece together the early history of the Bournville Athletic club. Here is what I know so far:


· The earliest match report I can find for Bournville FC is 1889 (Coventry Times)
· A Bournville FC appear in the Birmingham Junior League (?) Tables from around 1892 (see this thread: http://www.nonleaguematters.co.uk/forum/gforum.cgi?post=706008;search_string=%26quot%3BBournville%20Athletic%26quot%3B;guest=182379593#706008)
· Bournville Athletic appear in the Junior League tables for 1897/88. This ties in in with the creation of the Bournville Athletic Club in 1897 by the Cadbury Factory to oversee all men’s team sports.
· The Athletic club played at the recently completed Men’s Recreation Ground at the Bournville factory.
· An newspaper article in 1914 makes reference to Bournville FC

Questions

1. Who were ‘Bournville FC’? A factory side? Another local side?
2. Where did they play?
3. Were Bournville FC and Bournville Athletic the same club?
4. What league(s) did Bournville Athletic play in? FCHD lists from 1948 http://www.fchd.info/BOURNEVA.HTM
5. Were they the team of the Cadbury Factory up until they folded in 1987? Or just a random local side?

Any help appreciated.


(This post was edited by London Harrier on Jul 24, 2017, 3:57 PM)


GRIFFON
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Jul 24, 2017, 4:54 PM

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Re: [London Harrier] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

This was an article I wrote some years ago which may or not be of any use to you. They have a/some bound volumes of programmes from early years in Birmingham Library I understand but I am not sure of the years.


The present Cadbury Athletic were founded in 1994 but before that the Company Football Club was Bournville Athletic Club which boasted a foundation date of 1896. The wonderful Men’s Recreation Ground which was home to both clubs is over one hundred and ten years old with a stunning pavilion dating from June 1902 and terracing from 1928, built to cope with the impressive crowds at the time.
From their early beginnings to when they finished in 1987 Bournville were strictly an amateur club although several attempts were made to embrace professionalism over the years but the Quaker owners of the company were not for moving! There had been a club of that name previously which had been a founder-member of the Birmingham Junior League in 1892 and it was to that competition that the new club turned. Success came swiftly and between 1897 and 1903 the championship was annexed for six consecutive seasons, a record for the league which in 1908 became the Birmingham Combination.
The Chocolate Men were faithful to the Birmingham Combination until 1939 but during the thirties especially were often the ‘whipping boys’ and usually were to be found near the bottom of the final league table. When they did leave it was war-time but the club continued during those dark days in the local Kings Norton League and as peace returned they lost an F.A. Cup tie 8-1 in 1945-46 in front of over four thousand at Manor Park against Nuneaton Borough who were afterwards thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player! It did them little good for they lost 5-2 to Shrewsbury Town in the next round! Bournville next enjoyed two seasons in the Central Amateur League before joining the Worcestershire (Midland) Combination in 1948.
The club struggled during their first season in the Combination but got their act together in the second and finished as champions, five points ahead of the previous winners, Jack Moulds Athletic. That 1949-50 season proved to be the highlight of their long stay in the Combination and in 1964 they slipped down to the lower division. Still the team struggled and except for a couple of years in the early seventies the club could usually be found in the lower reaches of the league. In season 1984-85 the club finished rock-bottom and were relegated to Division Three, all ties to the factory had now been cut and the club now known simply as Bournville had two mediocre seasons before folding.


pitch 63
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Jul 24, 2017, 4:55 PM

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Re: [London Harrier] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Bournville Athletic's 1st XI's record pre-WWII was -

1892-93 to 1907-08 Birmingham & District Junior League
1908-09 to 1938-39 Birmingham Combination

In 1908 the Birmingham & District Junior League was renamed the Birmingham Combination.

Their lower teams, and I know of four lower teams, have been scattered amongst a long list of lesser Birmingham area leagues.


London Harrier
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Jul 24, 2017, 5:17 PM

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In Reply To
This was an article I wrote some years ago which may or not be of any use to you. They have a/some bound volumes of programmes from early years in Birmingham Library I understand but I am not sure of the years.


The present Cadbury Athletic were founded in 1994 but before that the Company Football Club was Bournville Athletic Club which boasted a foundation date of 1896. The wonderful Men’s Recreation Ground which was home to both clubs is over one hundred and ten years old with a stunning pavilion dating from June 1902 and terracing from 1928, built to cope with the impressive crowds at the time.
From their early beginnings to when they finished in 1987 Bournville were strictly an amateur club although several attempts were made to embrace professionalism over the years but the Quaker owners of the company were not for moving! There had been a club of that name previously which had been a founder-member of the Birmingham Junior League in 1892 and it was to that competition that the new club turned. Success came swiftly and between 1897 and 1903 the championship was annexed for six consecutive seasons, a record for the league which in 1908 became the Birmingham Combination.
The Chocolate Men were faithful to the Birmingham Combination until 1939 but during the thirties especially were often the ‘whipping boys’ and usually were to be found near the bottom of the final league table. When they did leave it was war-time but the club continued during those dark days in the local Kings Norton League and as peace returned they lost an F.A. Cup tie 8-1 in 1945-46 in front of over four thousand at Manor Park against Nuneaton Borough who were afterwards thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player! It did them little good for they lost 5-2 to Shrewsbury Town in the next round! Bournville next enjoyed two seasons in the Central Amateur League before joining the Worcestershire (Midland) Combination in 1948.
The club struggled during their first season in the Combination but got their act together in the second and finished as champions, five points ahead of the previous winners, Jack Moulds Athletic. That 1949-50 season proved to be the highlight of their long stay in the Combination and in 1964 they slipped down to the lower division. Still the team struggled and except for a couple of years in the early seventies the club could usually be found in the lower reaches of the league. In season 1984-85 the club finished rock-bottom and were relegated to Division Three, all ties to the factory had now been cut and the club now known simply as Bournville had two mediocre seasons before folding.


This is excellent.

One wonders who the original Bournville FC were? 'Bournville' as it is known today only came into existence because of the factory in 1879. And until about 1895, it was a remote rural area with very few homes. The natural conclusion is that it must have been something to do with the factory. Maybe it was an informal offshoot?


NeilH
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Jul 24, 2017, 6:11 PM

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Re: [London Harrier] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I can add a few bits:

Bourneville Athletic were elected to the Central Amateur League for season 1939-40 (source Northampton Mercury 28th July 1939)

Birmingham County FA handbook from 1958-59 gives Bourneville (no mention of Athletic) as winners of the Birmingham Junior Cup in 1901, 1902 & 1903 and runners-up in 1900. Bourneville Athletic listed as runners-up in 1909.

1948-49 Newservice Amateur Football Handbook gives some info about Bourneville Athletic: Founded 1896; President at the time Mr LJ Cadbury; Secretary Mr JH Herbert, BAC Office, Cadbury Bros. Ltd, Bourneville, Birmingham; Colours - Chocolate & Blue Quarters, Old Gold Collars.

Hope that helps a little bit.


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Jul 24, 2017, 6:11 PM

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In Reply To
Bournville Athletic's 1st XI's record pre-WWII was -

1892-93 to 1907-08 Birmingham & District Junior League
1908-09 to 1938-39 Birmingham Combination

In 1908 the Birmingham & District Junior League was renamed the Birmingham Combination.

Their lower teams, and I know of four lower teams, have been scattered amongst a long list of lesser Birmingham area leagues.


Thanks very much.


London Harrier
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Jul 24, 2017, 6:21 PM

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Re: [NeilH] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
I can add a few bits:

Bourneville Athletic were elected to the Central Amateur League for season 1939-40 (source Northampton Mercury 28th July 1939)

Birmingham County FA handbook from 1958-59 gives Bourneville (no mention of Athletic) as winners of the Birmingham Junior Cup in 1901, 1902 & 1903 and runners-up in 1900. Bourneville Athletic listed as runners-up in 1909.

1948-49 Newservice Amateur Football Handbook gives some info about Bourneville Athletic: Founded 1896; President at the time Mr LJ Cadbury; Secretary Mr JH Herbert, BAC Office, Cadbury Bros. Ltd, Bourneville, Birmingham; Colours - Chocolate & Blue Quarters, Old Gold Collars.

Hope that helps a little bit.


Very interesting.

Again, it does perhaps suggest there were two parallel teams. However, reporting at the time could be very sloppy. I've seen many examples of newspapers mising off a club suffix when reporting.


GRIFFON
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Jul 25, 2017, 11:55 AM

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Re: [NeilH] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

According to Barton the Central Amateur League did not operate from 1939 to 1946.
Just been sent this which comes from a booklet produced by Cadbury in 1946 and throws more light on the founding year -
On May 13th 1896, 250 members voted to dissolve the Bournville Cricket and Football clubs which dated from 1883 and to form a new club named Bournville Athletic Club, this was for men only. The Bournville Girls Club was formed in 1899.


A.G.Ricer
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Aug 8, 2017, 12:26 PM

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Re: [GRIFFON] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

To add a little to this Bournville Athletic's record in The Central Amateur League :
1946/7
P20 W 10 D 3 L 7 F 73 A 50 Pts 23
Finished 6th of 11
1947/8
P20 W 8 D2 L 10 A 38 Pts 18
Finished 7th of 11


RussWWFC
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Sep 27, 2019, 10:29 AM

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Post #10 of 13 (1215 views)
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Re: [A.G.Ricer] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thanks for this info people, I've been trying to find a history of the Bournville Rec as I am due to visit tomorrow - here's what I have so far.

A HISTORY OF FOOTBALL AT BOURNVILLE REC

The Bournville Recreation Ground was laid out in 1896, with the pavillion building, originally built for cricket, was opened in 1902. Hockey and bowls have also been played here. The complex was part of the 'model village' built by the owners of the Cadbury company who had moved there a few years earlier. Back when companies treated their employees with respect, the village was built and originally included 313 cottages were erected to alleviate the cramped living conditions of the workers at the factory. Comprehensive sporting facilities were also made to improve the health and fitness of the employees. The name of the village take it's name from the nearby River Bourn and has a population of 25,938. As George Cadbury was a temperance quaker, no pubs were ever built in the village. The Cadbury Bournville chocolate bar takes it's name from the area.

The first football team to play at the venue was Bourneville Athletic, formed in 1896. They competed in the Birmingham & District League which was renamed the Birmingham Combination until 1939 when World War 2 broke out. They generally struggled here due to them not paying their players compared to the rest of the side in the league. When hostilities ceased, the club would join the Central Amatuer League for a couple of seasons, with two mid-table finishes. They'd join the Worcestershire Combination (Later renamed the Midland Combination) in 1948, winning the title in 1950. The league split into two tiers in 1961 and by now the club were struggling, getting relegated to the second tier in 1964. The poor form continued, a highlight being a 9th place finish in 1983. Howeer, the side were relegated to third-tier in 1985 and folded a couple of years later. The club's debut season in the FA Cup saw a remarkable run to the 4th Qualifying Round in 1945. Tamworth and Moor Green were beaten prior to an 8-1 defeat at Nuneaton Borough in the 3rd Qualifying Round in front of 4,000. However, Nuneaton were disqualified and Cadbury would go on to lose 6-2 at Shrewsbury Town who were at the time five years away from joining the Football League.

Cadbury Athletic FC was formed in 1994. They joined the Midland Combination upon formation, starting out in Division 3. A 9th place finish in their first season was good enough for promotion to Division 2. A series of mid-table finishes followed until 2001 when 4th place was good enough to go up to Division 1. Despite finding the first couple of seasons being a struggle, Cadbury Athletic soon improved and in 2005 a runners-up spot behind Atherstone Town saw the club promoted to the step 6 Premier Division. This meant that a groundshare was needed, with the club playing at Pilkington XXX and then Alvechurch. They'd return 'home' for a couple of seasons between 2012 and 2014 before returning to the Triplex Sports Ground. Their reserve side has played at the venue since t least 2015 when they joined Division 4 of the Midland League, the highlight coming in 2017 when they finished in 3rd place.



Visit my Blog - The Wycombe Wanderer
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GRIFFON
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Sep 27, 2019, 11:55 AM

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Re: [RussWWFC] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Seems good to me. To be precise the 'Rec' is The Men's Recreation Ground with the Girl's Ground on the opposite side of the lane, ok it is not PC today perhaps but it is what it is.
The First Team programme this season only gives upcoming Reserve side fixtures and little else about them, not even the fact that they play at Bournville but there again there is no editorial to welcome their visitors either.


GRIFFON
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Sep 27, 2019, 12:04 PM

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Re: [GRIFFON] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

This is a poster from this year -

Date: Saturday 29th June 2019
Time: 1:00pm - 10:30pm
Location: Cadbury Men's Recreation Grounds on Linden Road & Bournville Lane.

We've got a samba band, the traditional Bournville maypole, side stalls, a funfair, bmx bikers, the craft tent and much more including a firework display to close the event.


aiwa
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Oct 3, 2019, 8:36 PM

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Re: [RussWWFC] Bournville / Bournville Athletic [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Correction re the B'ham Comb - this was originally the Birmingham Junior League (founded 1892) before changing name to the BC in 1908 (as per post #2 above). The B'ham & District Lge was always a separate and more senior competition.

(This post was edited by aiwa on Oct 3, 2019, 8:39 PM)

 
 


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