Famous Fleets: NarrowBoat, Summer 2014

Alan Faulkner

Better known for its chocolate than for it use of narrowboats, Alan Faulkner looks into the fleet of a company that was a great believer in water transport

The world-famous chocolate making business of Cadbury’s was founded by John Cadbury (1802–89) in Bull Street, Birmingham, in 1824. It was taken over by his sons Richard (1832–99) and George (1839–1922) in 1861, and in 1878 they purchased 14 acres of land 4 miles south of Birmingham alongside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal where, a year later, they opened a new factory at what became known as Bournville. Following Richard’s death in 1899 the business was incorporated to become Cadbury Brothers Ltd. The new company had four managing directors, all being sons of either Richard or George, and each having charge of specific departments. Amongst them was George’s second son, George Cadbury Jnr, who was heavily involved in the research side of the business and in its transport activities. He had been born in Edgbaston on 7th April 1879 and had entered the business in 1898. Cadbury’s had used water transport at its new factory probably from whe…

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