Bournville makes it snappy

Families invited to add self-portraits to community archive.

When it comes to pictures of Bournville’s past there are thousands of snaps in the archives of the historic chocolate-box village founded by George Cadbury.

Now Bournville Village Trust is inviting current Bournville residents to add to its impressive library of photographs by taking their own self-portraits and sharing their stories.

The project, being run in partnership with Birmingham City University, aims to celebrate Bournville’s unique heritage and community spirit.

The village, created in 1893 at George Cadbury’s own expense, aimed to ease the “cramped living conditions” of the inner city and has since been credited as laying the foundations for garden cities. Now residents of the village will be able to take their own photographs at venues across Bournville from 10th to 14th July, posing any way they like with friends, family or on their own.

A selection of the best images and stories will then go on display, along with rarely seen archives of Bournville, at an exhibition at Selly Manor Museum on 9th September for national Heritage Open Days. The images and stories will also be exhibited at Birmingham City University’s Parkside campus later in the year.

Daniel Callicott, Museum Manager at Selly Manor Museum, said: “We have an amazing collection of images from Bournville’s past, documenting everything from the first homes built for workers at the Cadbury factory to George Cadbury’s memorial.
his project will build on that archive by collecting the photographs and stories of people who live in Bournville and make it the unique place it is today.

“Anyone who lives in the village can come and take part in the project and each will get a copy of their photograph to take away with them. We’re encouraging as many people as possible to get involved and play their part in helping us to create a snapshot of the Bournville community in 2017.”

Brian Homer, the photographer leading the project, said: “I have been running self-portrait projects since 1979 in Handsworth and more recently Timm Sonnenschein from Birmingham City University and I did a project for the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. I’m really excited about this new project as, for the first time, I will be photographing close to home. I live on the Bournville estate, and I’m hoping many friends and neighbours will be taking part.”

Residents can take their photograph on the following days and venues:
10th July St Francis Youth and Community Centre, Sycamore Rd, B30 2AA, 12pm-2pm
11th July Shenley Court Hall, 200 Green Meadow Rd, B29 4ED, 10am-12pm
12th July Bournville Community Hub, Sycamore Rd, B30 2AB, 6pm-8pm
13th July Rowheath Pavilion, Heath Road, B30 1HH, 10am-12pm
14th July Selly Manor Museum Maple Rd, B30 2AE, 3pm-5pm.

As well as taking their own self-portraits at an event, residents can find out about new ways to get involved with the work of the Trust. They will also be invited to update basic details about themselves, like their phone number and email address, as part of the Trust’s Getting to Know You campaign.