Bournville Rugby Club Heritage Documentary

Bournville RFC have come a long way since the club was formed by workers at Cadbury’s chocolate factory but the values and ethos of the founders – community and improving lives – remain unchanged. 

Bournville now compete in National Two West in the fourth tier of the English league structure and play their home games at the impressive Avery Fields complex in Edgbaston, the club’s first permanent home and the base for a wide range of sporting and community activities. 

A film documenting the rugby club’s history and the important role that it continues to play in the local community has been made and can be viewed here

The film has been produced with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund with support from Selly Manor Museum, Mondelez International and Community Group.  

Bournville are grateful to National Lottery Players for their support of the heritage film. 

The film charts the development of Cadbury’s from a single shop grocery store in central Birmingham in 1824 to the development of the factory on farmland at Bournville – which had easy access to the canal and railway networks – in the 1870s. 

George and Richard Cadbury, sons of the company’s founder John, were philanthropic quakers who were committed to improving ethe health and welfare of their workforce through quality housing and recreational facilities. 

“No man ought to be condemned to live in a place where a rose cannot grow,” said George Cadbury. 

The Men’s Recreation Ground, where Bournville RFC played their early matches after the club was formed in 1909, is still in use today as a home for local cricket, football and bowls club’s and remains largely unchanged with its splendid Victorian pavilion in the shadow of the chocolate factory. 

But it was Rowheath, a drop kick away, that was home to Bournville RFC for most of the first 100 years of the club’s existence before rapid progress through the league structure was accompanied by a tenancy at Birmingham University’s Bournbrook ground where facilities were better for players and spectators. 

It was not until 2018, when Avery Fields was officially opened, that Bournville finally had a home to call their own. 

The £4m development on the site of the former Avery Scales sports ground in Sandon Road is in  Edgbaston rather than Bournville but the values and ethos that shaped the club are unchanged. 

Avery Fields has a state-of-the-art artificial pitch which can be used for different sports, two turf pitches and an impressive modern clubhouse that is used for a wide range of sports and community activities as well as providing a home to be proud of for the club’s senior, mini and junior, women’s and walking rugby sections. 

“It not only provides the rugby club with a permanent place to call home but engages support and serves our local communities and businesses,” said Bournville RFC Chairman Darren Clegg. 

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