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Cadbury Trusts archives now available

The records of the eight trusts and charitable companies created by Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury and their son Paul are now available to researchers at Birmingham Archives, Heritage and Photography.  A twenty-seven month project, initiated and funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, has made over three thousand records accessible through an extensive archival online catalogue and at the Wolfson Centre for Archival Research at the Library of Birmingham.


The collection documents both the internal administration of the Cadbury Trusts (including the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust, the Barrow Cadbury Fund, a benevolent fund, the Paul S. Cadbury Trust, the Barrow Cadbury Fund Ltd. a charitable company, the Southfield Trust, the Worgan Trust, Chapmans Hill School Farm Ltd. and the Barrow Cadbury Trust) as well as the grant making activities of these organisations, and can be found under the archival collection reference MS 1579.


The Cadbury Trusts were established between 1920 and 1972.  Of the eight trusts and companies that constitute the collection, the Barrow Cadbury Trust continues to operate from offices in London while the Worgan Trust is administratively based in Worcestershire.  The other six organisations have either wound up their activities or been amalgamated to form the current Barrow Cadbury Trust.  The records of other independent Cadbury family trusts do not form part of this collection.


The ongoing and historical work of the Cadbury Trusts is underpinned by an enduring commitment to peace and social justice.  This commitment can be traced directly to the Quaker ethos shared by the Trusts’ founders, Barrow, Geraldine and Paul, who were all active in the Society of Friends.


The Trusts have been involved in work at the local, national and international level with a regional focus on projects in Birmingham and the Black Country.  These projects have covered a diversity of subjects including penal reform, adult education, race relations, immigration, minority arts and nuclear non-proliferation.  While specific areas of work have changed over the years together they collectively reflect the Trusts’ determination to promote peace and social justice.


Many fascinating stories emerge from the records of the Cadbury Trusts.  These include secret payments to fund Winnie Mandela’s visits to Robben Island to meet with her imprisoned husband, a travel grant to the Middle East for a young Peter Mendelson, relations with Black self-help groups in Handsworth, support for women’s groups opposing nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, running a hostel for ex-borstal boys in London and the conditions facing British prisoners in Turkey.


Due to the sensitive nature of many of the records contained in the collection many files require permission to view.  However, a number of open records, including joint annual reports and Paul Cadbury’s 1971 history of the Cadbury Trusts, have been digitised as pdfs and may be downloaded from the online catalogue.