RESIDENTS living in a village where booze is banned say it’s like living in a “time warp” but they still love it there.
Bournville, the home to Cadbury’s chocolate, has a ban on alcohol and there is no pub in the village[/caption]
Signs are clearly displayed about the ban on drinking in public[/caption]
Anyone fancying a relaxing drink in public is advised not to do so[/caption]
And if anyone is caught daring to take a tipple on the iconic green it’s claimed they will have it snatched away and poured down the drain.
Welcome to the chocolate-box village of Bournville – made world famous by the chocolatier Cadbury family – and where locals are desperate to move to despite premium house prices and tourists flock to.
But for most locals the booze ban makes it even more appealing.
It’s such a lovely, safe and peaceful place to live and we have no drunken yobs spilling out of pubs
As Neil Harrison, 73, told The Sun Online during our visit this week: “People here don’t miss not having a pub, it’s the accepted thing and it makes it a more desirable location.
“We’re not being driven out because there’s no local boozer. You have to live with it and it’s not a hardship. It doesn’t even enter the psyche.
“If you want a drink you invite a friend or neighbour round for a glass of wine at home, or you catch a bus and go to a pub in a nearby village.”
Widower Neil added: “It’s such a lovely, safe and peaceful place to live and we have no drunken yobs spilling out of pubs.
“We all get on very well and it’s a close knit community. I’ve lived in and around the area for 40 years.”
The retired housing association head of care lives alone in a rented OAP bungalow with stunning communal gardens and an orchard which was once a former home for one of the Cadbury empire workforce.
He said: “It’s like stepping back in time here.
“The charming tiny village was built as a model community by the Cadbury family by George and Richard Cadbury, the sons of John Cadbury.”
But because of their teetotal Quaker heritage and beliefs there is a ban of alcohol.
Neil, who enjoys a tipple at his local pub, the Selly Park Tavern, said: “|’ve been a regular there for years.
“Even if there was to be a pub in Bournville I wouldn’t even go because I get the bus, or drive if I’m just having one, o my local.
“I go to socialise and all my mates are there.”
He said the village being a no booze zone made it more appealing and there is “hardly any crime.”
He told how the Bournville Trust “sets standards – no pubs, no bins or caravans in your front garden and no painting your front door bright pink. Everyone adheres to those standards.”
Bournville Carillon Visitor Centre volunteer Colin said: “Yes, there’s a booze ban here but most people are not worried about it. It’s been the rule for the past 120 years.
“If you want alcohol you can’t get it here, within the village boundary, but there’s no ban on the consumption of it at home.”
He claimed: “Anyone seen drinking outside on the green or on the street will have their drink taking off them and poured down the drain.
“They can’t be arrested, it is not a crime, but they can have any alcohol removed in the worst case scenario.
“A few underage drinkers having a beer on gala day have been stopped in the past.
“Most people realise what the village is all about and don’t flout the rules.”
The retired railway electro-mechanic, who declined to be fully named, lives a half hour bus ride away and enjoys coming in to work
He said: “It is a delightful very distinctive place and, like most people I would like to live here but I could never afford it.“
There’s a premium of £50-£60,000 on any property here simply because it is on Bournnville.
We’ve got the best of both worlds – a drinks ban here so it’s always peaceful and trouble-free and nice cocktail bars and wine bars on the outskirts to visit
A small house on the outskirts going for £250,000 would cost £310,000 for the same one here.
There are a lot of retired people living here but some families too.
Fellow Visitor Centre volunteer Sharon Fall said: “The alcohol ban is the way it has always here and there are plenty of pubs outside the village.
“We’ve got the best of both worlds – a drinks ban here so it’s always peaceful and trouble-free and nice cocktail bars and wine bars on the outskirts to visit.
“It’s one of the many traditions here, you’re not allowed to do this and that.
“As well as not drinking in public there are things like no satellite dishes on the front of houses and no PVC window frames.
“Advertising is also banned and is only allowed on buses passing through.”
Sharon, a jewellery maker who lives in nearby village, added: “This is the way it is here, things haven’t changed and people like it that way.”
She told how many locals still worked at the huge Cadbury factory and the Cadbury World visitor attraction, charting the history of chocolate making and the family.
She said: “George Cadbury looked after his employees, he gave them a home to live in and a garden to plant fruit and vegetables in.”
Pointing from the rear visitor centre window, she said: “Look, is a bronze bust of him at the Quaker Meeting House over there.
The general consensus in the village is that no one wants alcohol sold or drunk here
“The Quakers believe in equality for all, community and simplicity.
“I’m lucky to work here, it is such a lovely place.”
Lee Howard, assistant manager of Kafenion cafe told The Sun Online: “We get people who aren’t locals asking for a beer or glass of fizz or wine but when we put them in the picture and explain why alcohol is banned they accept it and are not disappointed.
“From a business point of view it would be nice if we could be licensed and sell alcohol but we know that will never be.
Lee explained: “The general consensus in the village is that no one wants alcohol sold or drunk here.
“It’s a quaker village and that’s the tradition around here. Even when a shop out just outside the boundary had applied for a licence to sell alcohol several years ago there was a lot of opposition.”
He told how his cafe – at the end of a row of independent shops including a butcher and baker – had boomed since the Covid lockdown and a new brood of people out for permitted walks had discovered the delightful area.
.Local mum Tab Jackson, out strolling with her 13-month-old baby daughter, said: “It is a really lovely village and it’s not a problem you can’t get a drink here.
“I like the odd glass of wine and go to nearby Stirchley which is full of bars, pubs and restaurants.”
Resident Chris, who grew up in the village, said: “I don’t miss not having a pub here because you can walk 10 minutes to the nearest one,” and joking: “Then you can walk back drunk!”
The commercial manager, 41, out with 10-year-old son George, added: “Everyone here is the same view.
“We’ve never had a pub or off licence here and it’s not going to change.”
It’s nice that the village has remained as the Cadbury family wanted it to be and it must be one of the few places in the country that has retained its very unique heritage
Resident Sarah-Jayne Maclachlan said: “It’s nice that the village has remained as the Cadbury family wanted it to be and it must be one of the few places in the country that has retained its very unique heritage.
“You can’t have a drink in public here – of course you can at home – but no one misses it.
“I don’t know anyone who is too bothered about the ban.
“It’s not far to go for a drink elsewhere, 10 minutes away.”
The teacher, enjoying a walk with her 11-year-old daughter Molly, enthused: “It’s a lovely village, well resourced with good schools and facilities and amenities.
DRINKING IN PUBLIC – WHAT THE LAW SAYS
If you’re over the age of 18, there aren’t any blanket restrictions against drinking in public in the UK, according to Drinkaware.
However, local councils can put measures in place to stop drinking in certain areas where they believe alcohol could contribute to anti-social behaviour.
- In England and Wales, councils can use a ‘Public Space Protection Order’ (PSPO) to stop drinking in public in defined locations.
- In Scotland, each local council has the power to apply its own set of rules (byelaws) on where over-18s can and cannot drink in public places.
- Councils in Northern Ireland can introduce byelaws to restrict consumption of alcohol in certain areas too, or during parades.
Drinking alcohol somewhere it’s been banned, or refusing to comply with a police officer’s request, can lead to a fine or an even being arrested.
PSPOs give police officers special powers to order a person to stop drinking alcohol in public and confiscate it from them.
“There is lovely summer festival but no alcohol.
“I have lived here all my life and feel lucky enough to live here. People are becoming more aware of Bournville nowadays and the legacy of George Cadbury.
“It’s a popular village and the local cafe is absolutely rammed all the time.
“The students from Birmingham are even coming over this way as it is a bit more discerning and a nice place for a coffee.”
Sarah-Jayne said that whilst Bournville was “not changing” the surrounding area was being re-generated with the neighbouring village of Stirchley full of bars and micro breweries.
She said: “It’s a conservation area so it is not being developed but prices are high because it is a sought after area to live.
“There’s a mix of social housing, so something for all, which forms part of the Bournville covenant.”
Visitor Janet from Gloucester said she was “aware the village was alcohol free because of its Quaker heritage” and it didn’t put her off visiting with her pal Sue from Oswestry.
Sue added: “We’ll go for a drink later and I’m sure we’ll find a few places outside Bournville.”
Chocolate giant Cadbury – which started off as a small shop selling tea, coffee and hot chocolate – is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.
The ban on alcohol is due to its Quaker heritage[/caption]
Sharon Fall says the town is ‘peaceful and trouble free’[/caption]
Lee Howard, who runs the town’s cafe says the consensus is that no one wants alcohol sold there[/caption]
Resident Sarah-Jayne Maclachlan, with 11-year-old Molly, is happy the town has kept its ‘unique heritage’[/caption]
Neil Harrison says the booze ban makes the village a ‘desirable location’[/caption]
Despite the alcohol ban the picturesque village is a tourist hot spot[/caption]