Bournville is great all-year round but at Christmas it comes into its own. Here we set out five reasons Bournville is the place to be at Christmas.
1. Bournville’s famous ‘Carols on the Green’ Christmas Eve service
Bournville is well known for it’s annual Christmas eve carol singing, and what better way to celebrate Christmas eve than to get involved in such fun festivities? The carol singing takes place on Bounrville Green and in Cotteridge Park, every year on 24th December from 6pm, a service organised by the Village Council.
Bournville residents regularly bring with them a lantern or torch to give the heart-warming community event a real festive, authentic atmosphere. This year, this Bournville Carillon will be playing the familiar Christmas carol, Silent Night, to commemorate the Christmas truce between British and German soldiers in 1914, as part of a world wide concert.
On top of that, Bourville also hosts other carol singing services. This year, another spot of carol singing is to take place in Cotteridge Park, by the car park, on Saturday 20th December at 5pm.
Following that, there will be the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols this year, on Sunday 21st December in St Francis of Assisi Church at 6:30pm. This service hosts traditional readings, choral music and carols, and the church will also be holding a midnight mass on Christmas Eve at 11:15pm.
2. Fun Christmas activities at Cadbury World
Bournville is known by many for being the home of George Cadbury, and indeed, Cadbury World. So of course taking a trip down to this family leisure factory and getting to know more about the history of Bournville’s successful chocolate making is another reason why Bourville is great at Christmas.
This year Cadbury World is putting on a family fun live pantomime show of Snow White and the Chuckle Beans. The thirty minute long performance will be on every weekend of December at various different times of the day.
Father Christmas will also be in his Christmas Cadbury grotto from 10am-5.30pm, for children to go see and be given a small free gift. While the Cadbury Café will be providing families with a traditional Christmas dinner. For more information, visit: www.cadburyworld.co.uk
3. Bournville’s annual Christmas tree lights switch on
On the very first Tuesday of each December of every year, Bournville celebrates the beginning of Christmas with the turning on of the village’s Christmas tree lights at Bounrville Green.
This yearly event is organised by the Village Council and provides the local community with a festive evening of carol singing by Bourville’s Carillon, hot drinks, refreshments and charitable collections.
Usually, the wonderful event is accompanied by Bournville’s very own Village Festival Queen, to count down the switching on of the lights. In previous years has included Radio West Midland’s Richard Wilford, to be the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Father Christmas also makes time to take part in the fun event each year by giving out presents to the local children.
4. Seasonal community celebrations
Bournville doesn’t take celebrating Christmas lightly, various festive community events take place every December of each year, and this year wasn’t an exception.
Just some seasonal celebrations include: a Christmas Market and Fair at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School, St Francis’ Church Christmas Market, Christmas Fayre at Bournville Junior School and Selly Manor hosting A Traditional Christmas. An event that takes place annually and consists of decorating the manor with traditional Christmas decorations lit up by candles, to give residents an authentic feel of what Christmas would have been like in Bournville over 400 years ago.
The evening event also incorporates traditional carol singing by local choirs, talented re-enactors performing historical music and dance and mince pies and mulled wine to get residents in that Christmassy mood.
The Phoenix Hall, Bordesley, is also getting the community into the Christmas spirit this year by holding a Christmas grotto and providing free food on December 18th between 3pm-7pm.
5. Taking a walk around Bournville’s historical landscapes
What better way to get into the Christmas festivities than soaking up all the seasonal atmosphere by having a walk around Bournville’s historical landscapes and parkland, and getting to know the village’s history a little better.
One great way to do this is by having a look around Selly Manor and Cottage Gardens, a historical building made up of strong oak beams that dates back to the 1300’s.
Another great historical building is the Bournville Rest House, located in the centre of Bournville Village Green, it is now home to the carillon shop and visitor centre. In this central landscape you can relax in its peaceful park surroundings and gather information about the carillon.
Or why not have a walk around the Rowheath lake on a cold wintery morning or evening, with the Rowheath Pavilion only minutes away to enjoy a hot cup of tea after in it’s community café. This year the Pavilion has a Christmas Farmers’ Market on Monday 22nd December from 10am – 4pm. There is an indoor gift fayre along with plenty of live music, as well as an appearance from Santa, to get you in the festive mood.