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22nd Feb 2024

UK village where alcohol has been banned for 120 years

Ryan Price

Anyone caught with booze on the street will have their drink confiscated and poured down the drain.

People are just finding out about an idyllic English countryside village where any form of alcohol has been banned for over a century.

You may be familiar with the name Bournville as being arguably the least desirable of all Cadbury chocolate bars, but did you know that it’s a real village located just four miles from Birmingham city centre?

The sleepy village began as a simple plot of farmland before being bought by George and Richard Cadbury in 1879 as the location for their first Cadbury chocolate factory.

The Cadbury family were Quakers and subscribed to the Temperance Movement that was prominent across the country during Victorian Times. A key element of the movement is that its members take a vow of complete abstinence from consumption of alcohol beverages.

To this day, no pub has ever opened in the area and none of the shops in the village stock or sell any alcohol.

Locals claim that they opted to maintain this rule for both maintenance of a calm and peaceful atmosphere as well as promoting tourism in the area.

73-year-old resident Neil Harrison told the Daily Mirror; “People here don’t miss not having a pub, it’s the accepted thing and it makes it a more desirable location. 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.”

Not only is consumption of alcohol not the ‘done thing’ in Bournville, if you happen to crack open a cold one on a summer’s afternoon while frolicking on the iconic green in the centre of the town, you can expect to see that very same can poured down a drain by a member of the West Midlands Police force.

If you can overlook the risk of getting accosted for sipping on a Carling, the chocolate-mad town offers several other perks for blissful living.

Bournville boasts a lot of green space and old-fashioned architecture, and you can get a train into Birmingham in just 20 minutes from its Cadbury coloured train station.

Considering the community was originally built as a ‘model village’ to house workers at the Cadbury factory back in the early 1900’s, it still maintains its Victorian charm with nature-inspired street names and thatched cottages.

A two-bed bungalow close to the centre of it all will probably set you back around £500,000, with property prices currently at a premium with an additional £50,000 added to many properties.

The high standard of properties in the area stems from George Cadbury’s apparent shock at the working-class conditions in other villages nearby at the time, so at least you can be sure you’re moving in to a gaff that was signed off on by the real life Willy Wonka.