Tag Archives: Travel

A visit to Ireland by William Adlington Cadbury

Map of Ireland, 1900s, annotated with areas visited by William Adlington Cadbury [Ref. MS 466/G/6/1/1]

On Saturday 17 March 2018 the Friends of Birmingham Archives and Heritage are holding their AGM at the Library of Birmingham, Heritage Learning Space, 4th floor, at 12 o’clock.

The meeting will be followed by a talk by Jim Ranahan at 1pm titled “What’s the fuss about? Understanding Birmingham’s Irish Community”.

With this in mind, and since it will also be St Patrick’s Day, a blog with an Irish theme follows:

A visit to Ireland by William Adlington Cadbury

William Adlington Cadbury (1867-1957) was the second son of Richard Cadbury and elder brother of George (founder of Bournville). He started work at Cadbury’s in 1887 and the ‘Cadbury’ name logo is based on his signature. He was Lord Mayor of Birmingham 1919-1921, and afterwards established his Charitable Trust to assist the causes in which he was interested. These included the building of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (first one!) to unite many of the medical facilities from smaller hospitals in the city. He was also extremely generous to both the Birmingham Reference Library, to which a very fine set of historical atlases were donated by him, and to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. His Trust also gave grants to causes in West Africa and Ireland, two places he visited often.

His archives, deposited in Archives and Collections at the Library of Birmingham, include an account of a three week holiday he made, with friends, to Galway and Mayo in 1893.

[Ref. no. MS466G/6/1/2]

Towards the end of May last, three friends, say X,Y,Z, decided to follow the distinguished example of the Marquis of Salisbury and perform what will soon be becoming positively fashionable, namely an Irish pilgrimage…………..X and Z are ornithologists, Y is merely an Englishman out for a holiday.

Their visit began on Athlone Station, then after a brief visit to Galway, they went to Roundstone, where they stayed three days.

The little town of Roundstone looked very well just sheltered from the Atlantic by a low headland on which stands the monastery, the church and barracks, coastguard and schoolhouse and in fact the whole length of the one street is perfectly white and the quiet bay deserted………

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Wish you were there?

Horizons Midlands holiday brochure winter 1975-6

Horizon Midlands holiday brochure, winter 1975-6

Now the weather turns chillier, why not cushion yourself in the eventide glow of a Mediterranean clime? How much will this cost me I hear you chime, not a penny dear reader when you experience all that the more climatically forgiving realms of this continent have to offer by perusing a copy of a Horizon Midlands brochure.

The Archives & Collections service recently received a donation of historic brochures and literature from an employee of Horizon Midlands which was an independent travel agents based in Birmingham from the late 1960s through to the early 1990s. The donation, which has been added to our Birmingham trade catalogue collection, also includes a series of annual reports and accounts for the company covering the period from 1975 – 1986 along with paperwork detailing a proposed joint venture with Bass PLC in 1985 amongst other documents. The company appears to have been based originally at 214 Broad Street and ended its days not too far away at 4 Broadway, Five Ways.

Horizons Midlands

Horizon Midlands map of holiday destinations

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East meets west in Birmingham

MS 3762/13/56/104

Cultural exchange programmes are not new and it turns out Birmingham was involved in an example of one in the early nineteenth century.

Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769-1849) was ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848 and is known as “the Father of Modern Egypt”.  His reign was not without controversy as he sought to shape Egypt along more “European” lines in a move to compete with European industrialisation.

One of his projects was to send students to Europe to both learn about science and industry in European countries and to promote Islamic and Egyptian culture in the various Western European countries where they were based.

Four students came to England: Ali Effendi, Mohammed Effendi, Omar Effendi and Selim Aga.

In 1833 Selim visited Birmingham which was reported in a letter between James Watt junior and Matthew Robinson Boulton:

  “My dear Sir

Yesterday I shewed your Mint to Selim Aga and Mr. Sanderson.  The former is a young military officer, who has been compleating his education at Woolwich, and is quite unacquainted with the subject of Coinage.  He is however a very intelligent, civil person…  Selim is about to return to Egypt, and I have no doubt that… he should report personally to the Pacha what he had seen;  which I have little doubt he will do favourably, as well as our progress with his Engines.”

[MS 3782/13/56/104]

As the letter suggests the firm of Boulton and Watt in turn benefited by building a steam boat for the Pasha (either Muhammad Ali Pasha himself or possibly his son Ibrahim Pasha) which was called “The Nile” and learning about Islamic culture.

Rachel MacGregor