Thursday 27th October 2016

“Half our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think, and thinking where we ought to feel.”

John Churton Collins 

This Morning

Blue Jays

As the dawn is breaking on your future my child
Is there none of your love alive?
If every door you open closes on me
I don’t know if I can survive
I don’t know if I can survive

Long is the road that takes you from home
My baby, oh my darling
And sleepless are the hours
And lonely is the night
For the poor tormented soul
Who is searching for the light

This morning
I opened my eyes
I knew from the silence
That something was wrong
Turning, I realized
I wanted to cry
Cause I knew I was alone

But where will you go?
And who will be your guide?
And which way will you turn?
The waters are so wide
‘Cause I never told you
Now, you’ll never really know
I need you so

Now the sun is rising on your freedom my child
Is there none of your love alive?
Every door you open closes on me
I don’t know if I can survive
Knowing part of your love was lies

Long is the road that takes you from home
My baby
Oh, my darling
Sleepless are the hours
And lonely is the night
The poor tormented soul
Who is searching for the light

The moment I opened my eyes
I knew from the silence
That something was wrong
Turning I realized I wanted to cry
When I knew I was alone

But where will you go?
and who will be your guide?
And which way will you turn?
The waters are so wide
But I never told you
Now you’ll never really know
I need you so

I arrived late at Compton Verney this morning. I had to go for blood tests and a ECG.When I got there, there was no room to park the car. It was heaving. The Forest School was jammed and people were everywhere. 409 people in the Forest school today. 300 making jars.Busy, busy, busy.

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Vix Powell is Grounds Learning Programmer at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. Vix first approached Compton Verney Art Gallery in 2012 with a vision to utilise the Capability Brown park for education activities by creating a Forest School in the grounds. Her completely fresh perspective,
creativity and enthusiasm for outdoor learning generated a host of new opportunities for the gallery and has been significant in informing the strategic development of the education programme and the whole organisation. In four years, Vix has established a thriving and unique Forest School, which has allowed the learning team to support more areas of the national curriculum, enabled the public to engage with the site in new ways, has attracted over 7000 new visitors and, most innovatively, has used forest learning to
help diverse, unconfident and culturally disengaged audiences to connect and interact with the collections and exhibitions housed in the gallery. Vix developed a hugely beneficial and popular range of school programmes that support the science, geography and history curricula. By creating inspirational programmes based on the previously
unused parkland she has made Compton Verney accessible and relevant to an increasing number of schools. Vix’s creativity was most evident during the recent curriculum changes. Where most museums and galleries saw threats, the Forest School allowed Compton Verney to embrace the opportunities. With the changes in the primary history curriculum and the gallery and site having no connections to the pre 1066 areas of study, Compton Verney would have struggled to support schools, however Vix created 6 new programmes that took students and their staff back in time to experience a day in the life of a Stone Age Settler, Iron Age Inhabitant, Bronze Age Builder, Real Roman, Saxon Settler or Viking Villager. These hands-on programmes that allow the students to wattle and daub with real manure, make conker soap, cave paint and build their own settlements have had a huge impact on the understanding of students and staff as evidenced by feedback from
schools. “We all got so much out of it. It was great to see different children shine for a change, I’ve found artists I didn’t know I had, confident children that would normally sit back and found out who may struggle on our residential with all the walking and cold.”Tracey-Ann Brine, Class 4 teacher

“The children were totally engaged and are still talking about the experience and relating it to work we are doing in class. The delivery and pace was pitched just right. Thanks for a fantastic day.” Lynda Smith, Assistant Head Teacher
Vix also established weekly early years sessions, award winning birthday parties and family days, adapting the usual Forest School structure to fit in with the gallery’s popular drop in format. These have included exploring the paintings of Turner by creating dyes, brushes and colour charts from the natural resources of the grounds to developing a small scale 30 minute charcoal production system that enabled visitors to investigate the real world forms of carbon, an activity that linked to the exhibition Periodic Tales: The Art of the Elements. “Vast variety of things to do, for all age groups and attention spans. An excellent asset to Compton Verney.” Family day participants.

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I have bought my last CadburyS dairy Milk bar ever

We just had a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk and I would like to tell you and Cadburys dairy milk that they have ruined our chocolate! Whoever owns it now Kraft I think said they would not alter the recipe. Well they have and its crap. I will never buy another block of this crap as long as I live.

The many ways Cadbury is losing its magic

Harry Wallop

Last year, Cadbury made the bold – some might say foolhardy – decision to change the recipe for its iconic Creme Eggs. It caused a bit of a stink and made some consumers question what was going on at their favourite chocolate company. Here, Harry Wallop, who is presenting Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches: Secrets of Cadbury’, reviews the controversial changes Mondelez has made to the iconic chocolate company it bought six years ago.

1. Factory closure

Back in 2010, Kraft’s £11.5 billion hostile takeover of Cadbury sparked controversy. But some were won over by the American company’s “sincere belief” it would reverse a decision by Cadbury to close a key factory at Somerdale, near Bristol. Within weeks of the takeover going through, Kraft announced it was going to close the factory. Four hundred jobs were lost.

The following year the Business Select Committee criticised Kraft for acting “irresponsibly” in making pledges to keep the factory open.

2. Changing the chocolate on the Cadbury Creme Egg

To many, the Creme Egg is 177kcal of pure gloopy grossness, containing palm fat and paprika colouring. But to lovers of this strange Easter treat invented in 1971, it is a large mouthful of gooey joy. And should not be messed with.

In 2015, Cadbury confirmed that it would replace the very popular Cadbury Dairy Milk shell, with one made from a standard cocoa mix. They said they were in fact reverting back to the original 1971 recipe, and consumers prefered the original recipe. Many were unconvinced.

3. Ditching chocolate coins

Well, they might just have well shot Santa and cancelled Christmas. The Telegraph broke the shattering news that Cadbury was no longer going to make chocolate coins.

The company argued that it was not very profitable part of their business – after all, supermarkets and even pound shops sell their own (cheaper) versions. But many consumers love the taste of Dairy Milk. These fans wanted Cadbury coins, not Tesco or Marks and Spencer ones.

4. Rounding the corners on a Dairy Milk

Dairy Milk chocolate is a bar. It has chunks, you snap off those chunks, you pop those chunks in your mouth. Yum.

It is a formula that has served confectionery companies for decades and Cadbury since 1905. But Mondelez just couldn’t stop themselves from fiddling with Cadbury’s most famous product. They “rounded” the corners to improve the “mouth feel” of the chocolate. A spokesman said: “This undoubtedly helps improve the melt-in-the-mouth experience and feedback from consumers has been extremely positive.”

He failed to add that the new bars had been shrunk from 49g to 45g.

5. Making Dairy milk in Poland.

After the Somerdale factory closure, Kraft’s top brass were summoned to Parliament. Irene Rosenfeld, the Kraft CEO, did not come. She said it was not “the best use of her personal time”. But Trevor Bond President of Kraft Foods Europe, did come. He was asked: “Will Cadbury’s Dairy Milk continue to be produced in the UK?”. He said “yes”. He was then asked for how long. He answered: “For as long as our consumers are delighted by the taste and the product we produce”.

‘Dispatches discovered a number of Dairy Milk bars, including the small 95 calorie one, the 41g bar of Dairy Milk Oreos and the 47g bar of Dairy Milk Creations, are made in Poland’
Six years on, Dairy Milk continues to be produced at Bournville, which the company describe as “the home and heart of Cadbury”. But Dispatches discovered a number of Dairy Milk bars, including the small 95 calorie one, the 41g bar of Dairy Milk Oreos and the 47g bar of Dairy Milk Creations, are made in Poland. This is particularly galling as Cadbury likes to flaunt its Britishness. It even sells large 850g gift bars of Dairy Milk festooned with the Union Jack at Duty Free shops at UK airports. But on the back, it clearly says: made in Poland.

6. Putting Cadbury in Philadelphia cream cheese

No, no, no. When Kraft took over, how we all joked about how they’d put chocolate in processed cheese. It turns out, it was no joke. Cadbury Philadelphia is a thing.

The company describes it as an “irresistible spread for toast or bagels and a dreamy dip for fruit or oatey biscuits”. It isn’t. It is a cheesy version of Nutella. Next stop: putting Ritz salty crackers in a Dairy Milk.

7. Ritz crackers in a Dairy Milk

No, really. This isn’t a joke either. Cadbury now appears to favour one strategy when it comes to innovation: putting Mondelez products into a Dairy Milk bar. So there is now Dairy Milk Oreos, Dairy Milk Daim (that’s what the old Dime bar is now called), Dairy Milk with Lu biscuits and Dairy Milk with Ritz salty crackers.

8. Ditching the Bournville chocolate from the Heroes tub

Back in 2013, the parent company altered what went into a tub of Heroes, a selection box that highlights its key chocolate bars. It ditched Bournville – not only one of its oldest brands, but one that pays homage to the great Birmingham home of Cadbury – in favour of Toblerone, one of the Mondelez brands. And Swiss, to boot.

At the time Angus Kennedy, editor of Kennedy’s Confection magazine,told the Daily Mail: “To replace Bourneville with Toblerone is unpatriotic. It’s like replacing the fish in fish and chips with mussels.”

A spokesman for Mondelez insisted Toblerone was only a “guest” during Christmas. But the Bournville bar is still missing.

9. Axing Christmas chocolate gift to pensioners

One of the perks of working for Cadbury, one of the great ethical Victorian firms set up by Quakers, was that you were looked after in retirement. Long-term former employees were given a gift of chocolates at Christmas. Not much, admittedly, but a small recognition of their years of service. Up to 14,000 would get these parcels.

Mondelez scrapped the gifts, claiming it needed the money to help plug the company’s pension black hole.

One pensioner, Ray Woods, who worked at the Bournville factory in Birmingham for 36 years until 2004, said: “The cost of this cutback is peanuts. To link it with plugging the gap in the deficit in the pension fund is laughable.

“(The parcels were) a way of somebody taking the trouble to say ‘you worked for Cadbury for a long time.’

“It’s tinged with sadness for me, and I think that a lot of people will think the same way.”

10. Shrinking pack sizes

It’s not just the Dairy Milk bars that have shrunk in size.

Last year it seemed that Cadbury chocolate Fingers had gone on a diet. Packs of the much loved biscuits were cut by 11g, which equates to around two fingers. But that’s not the only one. A big tin of Roses chocolates seems to get smaller every year – but not with a corresponding shrinkage in price. Back in 2011 it went from 975g to 850g. Then in 2014 it went to 777g. By 2015 it had fallen to 748g.

‘A big tin of Roses chocolates seems to get smaller every year’
The company say it only sets a recommended retail price, and it’s up to the supermarkets what price they sell it at. That’s true, but doesn’t help consumers who always seem to have to pay £5 for this shrinking tin.

11. Roses ‘flow wrap’ packaging

While we’re on Roses, just look what has happened to the wrappers. Since the 1920s, the Christmas box of Roses have contained sweets packaged in a twist of brightly coloured shiny paper. Part of the festive tradition was digging into the box looking for your favourite hazelnut swirl, then untwisting the wrapper to get your reward. But in 2015, the company ditched this method in favour of “flow wraps”, the packaging jargon for wrappers with a jagged end that you tear open. It’s the sort of wrapper you find on mints in a bowl at the reception desk at cheap European hotels.

12. Sultanas in Fruit & Nut

Raisins have been the dry fruit of choice in a Fruit & Nut bar for 90 years. At the end of 2015 sultanas were added “to add more variation”. Could the fact that sultanas are cheaper than raisins have anything to do with it? Perish the thought.

 

 

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