Ref NoMS 1579/1/5
TitleBarrow Cadbury Fund Ltd.
Date1952 - 2013
AccessStatusPartially closed (Content)
AdminHistoryThe Barrow Cadbury Fund Ltd. was established by Barrow Cadbury as a benevolent company in 1952 following the winding up of the Fund's predecessor, a benevolent fund similarly titled the Barrow Cadbury Fund (MS 1579/1/3). The assets of the old Fund, totalling 68,780 British Cocoa and Chocolate Company Ltd. £1 Ordinary Shares and 4,000 Cadbury Brothers Ltd. £1 6% Preference Shares were transferred without reservation to the new Fund. Further Cadbury Brothers shares totalling £4,000 were allocated to pay the stamp duty for the transfer of shares. To offset this expense and to mark the creation of the new company Barrow made a further gift of 40,000 British Cocoa shares to the new Fund. As Paul S. Cadbury subsequently pointed out, had Barrow died within five years of the creation of the new Fund the company could have been liable to pay death duties. Fortunately, Barrow lived for nine more years, thus avoiding this potential complication.

The functions of the Barrow Cadbury Fund Ltd. remained identical to those of its predecessor, the Barrow Cadbury Fund, namely to: 1) supplement the pensions of retired Quaker staff and social workers, often through annuities, and, 2) make grants to organisations or individuals that were not, strictly speaking, considered charitable. The new company was explicitly non-profit making. Both funds were established to allow the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust, and later the Paul S. Cadbury Trust, to expand their benevolent giving to individuals and to organisations carrying out charitable work that had not yet been granted, or were not seeking, charitable status.

The new Fund was led by a Board of Directors including the trustees from the defunct benevolent fund: Barrow and Geraldine, Paul and Rachel Cadbury and Dorothy Cadbury. In addition, twenty company members (later increased to twenty-five) were selected from amongst Barrow's Quaker friends and colleagues for the purpose of electing directors and approving the decisions of the Board at the annual general meeting of the Company. The Company Members did not play an operational role in the Fund. Fund directorships, like trusteeships, have traditionally been filled by the descendents of Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury, though a limited number of individuals with specialist knowledge have been appointed from outside the family.

Meetings of the Fund were held annually, with Barrow serving as Chair. From 1953 onwards these meetings were classed as annual general meetings and attended by the membership of the company. Occasional directors' meetings were held during the year as necessary to address urgent business. Following Barrow's death on 09 March 1958, Paul was appointed Chairman and the frequency of meetings increased markedly. These were usually attended by Paul, Rachel and Dorothy. Business normally related to small personal grants but extended to other worthy causes, often under the umbrella of peace and international understanding. At a meeting held in July 1960, Directors approved £50 to help rebuild a youth hostel at Port Said, Egypt, destroyed during the Suez Crisis of 1956. The flexibility of the Fund is evident from a 1962 three-year loan to South Shields Corporation totalling £25,000. Though technically classed as a financial investment, this transaction could be described as an early form of social investment.

From the early 1970s onwards, Fund meetings were held quarterly until 1993. From 1993 onwards four meetings were held during the year, with the autumn meeting date also being the date directors' termly meeting and the annual general meeting attended by company members.

Though the Fund was established largely to support elderly members of the Society of Friends or Cadbury household staff through annuities or gifts, this practice was in decline by the late 1960s. Support for individuals by the Fund instead shifted towards personal grants for a specifically defined purpose, for instance, travel expenses or one-off payments to cover lack of earnings due to charitable work. Additionally, from the early 1970s the Fund expanded the scope of its support for projects and organisations not classed as charities. Where possible, the Fund was used as a temporary channel for support pending the decision of the Charity Commission to confer charitable status on an organisation. The general preference of Trustees and Directors was for grantees to pursue charitable status and for grant payments or loans to be subsequently transferred from the Fund to one of the trusts. Loans approved at a favourable rate of interest to borrowers were made for the purpose of furthering the charitable aims of the Cadbury Trusts. Cadbury Trusts' staff actively encouraged registration and provided practical advice to grantees about the process.

Throughout its history, Fund directors have regularly and concurrently served as Trustees of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and/or the Paul S. Cadbury Trust. The financial year 1977/1978 is representative in that eight of the nine Fund directors (excepting Christopher Taylor) served as a trustee in one or both of the other 'moneyed trusts'. From 1984 until April 1993 Catherine Hickinbotham acted as chair of both trusts and the Fund, while also serving as a trustee of the affiliated Southfield Trust, Worgan Trust and as a director of Chapmans Hill School Farm Ltd.

Similarly, the administrative operations of the Fund and trusts were carried out jointly with individual roles subject to periodic alteration. The financial year 1985/1986 is illustrative, with Anthony Wilson serving as Secretary to the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and the Fund; Eric Adams serving as Secretary to the Paul S. Cadbury Trust and Deputy Secretary to the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and the Fund and Joe Montgomery serving as Assistant Secretary to all three bodies. Clerical and financial staff held similarly mixed appointments.

The prevalence of Cadbury family members and professional staff holding multiple posts naturally led to a highly flexible and interconnected working environment at the Cadbury Trusts. The Fund was readily called upon by both trusts to support their grant making activities. While the Paul S. Cadbury Trust operated with a greater degree of autonomy prior to Paul's death in 1984, the administrative and managerial links across organisations were well established. These ties are clearly expressed in the records of the Fund. Meetings of the trusts and Fund often occurred on the same day, since their membership was shared. From the late 1980s meetings were often held simultaneously. For example, a meeting of the Paul S. Cadbury Trust will include trust minutes interspersed with Fund minutes where the Fund was used as a channel for Paul S. Cadbury Trust grants. The same pattern holds true for the minutes of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and, from 1994, the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Given the common aims and membership of the Cadbury Trusts, annual reports and monthly reviews were also recorded jointly between the Fund and trusts to avoid the unnecessary duplication of records. Many record classes were jointly generated, adding an unusual, if understandable, wrinkle to the structure of the collection.

The value of Fund investments rose considerably from 1953 onwards due to the gradual increase in Cadbury share prices, particularly following the 1969 merger between Cadbury and Schweppes. Total Fund investments in 1953 amounted to £240,717. This figure increased to £2,287,992 by 1969, to £8,979,163 by 1993 and to £15,582,425 by 2001. Relative to the moneyed trusts, Fund investments were consistently less than those of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and greater than those of the Paul S. Cadbury Trust.

The increase in the value of Fund investments brought about a gradual increase in grant expenditure. The skilful application of these funds for grant making purposes was made possible by the appointment of Anthony Wilson in 1969, and Eric Adams in 1972, as professional administrators. For the financial year 1975/1976 one hundred and fourteen grants were made by the Fund, amounting to £85,851. By 1992/1993 one hundred and twenty eight grants were made, totalling £360,104. The increase in total grant expenditure between these dates is relatively modest when adjusted for inflation. That the total number of grants remained relatively stable serves as an exception to the 'fewer and larger' principle which was applied from the 1970s onwards to concentrate grant making on a relatively small number of major grants.

With 'fewer and larger' came a concerted effort by Anthony and Eric to reduce the number of annuitants and subscriptions in favour of larger grants focusing on specific pieces of work. A generous one-off payment or series of elevated payments over a limited period proved successful in tidying up the Fund's books. Not all annuities were wound up through 'fewer and larger'. The personal concerns and interests of Directors in a number of cases ensured that this function of the Fund was maintained, albeit on a limited basis.

While Fund Directors were reliably present at the annual general meeting, the attendance of Fund Members was inconsistent. Following his appointment as Cadbury Trusts' Secretary, Anthony sought to remove chronic absentee members and appoint in their place individuals drawn from a more varied background. Though his actions caused some uproar in the Friends community, he was nevertheless successful in replacing members who were not, in his view, taking their positions seriously.

Following the formation of Cadbury Schweppes, Paul and Anthony proposed to diversify the investment portfolio of the Cadbury Trusts. Prior to the merger this portfolio had been dominated by Cadbury chocolate shares. The move away from investment in the family business was made to 1) disentangle the interests of the Cadbury Trusts from those of the company, and, 2) protect its capital through a greater diversity of investments. The process of diversification occurred over three decades and resulted in the sale of all Cadbury shares by 2000. Accompanying diversification was an emphasis on ethical investment. In keeping with its Quaker ethos, the Fund and trusts instructed their financial advisors to avoid investments linked to arms production, alcohol, tobacco, gambling or major concerns in apartheid South Africa.

Following Paul Cadbury's death in 1984, the Chairmanship of the Fund passed to Catherine Hickinbotham. By this time the directorship of the Company numbered ten and spanned three generations. Longstanding Directors Rachel, Dorothy and Geraldine M. Cadbury had been joined by Rachel and Paul's four children Catherine Hickinbotham, Edward Cadbury, Philippa Southall and Charles Cadbury and their grandchildren, Anna Southall, Roger Hickinbotham and Richard Cadbury. By 1998 the first of the fifth generation of Directors, Nicola Cadbury, had been appointed to the Fund.

Grant making by the Fund altered considerably between 1952 and 1993 with annual subscriptions and gifts to traditional Friends' causes gradually giving way to innovative projects across a range of fields. Though the Quaker ethos underpinning this work remains consistent its manifestation varies with each year and reflects the needs of the day. During 1992/1993 the Fund supported grants in all categories of Cadbury Trusts' giving. Grantees for that year include Safer World, Mines Liaison Group, the Parliamentary Bill on Disability, Single Parent Action Network, Inquest, the Indian Workers' Association, Unemployment Unit, London and the National Urban Regeneration Monitoring Project.

The 1994 merger of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and the Paul S. Cadbury Trust into the new Barrow Cadbury Trust did not significantly alter the position of the Fund. However, following the amalgamation the proportion of total grants paid by the Fund decreased as more grantees were successfully registered as charities and the definition of charitable causes was broadened in the Charities Act 2006. Net grant expenditure by the Trust for the financial year ending April 1995 amounted to £1,808,678. Fund expenditure for the same period amounted to £250,982. By the financial year ending April 2003, total Trust grants stood at £3,333,068 with the Fund contributing £373,273. This trend is even more apparent in the financial reports for the year ending April 2010. For this year, Fund grants and special initiatives totalled £117,000, while Trust grants exceeded £4 million. At this time there were still three annuitants on the Fund's books who had been receiving payments for many decades.

In 2005 Trustees/Directors agreed to restructure the Fund as a subsidiary of the Barrow Cadbury Trust. This decision was taken following a series of discussions between Trustees/Directors, Company Secretary (and Director of the Barrow Cadbury Trust) Sukhvinder Stubbs and the Trust's auditors and legal advisors about the future of the Fund. Restructuring was considered a prudent middle path: as a subsidiary of the Trust, the Fund would avoid taxation risks associated with the effects of capital gains, be subject to simplified annual general meeting requirements and continue to offer a flexible channel for charitable giving. The restructuring process required the dissolution of the company membership to allow the Trust to become the sole member of the Fund. Members were contacted and asked to resign. Those who failed to respond were removed from their posts by the special resolution of the Board. This was completed by 2008.

The Fund continues to operate as a useful adjunct to the Trust with the preponderance of its Directors drawn from the Cadbury family. While a small number of non-family Directors (and Trustees) have been appointed to increase the Board's breadth of expertise, the Fund remains predominantly a family concern. It is likely that this trend, dating to the creation of the original benevolent fund in 1924, will continue well into the 21st century.
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