Ref NoMS 1579/1/1
TitleJoint organisational records
Date1958 - 2013
AccessStatusPartially closed (Content)
AdminHistoryThe Cadbury Trusts provide an unusual example of joint record keeping across technically autonomous organisations. The records of most businesses and charities relate solely to their creator organisation. However, the interrelated nature of the eight charities and companies that make up the Cadbury Trusts resulted in the generation of records that cannot be intellectually tied to a single organisation. The creation of the umbrella term 'Cadbury Trusts' is necessary to accommodate a collection containing both joint organisational records and organisation specific records.

The existence of joint organisational records was in large part a manifestation of family governance of the Cadbury Trusts. Barrow and Geraldine invited their children to become Trustees of their Trust and the first Barrow Cadbury Fund (the first Fund was governed by trustees and not directors) beginning the practice of family members holding multiple portfolios across organisations. In 1934, three years after creating his own trust, Paul Cadbury was also appointed as a trustee for his parents' trusts. The creation of the Southfield Trust in 1960 and the Worgan Trust in 1967 further added to the number of potential posts held by individual family members.

The financial year 1984/1985 is representative in that all eleven Barrow Cadbury Fund Ltd. Directors and all six Paul S. Cadbury Trustees also held Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trusteeships. From 1958 Paul served as chair of all three organisations (as well as the affiliated Chapmans Hill School Farm Ltd.) until his death on 24 October 1984. His successor, Catherine Hickinbotham, similarly assumed both chairmanships and the directorship as her father had done upon Barrow's death in 1958. The interrelated nature of the Cadbury Trusts is further illustrated by administrative and clerical staff working across organisations in the same office. While the Paul S. Cadbury Trust was run with a greater degree of autonomy by Paul during his lifetime, this organisation too remained closely tied to the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust and the Fund.

The natural result of this interrelationship was the creation of records that were of common interest to trustees/directors in their various capacities regardless of organisation. With a shared ethos and mutual aims it is hardly surprising that trustees, directors and staff did not draw clear lines of demarcation between constituent Cadbury Trusts organisations when carrying out their work. Administrative divisions were applied where necessary, though primarily as a matter of form rather than substance. In summary, thinking in relation to job title or organisation was rarely of any use so it was seldom done.

While some record types, including deeds and accounts were legally required to be kept separately, other prominent record sequences were generated in an inclusive manner. Annual reports, monthly reviews, staff and finance records were all kept as a joint concern. Even meeting minutes were recorded for a time on the same pages though with a different prefix for each organisation.

The trend towards joint record keeping seems to have developed with the recruitment of professional staff in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At this time Paul Cadbury held key positions in each organisation allowing him to view the running of the trusts and Fund as a whole and not as individual components. His leadership had the tangible effect of bringing the organisations closer together and eroding the limited jurisdictional barriers that had existed before.

Amalgamation, division and dissolution combined to reduce the number of organisations in the Cadbury Trusts from 1994 to the early 2000s. The merger of the Barrow and Geraldine S. Cadbury Trust with the Paul S. Cadbury Trust resulted in the Barrow Cadbury Trust in 1994. That same year the Southfield Trust was wound up. The disbanding of the Fund membership in 2006 led to the Fund becoming a subsidiary of the Trust. The Trust in turn became incorporated as a limited company. The move of Trust offices from Birmingham to London in 2003 led to the withdrawal of the Worgan Trust and Chapmans Hill School Farm Ltd. from the Cadbury Trusts operational umbrella.

These events have combined to reduce the accrual of joint records between 1994 and 2014. Trust and Fund annual reports are now created as separate documents and organisational minute sequences are recorded separately. Changes in the scope and definition of charitable work have allowed the Trust to assume many of the tasks formerly associated with the Fund. Despite these changes it is likely that a degree of joint record creation (beyond grant files) will continue in future.
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