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Tuesday 5th May 2015 ko 18.30

Somerset County League- Premier Davison

FRY CLUB 1 (Gregory 78)

NAILSEA UNITED 1 (Fisher 25)

Entry & Programme £2

I’m not sure how often a multi-national company’s takeover of another sends groundhoppers scurrying to the works ground, but this one was definitely an example! When Kraft took over Cadbury in 2010, it was on the understanding that the Cadbury factory (and its sportsground) would be kept open, so when a year later the plant shut down a House of Commons investigation resulted.

The roots of J S Fry and Sons lie in Bristol where in the late 1750’s Joseph Fry, a Quaker like many of the Cadbury family, devised a method of grinding cocoa beans using a Watt steam engine, then a means of mass producing bars of chocolate. That resulted in the Fry’s Chocolate Cream bar in 1866, followed by the world’s first chocolate Easter Egg in 1873, and Fry’s Turkish Delight in 1914.

The firm merged with Cadbury in 1916, and production moved to Somerdale in 1923, the last Fry products were produced a Somerdale in 1981. The Turkish Delight bar is now produced in Poland.

With factory having closed in 2011, the iconic “Cadbury’s” sign is now inaccurate as the firm dropped the apostrophe and “S” in 2012! Nevertheless, the factory frontage and sign will survive. It’s got “Listed” status, and so will be converted to flats. However the sports club is on the road out to Keynsham itself so will disappear under a close of houses. The club will move 200 yards behind and to the left of itself, and the new clubhouse, in construction looks impressive.

The plan was for this to be Fry’s last game at Cadbury’s, bar one reserve game, but will building slightly behind schedule there may be a couple of games here next season. For a facility on death row there was plenty going on, there were no lack of posters advertising future events, and there was a line-dancing class in progress upstairs. I think we may have obscured their view of the game!

Frys needed a point to take the runners-up spot in the league, but for long periods they were second best to a Nailsea team who fought for everything. They deservedly took the lead through Scott Fisher. Frys dug deep and Scott Gregory’s header from a corner late on was well-worked and was the mark of a good team who despite not playing well still found a way to grind out a goal.

More than anything else, though this was an evening to soak up the history, and cast the images for memory as soon enough this place will no longer exist. One thing did surprise me though, at no point did I feel that I wanted a chocolate bar, that certainly was the case at Cadbury Athletic!