Yet More Fun at Mill!

18th-19th May 2001

This year’s Tolkien Weekend at Sarehole Mill (the third such event now becoming an annual item in the Birmingham calendar) will be the biggest yet. The museum at Sarehole Mill will be open for extra hours, and a miller will be demonstrating his craft.

  • Within the mill itself in addition to the miller and the city’s museum displays will be stands from The Tolkien Society and Hall Green Library about Tolkien’s life and works.
  • In the mill courtyard and on the green, Shire Productions will be performing dramatised scenes from ‘The Hobbit’ on Sunday and ‘Lord of the Rings’ on Sunday.
  • There will also be ‘story’ walks on guided tours of Moseley Bog, in addition to the guided walks taking in the local ecology and history of the Cole Valley.

On the green around the mill there will be:

  • Birmingham City History Bus
  • Environmental displays and information from the local groups that made up the Tolkien Park Partnership.
  • The Bowmen of Swanshurst providing archery practice for kids young and old
  • A blacksmith will be showing the ancient art of working hot metal
  • Woodcrafters will be cooly demonstrating their skills
  • Birminghmam Eco Park will have a plant stall
  • Games Workshop demonstration games
  • Waterstones will have a sales stand of middle-earth books
  • Pony rides
  • Local radio group Wythall Amateur Radio will be providing a special event station allowing chat with someone on the other side of the world
  • Morris dancing from GreenMan Morris Dancers (Sat) andthe Glorishers of Brummagen (Sun)
  • Displays and demonstrations from the RSPB, British Woodcarvers Assoc., Mehindi Henna Art, WWF Wildlife Trust, Bee-keepers Assoc., Guild of Spinners and Weavers and the Guild of Model Wheelwrights.

Last year’s Fun at Mill weekend (19-20th May 2001) saw a record 2,200 people visiting Sarehole Mill. Sarehole Mill was the original" of the Mill at Bywater in the Shire (as mentioned in The Lord of the Rings), and is now maintained as a traditional milling museum.

A Tolkien Country Park?

The Fun at Mill weekends have been organised to provide a free good day out, and to publicise the concept of a new park centred around Sarehole Mill. Contrary to several articles in the press in 1998, this is not a Tolkien Theme Park, but a country park based around Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog. Since 1998 a group of charitable organisations, the Moseley LNR Conservation Group, the River Cole and Chinn Book Conservation Group, The Tolkien Society and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, otherwise known as the Tolkien Country Park Partners, have been working towards the creation of this park in Birmingham. It was decided that this park should be known as The Tolkien Country Park because of the importance of the area to world-famous author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The plan is to create a linear park along the course of the River Cole past Sarehole mill, which is believed to be the last functioning water mill in Birmingham. The suggestions came initially from local residents, some of whom were aware of Tolkien’s links with the area.

Contact details for those wishing to discuss the Park Project:

(Please note that all these organisations are run by volunteers in their spare time)

The Tolkien Society: e-mail

Mrs Chris Crawshaw, 30 Span Meadow, Shawbirch, Telford, TF5 0NE.

The Moseley Bog LNR Conservation Group:

c/o Mrs Joy Fifer MBE, Wake Green Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9UZ.

The River Cole & Chinn Brook Conservation Group:

c/o Peter Bennett, 68 Smirrcus Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 0LB.

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country:

c/o Peter Bennett address as above.

About the Tolkien Society

The Tolkien Society was founded in 1969, its aim being to further interest in the life and works of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien, CBE, the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and other works of fiction and philological study. Based in the United Kingdom and registered as an independent, non-profit making charity, the Society boasts an international membership. The Society helps to bring together those with like minds, both formally and informally, with gatherings throughout the year. There are three such events at a national level: an Annual General Meeting and Dinner, the Seminar and Oxonmoot.

The society produces two publications; a bulletin, Amon Hen, appears six times a year with Tolkien-related reviews, news, letters, artwork and articles, both humorous and serious. The annual journal, Mallorn, is more serious in nature with longer critical articles, reviews and essays. For young members there is an active group, "Entings", which has its own section in the Society bulletin.

We also have a website, which provides members and non-members with general information about the park project, the society and the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien: