A note from Vivienne Wilkes, one of the many organizers of the Middle-earth Weekend, with details of next year’s event. This will be held as usual at:

Sarehole Mill in Birmingham, England
and will be open from 11.00am until 5.00pm on
Saturday and Sunday
15th and 16th May 2010.

Vivienne is not taking an active role in the organization this year since she is instead following in the footsteps of Rosie Cotton. Rosie’s husband Sam Gamgee as, you will recall, became Mayor of Michael Delving in the years following the Hobbits’ adventures in ‘The Lord of the Rings’. By strange coincidence Viv is married to this year’s Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Of course a major difference is Michael Wilkes will be Lord Mayor for one year only whereas Sam was Mayor for many, many years.

One of the numerous privileges of being Lady Mayoress of Birmingham has been seeing the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ of Anglo-Saxon warrior artifacts that were on display at Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery.

How delighted Tolkien would have been with this special and extremely important discovery, and as a self-proclaimed Birmingham man, I am sure he would have been thrilled at the plans to keep this find in the West Midlands (or Mercia, to give the area its original Anglo-Saxon name). The golden hoard has now been valued at £3.3 million and the Museum of Birmingham and its companion Museum in Stoke-on-Trent have 4 months to raise funds to keep and display these wonderful Anglo-Saxon artifacts.

Just think, if all Tolkien’s fans world-over felt able to donate just one English pound each, I am sure the funds would be raised in no time. How wonderful to visit Birmingham at some future date and combine the Middle-earth Weekend with a visit to examine the Staffordshire Hoard itself.

If you are interested you can find out more via the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery website:

www.bmag.org.uk/support-us Follow the link to ‘Staffordshire Hoard’.

Should you feel able to help out a little you can then donate using the ‘Charity Choice’ link on that page.

Many and grateful thanks. Vivienne Wilkes