The Middle Earth Weekend, held on May bank holidays for many years, has attracted thousands to Sarehole Mill in Hall Green – one of the inspiration of the writer’s work
Organisers of an axed festival celebrating Birmingham’s place as the home of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have promised it will return.
The Middle Earth Weekend, held on May bank holidays for many years, has attracted thousands to Sarehole Mill in Hall Green – one of the inspiration of the writer’s work.
As well as fans of the fantasy novels and films, often dressed as hobbits, wizards and orcs, the two-day festival has attracted artists, crafts people and families to the historic site.
But last month it was confirmed that there will be no 2014 event after no volunteers were found to fill the void following the retirement of long-term organisers Vivienne Wilkes, a former Lady Mayoress of Birmingham, and Steve Prior.
But now the We Are B28 Residents Association has come forward and is ready to organise the popular event reinstated for 2015.
Coun Barry Bowles (Lab, Hall Green) said: “Tolkien’s work was inspired by Sarehole Mill which has for the last decade been the home of the Middle Earth Weekend.
“It not only provides work for many artists, storytellers and crafts people it also supports Sarehole Mill.”
He paid tribute to the previous organisers who had built up a terrific event over the past few years and said he was delight that volunteers from We Are B28 have come forward to take it on.
Council deputy leader Ian Ward added: “It would be a great loss to the city if the festival does not continue.”
He added that council officers and park staff would be willing to meet with the organisers to provide advice and assistance to ensure the festival continues.
Further to this the Hall Green district committee, which has previously donated community funding to Middle Earth Weekend said it would continue to do so if funds are available.
Sarehole Mill and other sites such as Moseley Bog, have been credited with providing the inspiration for settings like Hobbitton and The Shire.