Notes from a meeting between the Chairman and others of the Tolkien Society, and Mr McCabe, MP for Birmingham Hall Green, at Birmingham Town Hall, March 27th 1998.
Mr. McCabe outlined his ideas for the creation of a linear park in currently open public space along the River Cole, including Sarehole Mill. His ideas were prompted by suggestions from a number of his constituents, in particular the River Cole and Chinn Brook Conservation Group. As well as enhancement of the current museum at the Mill (possibly the last functioning water mill in Birmingham) Mr McCabe thought that because of Tolkien's associations with the area some recognition of this link should be incorporated into the project.
The Tolkien Society presented its current ideas for a Tolkien Centre. The Tolkien Centre Proposals were based on the findings a working party of the Society. They take a pragmatic view: various possibilities for the development of a Tolkien Centre are explored and evaluated, only some of which are applicable to the current circumstances. A copy of the entire Tolkien Centre Proposal is available here.
In the following discussions, it was felt that a Tolkien Centre, as envisaged by the Tolkien Society, could fit very well with the scheme as envisioned by Mr McCabe.
The proposed park area is a narrow strip of land, running alongside the River Cole, through suburban Birmingham. The land widens out around Sarehole Mill, where there is space which could possibly be used for a very limited development of new buildings.
As the next step, MrCabe will ask an officer of Birmingham City Council to work up some preliminary costings.
We agreed that within eighteen months we would know whether or not this project is viable.