This event took place on 13/14th May 2000.
1,600 people visited an exhibition held over the weekend. This is about 1,000 more people than normally turn up for open days ... and that's not counting the people who paused to look at the exhibitions on the green. Sarehole Mill was the 'original' of the Mill at Bywater in The Lord of the Rings, and is now maintained as a traditional milling museum.
The exhibition was a joint effort of Birmingham City Council library and the Tolkien Society. In addition to the exhibition were guided walks around Moseley Bog, historic crafts and dramatisations of parts of The Hobbit which were done by local dramatic groups.
This is a view showing the chimney and some of the courtyard of the mill. At the left of the picture is where the grain was winched up into the mill before being ground into flour. Later on in the life of the mill an engine was added which replaced one of the water wheels; the chimney dissipated the smoke from the engine. The doors on the right of the picture are a recent addition; the exhibitions were inside the display area behind them.
The mill pond is only a few feet deep and is a favourite spot for water fowl. Because of the size of the pond it is only possible to run the mill for a few hours. When the mill was in full production it required much more water which was provided by Moseley Bog. The bog was dammed at the eastern end and water from it was channeled to Sarehole and other mills in the area.
The picture shows a permanent exhibition by Birmingham City Museums (panels on the wall, to left) and temporary exhibition by Birmingham City Library (on velcro-loop panels, to right).
The items in the case are examples of work inspiration by Tolkien's works. The display on the flat boards give details of Tolkien's life and works, explain briefly about philology and the various societies which have grown up around enthusiasm for Tolkien.
The dramatised readings were performed in a natural theatre space just to one side of the courtyard at the front of the mill. Centred in this space is an old mill stone.
Also shown is the table where there children's drawings were organised from.
"'Good morning!' said Bilbo, and he meant it. ... Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
"'What do you mean?' he said. 'Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?'
"'All of them at once,' said Bilbo. 'And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain. If you have a pipe about you, sit down and have a fill of mine! There's no hurry, we have all the day before us!'"
The dwarves turn up, only two of them but quite sufficient to give a good impression of the story.
The three trolls were the highlight of the dramatised readings. They were tall and with their mis-matched clothing just looked very troll-like. During the scene when they had captured the Dwarves and were being confused by Gandalf they began to fight; all three of them got into character and were very soon kicking and punching each other and rolling about on the ground. All thoroughly good fun.
Children (and some adults) drew pictures of dragons, Sarehole Mill, goblins and a hobbit-hole.
The start of the collection of drawings by the numerous children who attended the event.