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Tolkien's Birmingham

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've never seen Moseley Bog myself but, like so many of these places around the area it's nice to know some still exist as they're bound to have influenced him in some shape or form. The fact that they escaped the creeping industrialisation he saw sweeping across the places he knew as a youngster, would I'm sure have pleased him. It's good the area still has these physical and visual landmarks to observe what Tolkien would have observed all those years ago. Viv.
 

wam

master brummie
I've never seen Moseley Bog myself but, like so many of these places around the area it's nice to know some still exist as they're bound to have influenced him in some shape or form. The fact that they escaped the creeping industrialisation he saw sweeping across the places he knew as a youngster, would I'm sure have pleased him. It's good the area still has these physical and visual landmarks to observe what Tolkien would have observed all those years ago. Viv.
The trouble with Moseley Bog on that line is that it was turned over to housing at some point. A guided tour will tell you which parts of the "Bog" were people's back gardens. Large parts of it have been planted recently. I remember going through there a few years back and being told to avoid parts because the plants were new.
 

Phil

Retired Layabout
I can remember in the early 70's tipping many loads of hard core and spoil at the Yardley Wood Road end of the bog to infill part of it so it could be converted to a sports field. I see now that it has been allowed to convert back to a nature reserve.
 

paul stacey

master brummie
I can't remember where, but I remember my dad telling me that there were some fabulous allotments in Moseley. Pre WW2.Paul
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
There is decking all around Moseley Bog, although you may still get your footwear muddy, if you go off the decking.

Photos taken in December 2012.





More here Moseley Bog


I regularly get the no 11C, 11A and 5 buses around the area (Wake Green Road and Cole Bank Road). The 2 and 3 also go past Moseley Bog on Yardley Wood Road.
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
The Two Towers models are now have a permanent home at Sarehole Mill. They were part of Birmingham's 2013 Chelsea Flower Show display, then later were outside the Library of Birmingham, the summer before it opened.





 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Good HE link Jim. I'm all for anyone (not just historians) adding their info to these records. You never know what additional insights can be gained from projects like this. And the monks early lavatory is intriguing ! Viv.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
We one went round (or rather up) Perrots folly. I think it was Heritage Weekend. I once accidentally sent for a will of a man who lived in the folly with his wife at the beginning of the 19thC. I was looking for a man with the same name! It described his book collection which I think lined the walls. I kept thinking to myself that the living quarters were a long way from the kitchens but then I suppose they had servants.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Good HE link Jim. All for anyone (not just historians) adding their info to these records. You never know what additional insights can be gained from projects like this. And the monks early lavatory is intriguing ! Viv.
An earlier name, a latin one, was the necessarium. The reredorter was an english word and garderobe came from French. All had the same purpose. ;)
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
One of my photo's of Perrott's Folly from June 2011.



Here's a video from History Needs You on Perrott's Folly

 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
Hungry Hobbit cafe not far from Sarehole Mill. There is three sandwich signs around the roundabout (near Wake Green Road, Swanshurst Lane and Cole Bank Road).

But they all now read "Hungry Hobb" with "it" painted out (two signs are black, one is white).

And on the actual cafe front it says "Hungry Ho b t".

It used to look like this:



Might it be to do with the Tolkien estates legal action from years and years ago?
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
Hungry Hobbit is just now Hungry Hobb.





Sarehole Mill sign on Cole Bank Road re J.R.R. Tolkien

 

farmerdave

master brummie
I feel it's a bit of an indictment on a neighbourhood when even a humble café (#75) needs metal security shutters to protect it. I remember taking a bus along the Stratford Road a couple of years ago, after the shops had closed, and nearly every shop had metal pull-down security shutters. In my area of Surrey (Dorking, Leatherhead, Guildford) they are hardly ever seen. Dave.
 

Astonian

gone but not forgotten
Hi Ellbrown
The reason why the cafe sign was altered was because it was the big boys
from the film makers of the Hobbit whom came around and isued a legal order
It was the warner brothers legal team whom threatened them to remove the actual sign above there premises
or they would be taken to the high court to have it removed and legal cost against them
As the toiken family signed the legal documents to warner brothers sole rights to the name
So the owners of the cafe challenge them and said no and they decide away around it it
change the letter O to a smaller one 0 there for its not actual copyright
they say no more on it, if you look up in the archives of the news paper of the mail some months back
you would have seen or find the article threating them with legal action agaist them meaning the cafe
on the subject of the metal shutters ,its because of it being a bad area of vandals
and of breakings and cafe are always targetted for there fruit and pinball machines and etc
I do know the area very well and i drive pass it most days of the week
 

ellbrown

ell brown on Flickr
Around 6 years ago was this article https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/moseley-cafe-hungry-hobbit-threatened-165469

Lawyers representing the Estate of JRR Tolkien and The Saul Zaentz Company (SZC, trading as Middle-earth Enterprises) have offered to let the owner of the Wake Green Road cafe in Moseley “phase out any use of the name Hungry Hobbit with a reasonable time”.

But they said failure to do so would leave international law firm Edwards Wildman with “no alternative but to pursue all the remedies afforded by law”.

A letter entitled ‘Unauthorised Use of Hobbit’ was written by London practice partner John Olsen on October 25, 2011.

It said SZC had “used and licensed others to use the Hobbit mark, and other marks derived from the Hobbit books, in the UK and many other countries for decades”.

I don't think it was Warner Bros, or New Line Cinema or MGM.


And this article from 5 years ago (2012)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-17383704

A Birmingham cafe in the area where The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien grew up is planning to change its name after a legal row with a US film company.

The Hungry Hobbit, in Moseley, may change its name to Obbit or have one 'b' back to front to appease lawyers from the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC).

SZC owns some Tolkien brands and has accused the cafe and a Southampton pub of copyright infringement.

Cafe owner Wendy Busst said she did not want a "six-figure" court battle.

Graham Young wrote a review of the cafe in 2013.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/odd-bite-hungry-hobbit-moseley-6403708
 
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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I expect that was the reason for the change, though I have my doubts if it would have been legally enforceable if the matter had gone to court. However there are always law firms willing to take a punt at anything that could make them money out of something. Many of the very dubious kind advertise it on TV with regard to accidents.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
There is a Tolkien Trail located in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire at a Christian Centre which is a well known Boarding school and college. It is said that many inspirations for his Lord of The Rings work was formulated in this area and some locations there do have a resonance to book names. His name appears in the college visitors book many times as does that of his wife, daughter and sons. One son was a teacher at the college and another trained for the priesthood there. (Rome was out of bounds at the time due to WW2). A nearby village is named Shireburn, an ancient family name and the name of the family who built the college. A strong connection can be made of Tolkien's deep Christian faith to some of the people and subjects in the book.
One thing not widely know is that in 1966 JRR Tolkien translated the Book of Jonah for the new English Bible translation of 'The Jerusalem Bible'. (The Jerusalem Bible, published in 1956 in French, based on the Hebrew and Greek texts and revised in 1961, was translated into English in 1966 )
 
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