Perrott's Folly3Maeve Kennedy in the Guardian writes about Perrott’s Folly in Edgbaston which was bought for a pound by the Trident Reach the People charity. In the early 20th century the writer JRR Tolkien lived nearby and would see two towers: the Folly and the Victorian stack which forms part of the Edgbaston Water Works. Some ask whether the buildings inspired the Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ms Kennedy gives details of the tower’s history and a fine set of photographs, such as the one on the left, can be seen on the website of ‘Ragged Robin’.

Work, supervised by the Birmingham Conservation Trust, an independent charity founded in 1978, removed the tower from the Buildings At Risk Register in 2005. Details of the work needed can be seen on their website.

Maeve reports that Trident’s Ben Bradley urged the charity to buy it for community use, not as a tourist attraction but because it is a source of ‘pride and wonder’ in a district with pockets of the worst deprivation in the city – and in the country. It is already being used by and for local people.

Ben Bradley remarks:

“We’re working in estates where the history is of agencies coming in, doing projects and pulling out again – essentially these places have been abandoned. We don’t want the people here to think aliens have got out of a spacecraft and taken over a building which is, quite rightfully, theirs.”

“If all we ended up with here is four-wheel-drives pulling up and Mumsy, Mimsy and Wimpy hopping out for a quick look, and then driving away again 10 minutes later, as far as I’m concerned we’d have failed.”