From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
I am proud to announce that I am taking part in a new writing and performance project that has been running for over a month now. The project is called ‘Light from the Shadows’ – a name that reminds me of a line from a poem by Professor Tolkien and which could not be more befitting because the project is about Moseley Bog – the place about which I have written often in this blog and which was the favourite childhood playground of the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The project is organised by the Birmingham REP Theatre, which, by the way, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The aim of the project is to produce an audio guide around Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog, two historical landmarks and iconic places because of their connection to J.R.R. Tolkien.
I have taken part in sessions which took place in Hall Green Library (about which, by the way, I plan to write soon for my series of articles on Birmingham’s libraries) and in Moseley Bog. I have recorded our group walk in Moseley Bog and will soon publish my account together with a podcast, so watch this space!
Please see the leaflet of the project below:
Light From the Shadows – FRONT
Light From the Shadows – BACK
For those who are not familiar with audio walks – you can go to Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, visit the Midlands Arts Centre (the MAC) and get an audio guide to which you can listen as you walk or go online, download a series on Cannon Hill Park from here, stick them onto your audio players and take a walk even when the MAC is closed.
Best of luck and enjoy writing!
P.S. Check out this link about the project!
This article starts the series of articles about various libraries of the Second City. A page dedicated to libraries alone will be created soon. Stay tuned!
Located on the corner of Icknield Road and Spring Hill (by the way, the former is an ancient Roman road!), this Grade 2 star listed building, a fine example of Victorian and Gothic architecture, is often mistaken for a church. Its ornate façade made of red bricks and terra cota (which is known for its weather-resistant, strong glazed surface) has witnessed 120 years of history and retained its beauty till the present day. The 65-feet tall clock tower proudly overlooks the roundabout and the surrounding neighbourhood. It is a small library but, nestling in the corner of the new Tesco shop, it is by no means dwarfed by the supermarket. Quite on the contrary, it stands its ground, proud of its age and the wisdom it holds inside, as if proclaiming, ‘I’m still standing!’ despite the past attempts to move or even demolish it. Continue reading
Who wouldn’t like to leave behind all the hustle and bustle of the city, enter a place where nature reigns, take out a notebook and let thoughts flow faster than the pen can write them down? There is a place like that in the Second City. You don’t even have to go towards the outskirt: the mysterious corner of inviting greenery, where, with a little imagination, you can experience everything from bliss to premonition and fright – all in the name of writing a good story – is nesting in the middle of Birmingham’s urban network. Welcome to Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood Nature Reserve. Continue reading
How often would you use the word ‘beautiful’ when talking about a railway station? Situated in central Birmingham, the ornate brick frontage of this Grade II listed building with golden letters hides the view that could easily be the set for filming a Charlie Chaplin movie or a perfect documentary about this history of the British Rail. Here, you can see the black iron front gates alongside modern electronic ticket barriers; here, chunky Great Western Railway 1930s’ style platform signs co-exist with modern electronic notice boards that tell the time of arrival for the next train. Renovated in 2002 to its 1930s’ condition, the station has since then won two prestigious heritage awards for being yet another hidden gem in Birmingham where inspiration is concealed under your very noses. Continue reading