Awesome tale from the Guardian, of the charity which spent just £1 to get a Grade II Listed building, which can hardly be said to be a bargain, as it now needs to raise £1 million to fix it up.
Their plan: to turn Perrott's Folly in Birmingham into an open community center offering inexpensive and rewarding facilities and experiences to the deprived locals.
The oddity: It's a spot on the Tolkien tourist trail, Looking down on where he lived as a child and where he went to school, it's been suggested as an influence on the towers in his books.
The awesome quote showing the ambition to make this historic building a true source of pride and help to the community, and not just monetising it into "A loo, brew and a view"*:
"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."Ben Bradley of Trident Reach the People Charity
Read the whole story from the newspaper here, and also the press release from the charity, with a shot of the building's interior, here. To support their noble ambitions to restore and maintain one of 'Tolkien's Towers', while helping the community, get involved by sharing their fundraising page or by making a donation.
* The phrase A loo, brew and a view was gifted to me by a staff member from the National Trust, to explain that all some people want from a site, in order of importance, is pleasant toilets, a good cup of tea, and something nice to look at while drinking the tea. And it doesn't really matter to them what that nice thing is.