10yr-old boy fights to save J.R.R. Tolkien hotel, The Three Cups

June 23rd, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jun 23 (ANI): A 10-year-old Brit boy has started a campaign to save a seaside hotel in which noted English writer J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a part of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

The Three Cups Hotel in Lyme Regis, Dorset, has been left in a derelict state, with developers wanting to convert it into flats.

But when Leon Howe discovered that a part of his favourite book had been written there, he was determined to save it.

He turned the campaign into a school project, and, on June 20, staged a protest march through the town, collecting 1,000 signatures on the way.

Howe and other local residents want West Dorset District Council compulsorily to purchase the hotel from Palmer’s Brewery, and sell it to someone who will restore it to its former glory.

His mother Rikey, 41, who owns a teddy bear shop directly opposite the hotel, revealed that her son was very excited to discover that Tolkien had stayed there.

“Leon is a Tolkien fanatic and loves reading The Hobbit so he was very excited when he found out Tolkien spent a lot of time there,” Times Online quoted her as saying.

“We attended a recent public meeting to discuss the hotel and sat at the front. When the open mike came round he put his hand up.

“He said that he felt so strongly that the hotel should be saved that he was going to do a school project on it and he was cheered,” she added.

The little boy even drew and printed 200 leaflets promoting the protest march as part of his project at Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School in Lyme Regis.

“Before this the Three Cups was just a building to me but now it is a really important building,” he explained.

“I don’t think it should be abused like this. I am extremely angry and I don’t want to be my mum’s age and it still be looking like this,” he added.

The Georgian hotel had many illustrious guests before it closed 20 years ago, including Jane Austin, Alfred Tennyson and Dwight D. Eisenhower, the US military commander who led the D-Day landings.

It also featured in the film ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’, starring Jeremy Irons, who is also backing the campaign. (ANI)

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