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Tolkien treasure trove and Hobbit fun day will reveal author's history in Staffordshire

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 03, 2013

  • HOBBIT FANS ... Mikey Roberts, 11, George Brown, 14, and Mike Reynolds at Penkridge Library with the Peter Jackson letter and Tolkien walks Middle-Earth style map.

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TO CELEBRATE the next instalment of The Hobbit film trilogy - and author JRR Tolkien's connection with Staffordshire - staff at Penkridge Library have gathered a veritable dragon's hoard all things Middle Earth and are urging residents to come along and see if they can find something 'precious'. 

Staffordshire Libraries Chief, County Councillor Mike Lawrence told the Newsletter there were references in JRR Tolkien's famous work that related  to Penkridge, Great Haywood, Shugborough Hall and Cannock Chase. 

“It’s clear that Staffordshire had a profound effect on this world famous author," said Councillor Lawrence.

“And to have a personal letter from Hobbit director Peter Jackson commending Penkridge Library’s on its Tolkien collection and educational work must be the best recommendation any true fantasy fan can get to go and visit the library. 

“The Hobbit Family Fun Day is the perfect way to get in the mood for the next instalment of the Hobbit movie trilogy coming in December.” 

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The world famous author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings spent time in Staffordshire in his early life, serving as an officer in the Lancashire Fusiliers stationed on Cannock Chase.

In 1918 he was again posted to Staffordshire and moved to Penkridge briefly alongside his wife and newly born son, John. 

The cottage they lived in at Gypsy Green on the Teddesly Park Estate, later featured as Fladweth Amrod or Nomad’s Green in the book The Silmarillion.

Tolkien began his seminal work writing about the mythology of Middle Earth in The Book of Lost Tales during this period.

The, free to attend Hobbit Family Fun Day, on November 16 is set to feature a host of activities, including;

  • A chance to meet a Knight of Gondor, learn about his weapons and armour and hear what it's like to do battle with a troll.

  • A fantasy-gaming and painting workshop, where people will have a chance to paint and take away a Middle-Earth model and learn how to play some of the games based on Tolkien's books with members of the library's gaming club, as well as meet Simon Black, a master model maker and painter who has worked for White Dwarf magazine and will be exhibiting some of his own work on the day. 


  • Meet author Robert S Blackham - author of a number of books about Tolkein's life - and listen to him talk about the famous author's connections to the area from midday, and at 6.30pm a talk on the local landmarks that inspired Middle Earth.

  • See the personal letter written by Oscar-winning director of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit films, Peter Jackson, to the library praising them for their dedication celebrating Tolkien and his works, and educating people about the author and his connections to Staffordshire. 

  • View the work of local artist Hannah Reynolds depicting Tolkien in the Great War, surrounded by scenes of Middle Earth, and a map of Penkridge Library's Local History Walk, in Tolkien's style, unveiled by Mr Blackham. 

  • A chance to get involved in the Tolkien Community Art Project and help create a Middle Earth mosaic mural for permanent display at Penkridge Library, at a series of workshops, starting on Thursday 7 November and running through to Saturday 18 January. 

  • Visitors will also be able to get involved in the The Great War Hut Project and meet a soldier from the period, experience how soldiers lived during that time, and see a variety of artefacts from the First World War including uniforms, kit and weapons.

  • For younger visitors there will be craft activities, face-painting and a 'hunt the dwarves' treasure-hunt.

Activities at the Hobbit Family Fun Day are free, apart from a small charge for face painting to cover materials.

For further details call Penkridge Library on  (01785) 712916, email penkridge.library@staffordshire.gov.uk or visit the Staffordshire Libraries Facebook page at facebook.com/staffordshirelibraries or follow them on Twitter @StaffsLibraries.


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