HOBBITS, dwarfs and elves took over a Rocester school last week in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of classic book The Hobbit or There and Back Again.
Abbotsholme School played host to a special ‘Hobbity’ chapel to start the day and this was followed by the Preparatory School recital competition of which was won by the infants.
A second breakfast was had at 11am by all elves, dwarfs and hobbits followed by activities including map making, writing in Runes, speaking Elvish, readings in the Dingle, a treasure hunt and a barrel race on the River Dove.
Even parents got involved by partaking of cabbage soup and Lammas bread in the weekly Parents’ Cafe on the farm in the afternoon.
The celebrations of The Hobbit were particularly important due to some special history Abbotsholme School has which links it to the world-renowned best-seller and soon-to-be Hollywood movie trilogy.
The school was the home of a 10-year-old pupil in 1935 who gave the go-ahead for the publication of The Hobbit after his father handed him a manuscript and said read this and report back.
Rayner Unwin read the book and wrote a positive report back to his father, Stanley Unwin, also a former Abbotsholme pupil who proceeded to publish the novel.
Steve Fairclough, headmaster of Abbotsholme, said, “The day has been a fantastic celebration of a timeless book and the care the pupils have taken in dressing up for this unique day has been amazing.
“We have had so many hobbit activities throughout the day for our pupils, staff and parents to get involved in and everyone has had a great day learning about ‘The Hobbit’ and its place in many people’s hearts.
“We are also very proud of Abbotsholme and its connection with ‘The Hobbit’.
“Rayner Unwin, a pupil at the time, was involved in its publication because of his encouraging report which included the following words — ‘it is good and should appeal to all children’ — that he wrote for his father who had tasked him with reading the manuscript.