Today, I did one of my favourite of all tours – a full afternoon exploring the locations in and around Birmingham that influenced the young JRR Tolkien in his life and writing. I always enjoy these tours, but today’s was particularly memorable. It was for Lower Sixth students from Bromsgrove School, and most of the students, and indeed one of the teachers, had made the effort to dress up in Lord Of The Rings related costumes for the event. So whilst walking around the various sites, I was leading a mixed bunch of elves, ring wraiths, wizards and hobbits (complete with prosthetic hairy feet). The effort they had made reflected their enthusiasm for Tolkien’s work, and it was even more of a pleasure than usual to work with the group and share my own passion for Tolkien and Birmingham with them.