Orcs and trolls on ram­page at fes­ti­val

Solihull News - - NEWS - ROZ LAWS roz. laws@ trin­i­tymir­ror. com

IT’S the 80th an­niver­sary of The Hob­bit this month – but there wasn’t one of the hairy- footed crea­tures in sight at the Mid­dle Earth Fes­ti­val.

There was, how­ever, a ter­ri­fy­ing nine- foot tall troll who won the cos­tume com­pe­ti­tion, and lots of dwarves, elves and scary orcs.

Plus the oc­ca­sional Gan­dalf and even Vik­ings, who don’t ac­tu­ally fea­ture in JRR Tolkien’s work.

The free two- day fes­ti­val, now in its 17th year, was held last week­end at Sare­hole Mill, in Hall Green, where Tolkien grew up and cel­e­brates all things Lord of the Rings and me­dieval.

The fear­some crea­tures didn’t let heavy rain dampen their spir­its and up to 10,000 peo­ple from all over the coun­try and even abroad are ex­pected to at­tend.

Or­gan­iser Bob Hawtin said: “It was great that so many peo­ple turned out, de­spite the weather. They put so much time and ef­fort into the cos­tumes which have been great this year.

“I par­tic­u­larly liked the in­cred­i­ble troll on stilts,” he added.

“I thought I knew Tolkien but we had some strange crea­tures this year that I hadn’t heard of. “We haven’t had any hob­bits but we have more orcs than usual, plus UrukHai, tem­ple guards and one dwarf with full beard and an axe.” As well as food and drink stalls, there was plenty to see and take part in. Par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar were the bat­tles, fal­conry dis­play and the squire train­ing with swords and light ar­mour.

You could also have a go at axe throw­ing and archery and see how ar­rows are made at the black­smiths.

New this year was the Henry Hot­spur joust­ing horse, with rid­ers on a wooden horse pulled along at speed as they have to hit tar­gets.

Ha­roon and Rayyan Mehmood with two Uruk- Hai at the Mid­dle Earth Fes­ti­val, Sare­hole Mill. In­set be­low, a vik­ing bat­tle

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