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This report will be a very positive report. I will not go over the negative aspects of the event, as enough has been said and written about that already. If you dont know anything about Collectormania and the storm of complaints that followed its mismanagement, please go to the C4 forums and read the recent threads
On Saturday the 4th October, I got up at 4am to catch a plane from Edinburgh to Luton. I arrived at the Centre in Milton Keynes at about 9.45am, and had a wee look around Middleton Hall while waiting for Sky (Roxane from London). The set-up seemed good, lots of stalls to spend money at, and a clear layout of the guests booths.
After Sky arrived, we made our way to the place where Sala Baker (Sauron) and Lawrence Makaore (Lurtz) were signing autographs. We noticed that there were very few people queueing for Sala, so we started there. I introduced myself and the Scottish Fellowship to him, and explained about the dvd parties and auctions for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. He was delighted when I gave him his honorary membership card and immediately asked Lawrence (who was sitting only a few feet away) if he had got one too! Sala signed my Argonath glossy photo with a personal mention, and also signed a superb photo of him as Sauron for our auctions. We took a photo, and finally as no one was waiting behind us, I asked him if he would record a short message for the new Scottish Fellowship website on my digital voice recorder. He duly accepted! By this time I was shaking like a leaf, but delighted at how friendly and approachable he was. Sky got her LOTR book signed and we were done.
A great start!
We then started queueing for Lawrence Makaore, but the queue was quite long already. We were given tickets to come back an hour and a quarter later. Sky and I decided then to go for second breakfast 😉
After food and a well needed dose of caffeine for me, we had a look at where Brent McIntyre (The WitchKing) was, among many other stars (The Matrix Twins, Honor Blackman and many more), and realised that there was no queue at all for him! We actually couldnt see him either, and after asking a member of staff we waited and were first to see him when he reappeared a few minutes later. As he only charged £10 for his signed photos, I bought 2 for the auctions. He was very nice and friendly too, and is a rather striking looking person: very, very tall (well over 6ft Im sure), with no hair but ginger sideburns, striking eyes, and a pale complexion, I could see why he had been cast as the WitchKing!!! LOL!!! He was honoured to be asked to join the Scottish Fellowship, he said, and was very happy to sign everything I put in front of him. I gave him his card, a leaflet and a member of staff took a photo of him and me, and finally he also accepted to record a message, yay!!!
Later we came back and queued again for Lawrence. He was very nice too, and very patient as I explained once again about who I was and what the SF is, and just like Sala, he was very pleased to sign a great photo of him as Lurtz, and sign my Argonath photo, as well as accept the membership card, and he recorded a rather long short message for the website! He also signed Skys LOTR book. He is one very cool guy! Once again, we took some great photos J All the photos I have of the day will be posted on the new website
As we had managed to see all LOTR actors present that day, it was then time for some serious LOTR shopping! I bought some great FotR Toy-Biz action figures to add to my collection, as well as a great Saruman Figure by Applause for the auction (got a bargain price on it!) and best of all I found, after a lot of shopping around for the best price, a set of Helms Deep action figures including the very sought-after Haldir figure, at 2 thirds of the price Forbidden Planet charge for it 😉 It ended up being a lot of stuff to carry around but Im glad I waited til the end of the afternoon to spend my money
After dropping the shopping at the hotel, it was then time to go to the Xscape complex for the screening of The Two Towers and the Q&A session beforehand. Nobody had any idea about which actors would attend which Q&A session, so we were all very excited. We got into the cinema at 5.40pm and at 6.30pm they appeared: Brent McIntyre, Lawrence Makaore, Sala Baker and .. DOMINIC MONAGHAN!!! You can imagine the kind of reception he got!!!
The Q&A session was very good, despite some silly questions from some fans Dom was very entertaining, Lawrence and Sala were a great comedy double-act!!!
At the end the guys left and the screening of The Two Towers started. As it had been a loooooooooong day for me, after 15 minutes I gave up and Sky and I went back to the hotel for a well earned rest!
Sunday 5th October: After a relatively light sleep, Sky and I got ready to return to C4. We were very excited, and wanted to be there early enough. We met up with The Flying Gribble (Dave from Horsham) and together we walked back to Middleton Hall. As we got close we could see the crowds by the time we reached C4, the place was absolutely mobbed. We tried to get tickets but realised that all tickets had already been issued for Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan and Sean Astin. I only managed to get a ticket for Andy Serkis. I was absolutely devastated. I would have cried if I hadnt been angry, very, very angry. The rest of the day was spent waiting around for at least a glimpse of the Hobbits, and I just about managed to take a photo of each of them. At about 4pm it was my turn to queue for Andy Serkis. He was absolutely charming! We had a quick chat, he signed my Argonath photo, and the 2 photos I bought for the auctions, I gave him his membership card and explained to him that I had some cards for the other 3 actors but didnt get tickets to see them. To this Andy replied that he could do something to help. He took the other cards, passed one to Sean Astins minder who was sitting right next to him, and he promised he would pass on the other cards to Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan!!! What a great guy J We took a photo, and it was all over!
An hour later I was in a bus, on the way back to Luton airport, and a couple of hours after that I was back in Scotland, exhausted, and half ecstatic, half disappointed
However, to finish up on a positive note, thanks to The Flying Gribble and Pippins Cat, who were at C4 on Monday, and saw the Hobbits, we will have great reports to read about meeting them, getting autographs, for me as well as for the SF auctions J!!!!!