On Saturday October 8th well over 100 visitors came to the Tolkien Shop in Leiden (Holland) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the only store in the world, entirely dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. The shop was cramed with people chatting, drinking and buying. The latter was even more frantic when it was announced that as part of the festivities a store-wide discount of 25% was available.

At noon the program started with talks and songs from the most esteemed hobbit Fortinbras Proudfoot (aka Peter Kenny from Australia). He entertained the crowd with stories from the Shire and a song or two, even managing the crowd to sing along (picture silver3). He then guided everyone outside where he unveiled the stunning airbrush paint job on the new van of the Tolkien Shop (picture silver). Done by the Dutch artist Ronald Meerman it shows Bilbo leaving Bag-End at the rear of the van, and tSmaug on his treasure on one side and Smaug attacking Laketown on the other. See more of this artist on his website www.creapaint.nl.

The program continued with a harp concert, a talk by Marcel Buelles (founder of the German Tolkien Society) on drugs in Middle-earth and finished by the Dutch celtic band Anois, who performed a number of Tolkienian songs (picture silver7).

All enjoyed the day in this heaven for Tolkien fans. I cannot say we should do this again in 25 years time, for that would be well passed my retirement age, but I am sure that Tolkienshop.com will keep on being a service to the fans for many years to come. No doubt with the upcoming Hobbitmovies even more people will discover its delights.

For more pictures of the event see www.tolkienshop.com or my facebook page Rene van Rossenberg.