Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Well a year has passed since the Tolkien Society with the Leeds Civic Trust unveiled the plaque at 2 Darnley Road. It stirred quite an interest in Tolkien and Leeds.

             There was a bulletin from the University of Leeds 
                who also supported of the plaque. It includes a
                the portrait of Tolkien from the 1920s when he
                was a member of the English Faculty.
It was followed by a piece during the run-up to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey referring to materials held at the Brotherton Library.
For today’s residents of West Park the Leodis Photographic Archive contains some period images of Darnley Road. These provide an insight to the opportunities that Tolkien saw for himself and his family at this time in their life. They had been living in St Marks Terrace (off Woodhouse Lane) for the best part of three years, though life so close to the city came with its own problems,  ‘chemicals in the air rotted the curtains within six months, and baby Michael was covered in smuts if he was left outside in his pram for any length of time; and Ronald found that he had to change his collar three times a day!’
The move to what were the ‘leafy suburbs’ of north Leeds must have been quite a prospect.
It still is, and today 2 Darnley Road stands as a lasting memorial to the development of Leeds and those who have come to live and work in this great city.

Ian Spittlehouse
The Tolkien Society