A man has recalled how his best friend at school was in the same class as a boy who was going bald.
Moys Kenwood, then 13, and his best pal, Derek, a year older, lived near each other, and spent much time in each other's company, playing football, cricket, golf, and knocking-off-ginger. *
They also went to the same school, and had an interest in table tennis, and would go to school earlier than was strictly necessary in order to practise. Often, it was just the pair of them, but, sometimes, another boy came along - Richard.
This individual could easily have been the inspiration behind some of Tolkien's characters. Just under four feet tall, squat, he moved around jerkily, and spoke rather quickly, and through his nose, making him appear gnome-like.
Added to this, Richard's wispy thatch was already receding - and before he had even reached his fifteenth birthday!
His 'premature thinning' had even prompted Derek to come up with the nickname 'Baldilocks and the Three Hairs'.
Richard was also rubbish at table tennis.
* A hilarious game played by knocking on someone's door, then running away.