People are wondering if a Leicestershire village has Middle-earth ties after a misspelled sign was spotted by eagle-eyed residents. The sign, which appears at the crossroads between Willesley Lane and Willesley Woodside, in Ashby, bears an almost correct spelling of the name of the nearby former mining village of Moira.
However, to quote the legendary Roy Walker of ITV’s Catchphrase, it’s good, but not fair. The sign says Moria instead of Moira.
It’s a mistake that’s become quite the talking point since it was posted online, drawing plenty of laughs – and comparisons to the location of a famous franchise. Moria can be found in the Lord of the Rings novels by JRR Tolkein.
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Moria is an underground realm beneath the misty mountains of Middle-earth, prompting several people to suggest online that the region may have previously unknown ties to the place whose name means “dark void”.
“Definitely saw a few Balrogs walking around to be fair,” one poster read, referring to a famous creature from Lord of the Rings. “Literally the ‘Mines of Moria’,” added another.
A third poster thought there might be a more material reason for the error. As for the sign maker, they posted, “Maybe they were a Tolkien fan.”
However, others didn’t quite see the funny side. One person even believed that the mistake would go unnoticed by many. “Ridiculous !” they posted, adding: !What’s really sad is some people wouldn’t notice it’s fake!”
One person remarked, “They had a job…”, while others tried their hand at finding a previously unknown linguistic tool to justify the error. “‘I before R except after O’…or something?” a position.
In a statement, Leicestershire County Council, which erected the sign, acknowledged the error and said it would be corrected. He also gave fans of the Lords of the Rings franchise a tongue-in-cheek warning.
“We would like to reassure those following the sign that it will get them nowhere near Moria and we thank them for bringing it to our attention,” said the senior member of the County Council’s cabinet for the highways and transportation, Councilor Ozzy O’Shea. “We’re sorry to disappoint Lord of the Rings fans, but we’re working to get the sign fixed as soon as possible.”