, the Mayor
... had been buried in chalk, and came out like a floured dumpling."
The Fellowship of the Ring I 9
At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
Michel Delving was the chief town of the Shire on the chalky White Downs, and there the 'Town Hole' was excavated into the hillside. At some point near the end of the Third Age1, the roof of the Town Hole collapsed with the Mayor, Will Whitfoot, inside. He escaped, but appeared from the rubble covered in white chalk powder. As a famously rotund Hobbit, gossip said that he had emerged looking like a floured dumpling, and this eventually transformed into an affectionate nickname for the Mayor, 'Flourdumpling'.
We don't know exactly when the Town Hole collapsed, but in Bree Pippin related it as apparently fairly recent news. This was on 29 September III 3018, so the collapse presumably occurred at some point in that year.
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