This week in Derbyshire Hospitals, we looked at the theme of Robin Hood. Everyone’s heard of Robin Hood – the outlaw of Sherwood Forest, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor – and I bet that most people in the UK and around the world too have seen a film or TV adaptation of this ancient legend – from Errol Flynn in the 1930s, to the 1970s Disney version with Robin Hood played by a fox, to Kevin Costner in 1991 and the latest BBC adventure.
Robin Hood is famous all over the world – as a legendary figure who may or may not have existed – and whose exploits have been re-told by storytellers, singers and writers since medieval times. He’s most famously associated with Sherwood Forest and Nottingham – less than an hour’s drive away from Derbyshire, and as my family are from Nottingham, my childhood included a Robin Hood dressing up outfit made by my nan!
But Loxley on the outskirts of Sheffield, is supposedly Robin Hood’s birthplace, and Barnsdale Forest near Wakefield, was another one of the famous outlaw’s hideouts. There are also lots of Robin Hood related places in Derbyshire – most famously, Little John’s grave in Hathersage, Robin Hood’s Stride – a rock formation near Matlock, Robin Hood’s cave at Stanage Edge, and various pubs, farms and street names! The legendary Robin Hood certainly left his mark around here.
Everyone remembered the theme tune from the 1950s TV series, The Adventures of Robin Hood! We had some good sing-alongs.
The Legend of Robin Hood
He robs the rich to give to the poor
All in green, with Maid Marion and his merry men –
Tights and a feather in his hat,
Dressed like Peter Pan.
Will Scarlett, Little John Friar Tuck,
In Sherwood Forest.
Everything I do – mostly it’s for someone else –
Cooking, washing, gardening –
For someone else to appreciate.
That much is true.
We finished our sessions by making paper Robin Hood hats – simple, but surprisingly effective, and lots of fun.