Playing Robin Hood

I saw this wonderful old picture recently; unfortunately I have no idea where or when it was taken, but I would guess it was sometime in the 1950’s or early 1960’s. It rekindled many happy memories of my own. As many of you know, during my youth I was lucky enough to live near woodland - and like the boy in the picture - I would often let my imagination take me to Sherwood Forest.

With the wonderful RobinHood TV series starring Richard Greene regularly shown, along with the Hollywood adventure movies such as Ivanhoe and The Knights of the Round Table, I was easily inspired. Later in the 1970’s I saw Disney’s live-action version of the Robin Hood story for the first time and this sparked my interest into researching the fascinating legend of the outlaw.

But sadly times have changed - and these days’ children very rarely get the opportunity to climb trees, build camps in the woods, or have pretend quarter staff fights. They now of course have their electronic 3D games that can do all that for them. But in my opinion nothing can replace the experience of being embraced by natural sunlit woodland and hearing the bird song under a canopy of green leaves. It is only then that I have found your imagination will lead you to Robin Hood.


Clement of the Glen said...

"Playing Robin Hood"

Adventures of Robin Hood TV series


Knights of the Round Table

Clement's Cogitation

Albie said...

Yes, I can remember playing around and in the Major Oak in Sherwood as a kid. In those days it wasn't fenced off so you could go right inside the tree. I think to was finally fenced around 1976 just before the current Sherwood Visitors Centre was opened.

Halcyon days indeed.......

Neil said...

The photograph looks very much as though it dates back to 1952 and the release of The Story of Robin Hood which was a great influence on all youngsters of the time. The later TV series is much better remembered I suppose because it ran for so long. I also remember the Major Oak when you could visit and go inside it. My wife often tells the story about her mother suffering a panic attack inside the Major Oak when so many people got crammed in there. Could not happen today.

Clement of the Glen said...

I believe one of the reasons The Major Oak was fenced off was to protect the roots. Apparently the ground around it was getting too compressed because of all the visitors!

I wonder how many people could fit inside the Major Oak? I would be interested to know.

Albie said...

In answer to both questions....

You can squeeze 12 adults inside the Major Oak. Not pleasant I'm sure.

Yes, it was fenced off due to soil compression preventing water getting to the tree's roots. They brought a machine in from Germany (it was featured on Tomorrows World 30 years ago) that blasted air into the ground to aerate it and let the water seep through to the roots.

Clement of the Glen said...

Many thanks Albie.

12 people! That's incredible. Was it patched up?

From looking at it from the fence recently it looks like it has been plastered with a waterproof coating to protect it. Lets hope it helps the oak survive for more generations to enjoy!

Albie said...

Yes Clement, it has been patched and looked after for many, many years now. And it should be here a good while longer.