The LeftLion version (including Al Needham’s rebuttal can be found HERE
Oh God – an entire LeftLion dedicated to Robin Hood? I’m surprised you bothered to pick it up. I’m even more surprised LeftLion have done it in the first place, I didn’t think Robin Hood was cool enough for this magazine. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ‘Robin Hood issue’ is just an ironic piss-take. There’s probably a nasty drawing of Robin Hood on the cover, strung out on heroin, selling Big Issues with his cock out.
I don’t care; I’m pro-Robin Hood and proud of it. Yes, man-tights aren’t cool and yes, there have been some truly crap Robin Hood-related tourist attractions in this town but does that mean Nottingham should shut out Robin Hood completely? Frankly, you’d be positively mad to say ‘yes’.
Do you know what other cities would do to have Robin Hood? There is a Canadian town whose biggest draw is that it sounds like a planet from Star Trek and another that houses the world’s largest perogy. Let me say that again; the world’s largest perogy.
I’m sure it draws Ukrainians in by the truckload, but damn – how bad does Glendon, Alberta have to suck that a giant statue of a meat dumpling (on a fork!) is its main landmark? If the Mayor of Glendon found out that the guy who played Kevin Costner’s butt double in Prince of Thieves once stopped there to have a dump, Glendon would now be known as Robinhoodland.
I’m not saying Nottingham needs to put every penny of arts spending into Robin Hood-related festivities, but how about changing the name of the Goose Fair to Robin Hood Fair and tacking on a medieval market and international archery competition? You would have little Korean kids peeing their pants in excitement at the prospect of coming to Nottingham.
Nottinghamian apathy towards Robin Hood has not just lost you a tourism buck or two, it’s done something far worse—it’s lost you Sherwood Forest—the desecration of which is a national disgrace. I remember how excited I was to see it and how disappointed I was when I got there. Whenever friends of mine from back home come to visit me, that’s the first thing they want to see, and the first thing they whinge about when they go back home.
Nottingham is a very cool town; easily one of my favourite places in the UK even in its current Hood-less state. Does that mean adding Robin Hood back into the mix to attract tourism would be such a bad thing? Definitely not. The world loves Robin Hood – why not make a buck or ten off of those suckers? Maybe then the Sherwood Forest Trust wouldn’t have to rely on donations and failed lottery bids to continue with the very good (and extremely important) work they are doing now to save Sherwood Forest. That can only be a good thing.
Listen up, Nottingham: you need to bring Robin Hood back into your massive immediately. The poor, neglected bastard is in the Thurland on his own and a dirty Yorkshireman has just roofied his drink…