Nottingham’s iconic outlaw, Robin Hood, has been a beloved character for tourists and locals alike for many years. This year marks a special milestone, as actor and historian Ade Andrews celebrates 30 years of donning the famous green tights and feathered cap, embodying the legendary hero of Nottinghamshire.
Andrews’ journey as a Robin Hood tour guide began in the early 1990s, when he came to Nottingham after studying at university in London. With long hair, swordsmanship experience from Viking re-enactments, and a history degree, he believed he had the tools to bring Nottingham’s medieval past to life. However, he soon realised that the medieval scene was more like pantomime, and he was determined to do better.
In June 1993, Ade joined the Kiss My Axe festival circuit, honing his battle skills at renowned festivals like Edinburgh and Glastonbury. On the streets of Nottingham, he donned the Robin Hood persona, posing for photos with visitors, sharing stories, and collecting silver coins in the sunshine by the iconic Trip to Jerusalem pub. By night Ade hosted banquets at the now defunct ‘Tales of Robin Hood’ and 10 years of medieval madness ensued.
The next stage of Ade’s journey saw him gain a position as Heritage Ranger for the SFT, where he empowered communities to resurrect rural customs as focal points for modern-day celebrations.
The character of Robin Hood evolved over the years under Ade’s portrayal. From a dreamer with a sword, he grew into a master storyteller and became one of the country’s leading tour guides. Ade’s journey mirrored the development of his character, filling gaps in the market and focusing on delivering captivating stories.
Robin Hood Day in Nottinghamshire, celebrated on the 29th of October, holds a special place in Ade’s heart. While the day officially recognises the legendary outlaw, Ade, who portrays Robin Hood Day in and day out, enjoys taking the day off to relax and celebrate in the city’s ancient pubs and heritage venues.
Through the Robin Hood Town Tour, Ade shares a rich tapestry of history, weaving fact and fiction, myth and legend, into a captivating narrative. This higher-brow tour invites participants to explore the legend of Robin Hood against the backdrop of Nottingham’s evolving cityscape. The tour has won numerous awards and has earned recognition for its engaging storytelling.
Andrews’ work over the course of the last three decades has led him to represent the region on the international stage too. He has worked on many historical documentaries, most recently with French television at the National Justice Museum. He has flown the flag of the East Midlands at Global Real Estate Event MIPIM in Cannes. He has also forged an alliance with Sonyanaga Weblen, who was touring the world as a Maasai Cricket Warrior campaigning against F.G.M. After meeting via Nottingham Trent Global Lounge 5 years ago, the pair work together on creative cultural projects as Sony studies for his Master’s in Digital Media.
Ade has worked tirelessly to reconnect people to the land and the sense of place, inspiring a deep appreciation for Nottingham’s unique history and heritage. His journey over the past 30 years has been marked by incredible moments and milestones, which have touched the lives of countless visitors and residents.
As Ade reflects on this significant anniversary, he continues to celebrate Nottingham’s rich history and looks ahead to future projects. While he plans to step away from the iconic green tights someday, his work will carry on under the guidance of his alter ego, Ezekial Bone.
Andrews’ passion for Nottinghamshire’s history and the legend of Robin Hood remains as vibrant as ever, inspiring both local communities and visitors to appreciate the diverse heritage and culture of this remarkable region.
To find the full interview with Visit Nottinghamshire and Ade head to the Visit Nottinghamshire website – https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/blog/read/2023/10/nottinghams-robin-hood-celebrates-30-years-meet-the-man-behind-the-bow-b6420
Posted on 27 October 2023