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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Monday, 3 May 2010 14:41 UK
The legend of Robin Hood

Keith Gascoigne takes aim with his bow
Keith Gascoigne started as an apprentice bow maker when he was 15

Bow maker Keith Gascoigne, 63, is hoping Ridley Scott's Robin Hood film will renew interest in archery and improve his sales.

Mr Gascoigne admits business has been knocked by the recession but feels that the movie might create a new generation of archery enthusiasts.

He said: "Any Robin Hood film is good for business. All I can say is we ought to have one every year."

A previous boom in sales coincided with the release of The Lord of the Rings.

Ridley Scott's new gritty take on the Robin Hood legend has come at a good time for Keith.

He runs KG Archery in Walesby, Nottinghamshire, and like many other businesses he has seen a dip in sales during the recession.

However, he feels the film is an opportunity to get people involved in his sport.

"We were the only nation [in the middle ages] that from the ages of seven to 70 we [had to] practise with a bow, by law," said Keith.

"It's in our genes. We are all born as archers."

Keith hopes Russell Crowe as Robin Hood will reignite that natural passion for the pursuit.

"It might get the general public to have a go. With archery it is not always the person with the best hand eye coordination that becomes the best archer.

"With the right training even the most awkward child can shine with bows and arrows, it's quite unique in that aspect."

Medieval professions
Farrier attaches a flaming shoe to horse

Keith would know. His bows were used by Newark's Maggie Parker and Anita Chapman MBE during the Paralympics in Athens, 2004, when they won team gold.

Julie Walton is Keith's fletcher, she designs and makes the arrows.

Julie is expecting to be busy over the coming months and has seen how a blockbuster, which features archers, can improve business.

"With Lord of the Rings and [the character] Legolas, everyone wanted to be him.

"We sold so many back quivers, everyone wanted traditional stuff and where else can you buy it from?"

Robin Hood is due to be released in cinemas on 14 May, 2010.


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