Your Family Tree

Have you ever wondered who your ancestors were? Where they lived? What they did for an occupation? Let me help you take those first steps back to your family's past.

With over 25 years experience and a qualification in genealogy from Strathclyde University, I can search birth, marriage and death certificates for you. I can also access the Census returns - taking your family tree back to the 18th century.  Parish records also make it possible to trace back to the reign of Henry VIII. 

So message me and let’s start that journey today.

Anthony Forwood (1915-1988)

Anthony Forwood

Above is an image of Anthony Forwood in his role as Will Scarlet in Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). 

Tony was born in the seaside town of Weymouth in Dorset on 3rd October 1915 and in 1939 he started courting the husky-voiced Welsh actress Glynis Johns, whom he later married. Their only child, Gareth was born in London in 1945. (Gareth Forwood was later to appear in films such as Ghandi in 1982). But it was during the filming of Robin Hood in 1951 that their marriage began to break up. Glynis was to appear the following year as a young Mary Tudor, in the Walt Disney production of The Sword and the Rose.

Anthony Forwood’s early films included :

Man in Black (1949)
Traveller’s Joy (1949)
Meet Simon Cherry (1949)
The Black Widow (1951)
Colonel March Investigates (1952)
Appointment in London (1952)
The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952)

Knights of the Round Table (1953)

In 1939 Tony had met Dirk Bogarde who was later to become one of the biggest British matinee idols of the 1950’s. They struck up a relationship that would last over fifty years, but they both kept their personal lives very private. Tony died aged 72 in London in 1988.

Dirk Bogarde, Kathleen Tynan and Anthony Forwood

Below is another still taken of Tony to promote Robin Hood. But this one has been rarely seen.

'Tony' as Will Scarlet

To see more images and read more about Anthony Forwood please click on the label in the task bar.

Richard Todd at Elstree

Richard Todd's plaque at Elstree

My fiancee and I recently visited Elstree, Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. It was an exciting day and one of the highlights for me was seeing the many plaques dedicated to the stars and films created at the legendary studios there.

The wall sculpture at Elstree station

The British Film Institute plaque to Richard Todd (1919-2009) is located on the south east side of Shenley Road in Borehamwood. It is one of a series commemorating 100 years of cinema. These memorials are now part of Elstree's Film & TV Heritage Trail.

Richard Todd's plaque contains a quote by the star saying:

Elstree Studios was my second home for fourteen years and I have the fondest memories of Borehamwood and all those those I worked with during those productive times."

It was in 1951 that Richard Todd filmed Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood at Denham Studios. This was the last major film production at those legendary studios approximately 20 miles from Elstree Studios.

Joan Rice as Maid Marian and Richard Todd as Robin Hood

To read more about Richard Todd, Denham Studios and the making of this wonderful movie, please click on the subjects in the task bar.

Scathelock's Farm

We have recently looked at some pages from the original script of the film The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men and seen how certain dialogue and scenes were dropped. 

Below is a very rare still from the movie that shows the moment when one of the Sheriff's men grabs a child at William Scathelock's farm. But this very rare still is taken from an unusual angle in the field. A shot not shown in the movie. Is this perhaps another example of a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor. What do you think?

If you have any rare images from the film, please get in touch.

Disney's Robin Hood Script 3

Richard Todd as Robin and Joan Rice as Marian

Below is another page from the script of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men which was filmed at Denham Studios and Burnahm Beeches in Buckinghamshire in 1951. The script was originally owned by Noland Blackburn, who worked for Walt Disney Productions during the 1950's. 

Robin describes his 'fair maiden'

I have featured a few pages from this script recently. The page above, shows an early scene in the movie in which Robin Hood (Richard Todd) teases Maid Marian (Joan Rice). But we can see that some of Marian's dialogue was eventually changed. The original script had her saying:

"Chop off infidel heads enough, you'd come back a knight. Forthwith, you'd be scrimaging in a tournament - - to please a lady - - and have your own head chopped of."

But those who have seen the film will know that this was later changed, so that Marian said:

" Chop off enough heads; you will come back a knight. As a knight, you would go jousting in a tournament, to please a lady, and have you own head chopped off!"

Joan Rice as Marian going through the script with Director Ken Annakin

In his memo, Walt Disney describes Joan Rice's difficulties with the dialogue. The director, Ken Annakin went into great detail in his autobiography about the problems he had with her; how he had to slavishly go over the script with her word for word. But it is worth mentioning, that she had been rushed through the ‘Rank Charm School’ a year earlier and that she had no experience in acting beforehand.

Joan Rice (Marian) and Richard Todd Robin Hood) during a break from filming

That page also shows that the original script had Robin holding out his hand 'a foot above Marian's head', showing how much taller his imaginary 'fair maiden' was. This was also eventually cut from the movie.

Joan Rice's costume is adjusted before filming

Below is a section of a picture strip that shows that scene with Robin and Marian.

Joan Rice on set as Maid Marian

To see the whole movie in picture strip form, or read about the lives of Richard Todd and Joan Rice, just click on the relevant label in the task bar.

Special thanks to Cindy for sharing images of the script.

Richard Todd's Signed Robin Hood Video

Signed video by Richard Todd

It is always great to see the memorabilia that readers have of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). So when I saw this signed video of our favourite movie, I must admit to being slightly envious of the owner. 

The signature is of the British actor Richard Todd (1919-2009), who played the part of Robin Hood for Walt Disney in 1951. The movie was filmed at Denham Studios and Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, England. 

Richard Todd as Robin Hood

The Story of Robin Hood was released on VHS video for the first time in 1987. It was then released again as part of 'Walt Disney's Studio Film Collection,' on September 13th 1991 along with a laser-disc version.

'Wonderful World of Disney' version

A DVD version of the movie was available exclusively through the Disney Movie Club in America on April 7th 2006. Three years later it was released again in the USA - this time as part of the 'Wonderful World of Disney.' But sadly the DVD was not for sale in the UK and only available in Region 1 through import. 

Disney's 'Story of Robin Hood' has been voted one of the best Technicolor films ever made in England. So perhaps one day, a special edition will be available here in the UK. We hope, this DVD will contain extras such as un-released scenes, behind the scenes footage and of course the promotional 'Riddle of Robin Hood!' 

The Sheriff Shoots an Arrow !

Peter Finch as the Sheriff shooting an Arrow

John Nelson has been in touch recently and sent this fascinating close-up image of Peter Finch in his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham shooting and arrow. A scene that doesn't appear in the movie, Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952).

It is a coincidence, because we have recently looked at some pages of the original script and seen how some scenes were altered or even cut completely.

Another version of that image of the Sheriff of Nottingham shooting an arrow, appeared in Vanessa and Christian's stamp books that were featured on this blog three years ago. So this gives me an excuse to re-post that article :

This is Christian's copy of Walt Disney's Robin Hood Stamp Book  (above and below) which was published in New York in 1955 by Simon and Schuster. The story inside was adapted from Lawrence E. Watkin's screenplay by Willis Lindquist with illustrations (that could be coloured) by Hamilton Greene.

But what makes this book a 'must have' for all fans of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952) is the four pages of coloured stamps that were each titled and numbered. The owner had to stick these sixty stamps in the correct places on each page of the book.

Christian's copy has the stamp's still intact and his book is nearly in mint condition.

Readers of the blog will be familiar with most of these images on the stamps, but seeing them in colour like this shows why this wonderful movie was described as the best Technicolor film ever made in England. 

It also is another example of Walt Disney's phenomenal amount of promotion and advertising behind his movie production. 


Included among the stamps is an image (shown above) of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Finch) using a bow and arrow with a dead soldier in the foreground. It is stamp number '32' and has the title, "BRING HIM DOWN"  SHOUTS DE LACY." This is very interesting as the scene must have ended up on the cutting room floor, because it was never used in the movie.

Vanessa has also very kindly sent me a picture of the Spanish version of the stamp book that is in her collection.

I would like to thank John,Vanessa and Christian for sharing with us their memorabilia of this wonderful movie.

Disney's Robin Hood Script 2

Noland's Disney employee card

Those of you that have read my recent blog post, Disney's Robin Hood Script, will know of my excitement at seeing such a treasured item. Cindy has since, sent some more images, including the original employees identification card for Walt Disney Productions, once owned by her father-in-law, Noland Blackburn (above).

Reverse of Noland's employee card

Noland Philip Blackburn worked for Walt Disney during the 1950's and it is through the kindness of his daughter-in-law Cindy, that we are able to see pages from the original film script of The Story of Robin Hood (1952).

Robin (Richard Todd) looks for the assailant

Below is a page from the script describing the scene where Robin Hood's father is shot in the back by Red Gill, played by Archie Duncan.

Robin's father is shot by the assailant.

The original script describes the assailant and Robin both stalking each other and crawling 'in a circle through the brush.' These scenes were obviously later cut from the movie.

Robin kills that assailant - Red Gill.

Detail of the script 

Below is a couple of pages from Laurence's fabulous Picture Strip that show images of those scenes that were finally used in the movie. 

To see the whole of Walt Disney's Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men in this picture strip, please click here.

The final scene

I featured the page above in my last edition. This is the final scene where Robin Hood hugs Marian in front of King Richard and the outlaws. But this time the script is accompanied with a rare photograph taken in the studio at Denham as they filmed that exact same scene (below).

Marian (Joan Rice) hugs Robin (Richard Todd) in Denham Studios

Joan Rice as Marian and Richard Todd as Robin Hood

Once again many thanks to Cindy. 

Disney's Robin Hood Script

There have been many highlights compiling this blog over the last ten years. But I am sure my readers will agree, few can compare with seeing images of the script from our favourite movie!

Front cover of the Robin Hood script

I am extremely grateful to Cindy who has kindly emailed me these images from Canada. The script belonged to her father-in-law who worked for Walt Disney during the 1950's.

Detail of the cover

I have enlarged a few of Cindy's pictures, so that the pages can be read.

First page of the script

First page describing the opening scene

It is a pity Disney cut part of the beginning scene at Huntington Manor with Stephen the steward. In the final edit only the Earl's Page can be seen by the hall doorway holding the golden hunting horn.

Final page of the script

Joan Rice as Maid Marian and Richard Todd as Robin Hood

Detail of the final page

Cindy's father-in-law was Noland Philip Blackburn. She says he:
Went to the United States with his mother and wanted to pursue an acting career.  He got his job at Disney and was a mail clerk and told us he would deliver Walt's coffee and lunch to him.  His career there was cut short due to the draft.  He had to hop on a train to get back to Canada to avoid the draft.  He obtained a lot of his collection from items that were being thrown out when he worked there and kept them all these years.
I am sure you will agree that seeing the original screenplay by Lawrence Edward Watkin has been fascinating. So I want to send a huge thank you to Cindy.

The script will eventually be auctioned.

There will be more to see soon!