Hoodwinked: Where Are They Now?

Words: Joshua Helmer
Friday 23 August 2019
reading time: min, words

It wasn’t a fever dream - there was actually a time when the streets of Nottingham were covered in giant, colourfully-painted robin statues, courtesy of Hoodwinked, the Wild in Art public art trail. After being auctioned off to raise money for Nottinghamshire Hospice, those feathery figures ended up here, there and everywhere. With this being the Wild issue, we tried to track a few down… 

It’s the height of summer 2018. Market Square has been transformed into its annual seaside utopia, the air conditioning units of the city are pumping harder than a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nottingham’s student population has flown the coop, migrating home to fairer climes. But in their place, a flock of colourful robins have roosted across Nottingham, occupying every corner of the city centre and beyond.

The Hoodwinked Trail introduced thirty robin sculptures to our streets, hand-painted to represent snippets of Nottingham culture, bringing an adventure of avian art to our fair city. Adored by residents and visitors alike, the birds became a beloved fixture of our cityscape during those sultry summer eves. Some birds even became stars in their own right. Who doesn’t remember City Ground Robin sitting stoically in the blazing sun? 

But once the summer was over, and their fifteen minutes of fame had elapsed, the birds were auctioned off in aid of Nottinghamshire Hospice, raising over £130,000 for the charity. As with most who have but the briefest brushes with fame, their stars faded quickly and they have since disappeared from public life, to be remembered only by those curious enough to write articles like this.

So where, might you ask, are those robins now?



What’s Notts Robin & Major Oak Robin
New home: Wes Morgan’s Gym
New career: Personal trainers
Having put in his own years of grind in his early years at Nottingham Forest, Premier League-winning captain of Leicester City Wes Morgan was all too aware of the labours that these hard-working robins were putting themselves through for their craft.

And it was the efforts of What’s Notts Robin, which bared the names of Morgan and other Nottingham celebs, and Major Oak Robin, Morgan’s nickname at Forest, that he admired most. The pair now work alongside Morgan, presumably as part of his personal training team, keeping him in tip-top shape. It’s rumoured their growing influence played a big part in Leicester City’s improved form in the second half of the 2018-19 season.


Captain Jack Robin
New home: Derek and Denise’s garden
New career: Retired
It turns out our Derek and Denise bought a robin for themselves too, giving Captain Jack a new domestic nest to call home and further bumping up their donation to Nottinghamshire Hospice. What a pair of good eggs.

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