I feel quite silly posting this very naive audio walk around the country town of Shropshire. I recorded this quite a few years ago when I first met my friend Harriet and together we took a stroll around the town. I now know so much more about Shrewsbury, its history, its people, the coaching inns, the castle and abbey. The second Bald Explorer video episode was shot there, although not really about the town as such. I do want to produce a more comprehensive video, episode and guide to the fascinating town. History oozes from the pavement in this place with its Elizabethan timber framed houses and grand Georgian parades.
Shropshire as a county is definitely worth exploring in more detail. It is one of those places that people have heard of but cannot always pinpoint. It is on the border with Wales in the west Midlands. Shrewsbury is only 15 miles from the Welsh hills and at one point in its history was considered to be the unofficial capital of Wales. The town had many skirmishes with either its neighbours or with the English people. The Battle of Shrewsbury (1403) took place just outside the town walls and was result of an uprising against the King, Henry IV and Harry Hotspur. It is where Prince Henry, of later Agincourt fame, received a wound on the cheek from an imbedded arrow head.
Author Ellis Peters based her famous detective monk, Cadfael, here at the Abbey. Charles Dickens stayed many times in the town at the Lion Hotel. Charles Darwin grew up here and much hated and despised Judge Jefferies went to school at what is now the town library.
Anyway, this is an early recording and one that introduced me to the town. I will be exploring more, of that I am certain.
Brighthelmstone as it was originally called is down on the Sussex coast and a holiday destination for thousands upon thousands each year. You might have popped down from London for a naughty weekend, a swim in the water or a stick of candyfloss. Many still do. This time, the Bald Explorer is in Brighton.
Richard Vobes and his friend Jimmy Hastell decided to go and visit Little London by the sea, as it if often referred to, on a beautiful sunny August Saturday and pretend to be a couple of tourists. They fail in that capacity because they are far too much interested in history and architecture and give a running commentary of the sights and sounds that avail them as they traverse the famous Lanes and market stalls, the coffee houses, Georgian fronted terraces and seaside paraphernalia.
The Brighton Pavilion, the favoured resort of King Georgie 4th is reached and described in failing vocabulary. Richard is in awe of the majesty of the building whereas Jimmy is slightly embarrassed by its ostentatious appearance.
Join the two amateur historians as they trek across one of Brighton’s famous cities and attempt to discover the things that most people miss.
Recently, Harriet, my walking friend and I, took a trip to Hay on Wye to explore the town and its famous bookshops. Before we got there, we decided to take have a walk over the famous Black Mountains and record a podcast.
I couldn’t find a reason way this range of hills as so known, other than that John Leland made reference to them and used this name back in the 16th century. I figured it had something to do with the fact that as the sun passes to the south of them, if you were standing in the Midlands in England, the silhouette so caused would make them seem black. It is not a convincing argument, but it is all I have to offer.
The mountain range itself is part of the Brecon Beacons area in Wales, above Monmouthshire in Powys and close to the border with England and the county of Herefordshire. It is a beautiful spot to escape the pressures and stresses of life and if you like to climb up to get views of fabulous British countryside, then this is as good as any that I could recommend.
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