New Episode Finished!

cast-churchesI am thrilled to announce that the crumbling Churches episode is now completed. This will be transmitted later this year on the wonderful Community Channel. (

It has been great to run around the Sussex countryside looking at and filming old churches. The rural parish church is facing the hardship of reduced congregations and tough repair bills. How will they manage to keep themselves afloat? What happens if they can’t? These are just some of the issues I go off to investigate in my programme.

As many regular viewers and visitors may be aware, we shall be starting a Kickstarter project soon to raise funds to produce a further six episodes of the Bald Explorer this year. They will be shot in the Autumn. As part of the incentive to get support from fans of the ‘BE’ the Crumbling Churches episode will be available to download and watch in advance of the transmission. So if you wish to be ahead of the game, put your hand in your pocket and make a donation to keep the programmes coming and you will receive a link to view the episode. You can either wait for the official Kickstarter or donate on the website here. (To the right of screen.)

If you have already donated, then you will receive the link to the video as soon as it is available online automatically.

My thanks go Georgie Lindsey, my daughter, and to Jimmy as well as the Rev. John Gay for making the episode possible.

Meanwhile, you can catch up with all the Bald Explorer episodes, podcasts and news of the new episodes on other pages of this website.

Books and Research Material


HUBBUB – Emily Cockayne

A fabulous book. It does what is said on the tin. It explains the filth, noise and stench in England from the new modern period onwards, mainly (17th and 18th Century).  People were ugly. Beauty products were available, but not ideal, many were lethal, such as rubbing powder on your face containing mercury. People didn’t wash, they crapped everywhere, sanitation wasn’t understood. Dunghills and rotten material, often butchers offal, humans excrement, decaying vegetables and dead cats and dogs lay in the streets of major towns and cities.

To get an insight into the conditions of urban environments in particular several hundred years ago, then this book is for you. The calling, shouting arguing, rumble of carts, banging of hammers on anvils, repairs, building and so on that perpetuated the air of mixed domestic and industrial areas to the pain and disturbance of life is remarkable.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and wallowing in the filth and stench, feeling that life in the 21st century is so much better, even when the dustbin men are on strike. I am at least not sleeping with rats and vermin crawling all over me.


Crumbling Churches Preview 4

Richard Vobes is out and about exploring the British parish churches for the next programme of the Bald Explorer coming soon to the Community Channel.

In this preview, Richard is looking at pews and seating as well as discovering an abandoned church in the woods at Bedham in West Sussex, near Petworth.

Crumbling Churches Preview 3

Rector, John Gay, tells Richard Vobes about the problems with the roof of his beautiful church in Itchingfield, West Sussex in this preview of the new Bald Explorer episode coming soon to the Community Channel in 2013.

Wendy Dorkings, the church warden at St. Nicolas, allows the cameras in to see the wonderful and rare priest house that stands in the church yard and shares some of the fascinating history.

Itchingfield is home to a group of dedicated bell ringers who enjoy practicing the traditional art in the extraordinary timber built bell tower.

This is just a preview of the episode that will explore the problems the rural parish churches faces as congregations decrease and ancient buildings begin to need attention.

You find out more and watch full episodes at