Richard Vobes is traveling Great Britain seeking out its history, customs and traditions, presenting them in a fun filled informative series called the Bald Explorer. Richard is an award winning podcaster, videographer and actor based in Worthing, England. Follow +RichardVobes on Google+
The video host Vimeo.com is now offering users to create their own channel and I thought it would be a great idea for the Bald Explorer to have one. It offers a clean and bright way to display and view the productions I make and keeps them all together in one place.
Peter Faulkner has been making coracles for the past 25 years. He talks to Richard Vobes, the Bald Explorer, about how he first got started and a little about the history of this ancient craft.
Based in Leintwardine in north Herefordshire, Peter paddles his coracles on the River Teme which is close to his old school house workshop. Over the years he hasn’t restricted himself to just this river, but has explored other larger water courses.
It is fascinating to learn just how he builds a coracle and from what raw materials. He sources all of these materials locally including the cow hides. These go on to make the skin of the coracle.
It is difficult to say when the coracle was first used in this country or any other, but we can be pretty certain that early man was paddling this kind of craft on the waterways of Britain as well as around the world.
As you know, the Bald Explorer is a series of videos that seek to discover the British way of life, crafts and history, recording it in HD video for viewers to enjoy across the world.
Filming is well on its way and although the finished product wont be ready until the beginning of June this year, here is the first of a short series of teaser videos I will be making of the progress. I hope you find it whets your appetite for the main programme as well as the countryside and places I visit.
Featured in this are Tom Baker from the Hopton Castle Preservation Trust, Peter Faulkner, The Corcale Man from Leintwardine, Carolyn Chesshire from Lower Buckton Bed and Breakfast and the church tower at Leintwardine. (Thanks to local historian John Williams for access to the church tower!)
Big thanks also to Georgie Lindsey, my lovely daughter, who is my main cinematographer on this project. There is much to film and many more places to go, so keep watching this space.
One of the lovely locations featured in episode four of the Bald Explorer as he goes about searching Britain for historic interest and gorgeous scenery is the beautiful country house at Lower Buckton in north Herefordshire, near the old Roman fort at Leintwardine and close to the fabulous food festival capital at Ludlow in Shropshire.
Carolyn Chesshire and her husband Henry have been running the bed and breakfast business there for the past ten years welcoming city folk to the countryside to relax and de-stress. With views to the Wigmore hills, an ancient Roman Leet running through the grounds and a old mill next door it is a perfect setting in which to unwind. It is also the perfect place to send the Bald Explorer to spend the night as part of his next video as he goes in search of Caratacus and his last ditch attempt to thwart the dreaded Roman invaders.
Georgie, my daughter and chief cinematographer on this project, and I both fell in love with the place, the rooms and the atmosphere and it was a delight to shoot part of episode four at this delightful and historic spot.
Why not check out the video we made as a thank you which tells you more about Carolyn and Henry’s country house bed and breakfast.
It’s great to be back out filming on location once more for another Bald Explorer adventure. This time I am in the Welsh Marches with my daughter Georgie and we are gathering interviews and a few cutaway shots to be included in the next episode.
As you may have gather from previous posts, I am on the search for Caratacus and the position of his last stand against the Roman invaders in AD50. Somewhere, and historians are a bit shady on the exact location, lies the hill and possibly hillfort of this ancient Briton, where he struggled to prevent the might of Rome smashing the tribes of our ancient land. Part of my investigation is to explore the lives and personalities of the people who are here today and who can connect me to those days two thousand years ago.
Our filming is all fitted around professional engagements and people’s availability, so unlike a TV film unit we cannot simply assign one or two weeks to gathering all the shots and then edit the programme together, we have to grab our material in bits. It all takes time, but even so, the story delightfully unfolds and the wait will be worth it.
I have already been tramping about the location in south Shropshire and north Herefordshire shooting an assortment of views, signs, streams and bridges as part of the flavour of the Welsh Marches. This time, still in the same area, it was interviews with a coracle maker, a bed and breakfast hostess and a local historian who looks after an impressive medieval tower house, that took mine and Georgie’s attention. There were 12th century steps to climb in the circular turret of the old Leintwardine Church so that we could get up onto the roof and grab a few visas and a spot of floating on the river from our coracle chap as we zoomed and focused our lens, and of course, recorded his skills paddling in the River Teme.
The beautiful farm house at Lower Buckton was a delight to video as was the old mill adjacent and the Roman leet that ran through the grounds. Maybe the highlight was the home made biscuits, locally produced lunch or the cream teas that was generously given to Georgie and I as we toiled to get the necessary shots in-between the occasional rain showers.
I am definitely looking forward to getting back to record more and start the various pieces to camera in my quirky style which has now become my trademark. Watch this space for more adventures from the Bald Explorer.
I have come up with a cunning plan to produce an extra series of exciting and short form video productions to present while making the main features for all the Bald Explorer fans out there and I hope you are going to like the idea. In short, the Bald Explorer will be heading out for great day out and recording it on film.
While I have been working on the last three and now the fourth episode of the ‘BE’ it stuck me that in the areas I am shooting there are a load of interesting and related places and fascinating people that really should be explored and given some attention. For example, one such place that I have had my eye for ages is Hopton Castle in South Shropshire, which a couple of years ago featured in an edition of Channel Four’s Time Team. It was a dilapidated Norman hunting lodge and later a private residence which has only recently been lovingly restored and yet belies it’s checkered history. During the Civil War Hopton Castle was besieged and some awful atrocities carried out. I have been talking to a local historian about it and aim to record an interview very soon.
It isn’t just places that are related to the topic I am filming or even necessarily in the same area as the main project that I am interested in. I want to find places in Britain that are a little usual, off the beaten track and possibly being missed by the great public at large. There are some wonderful people operating interesting travel and historic related businesses too that should have a visitation from the Bald Explorer to help highlight what they do and bring it to a wider audience.
If you have any suggestions, or have a historic building or business that warrants further exposure, I would love to hear from you. At the moment I am making no commercial gain from running this website or making my video productions so I am not out to exploit anyone, just bring to the attention of those that are interested the wonderful places and history of this fabulous country.