Crumbling Churches, 2nd Preview

Richard Vobes, the Bald Explorer, is setting off to investigate the fate of our parish churches. He is in the south of England finding out about the history and uses of the old religious buildings. He also wanted to find out how money is being raise to prevent them from crumbling away and what happens when the buildings are disposed of.

This is a preview of some of the scenes shot so far and some of the fascinating contributors that will be appearing in the episode, hopefully broadcasting on the Community Channel later in 2013.

Julian Humphrys is part of the Battlefields Trust that looks after and promotes the battlefields in Britain.

Farther Godfrey is the reverend at Plumpton Green in East Sussex and a professional brewer, supply his church ales to the area.

Scott Ralph is an historic buildings specialist and advises the church how to dispose of unwanted religious houses.

You can find out more about the Community Channel, run by the Media Trust, at www.CommunityChannel.org.

Follow the Bald Explorer on Twitter, @BaldExplorer

In the TV listings

The Daily Mail 'Weekend' magazine TV Listings
The Daily Mail ‘Weekend’ magazine TV Listings
It is a strange feeling when you catch yourself looking back at yourself, especially when it is from a national newspaper’s Saturday magazine. On 9th February, the Daily Mail’s ‘Weekend’ magazine published its TV guide along with several pick of the channel programmes and awarded them a number of stars according to their opinion of the programme. I was thrilled to see that not only was the Bald Explorer highlighted for Sunday night, but it was also given three out of four stars.

I am not sure how much this will persuade people to watch the programme, but the added description of the episode was pretty complimentary. I was excited to notice that they deemed the episode ‘a jolly pleasure’.

The programme in question is the visit to the East Sussex town of Lewes which is broadcast on the Community Channel. The recently completed new adventures will commence on the same channel towards the middle of March and with luck further ones are to follow on after that.

It is certainly a boost to the morale and, without doubt, encouragement to make further forays into Britain’s traditions and historic past. Watch this space.

The Community Channel can be found at www.CommunityChannel.org

The Welshpool Lock Open Day

As part of the research for the latest Bald Explorer episode I went to see how a lock was drained and new gates were inserted and other parts repaired. This is part of the winter stoppage programme. Each year, during the cold season when most traffic has died down, parts of the canals are closed off so that restoration and maintenance can be carried out. This is important work and is carried out by experienced workmen from the Canal and River Trust.

I popped along to the Welshpool Lock open day. I wanted to grab some shots for the next video production and learn a little about the Welsh side of the Canal and River Trust and the work they do. I cobbled a little video from some of the rushes to put up on the site so others might also find out a bit about the on going work.

Welshpool is in Powys, Wales and the navigation is the Montgomery Canal. It was great to see so many people interested in the drained lock and having the chance to descend down into the bottom. I was quite surprised to see the incredibly well persevered state of the brickwork. It is over 200 years old and still going strong.

The new Bald Explorer programme about the canals system in England and Wales will be on the Community Channel in January 2013.

Find out more about the Canal and Rivers Trust here: Website

An Abandoned Canal – Preview Video

I have put together a quick edit from some of the material shot last week for the next Bald Explorer episode. I am calling it An Abandoned Canal as it traces the history of the Shrewsbury to Newport Canal. The film will tell a brief story of English canals and why they were left unused for many years in the mid part of the 20th century. I am also interested in the restoration project that is happening to this unique navigation by the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust.

I hope you enjoy the preview. The main feature will be ready in January.

A Walk Around Shrewsbury

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.

Download as Podcast.

The Petworth Emigrants

Leigh Lawson author and historian talks to Richard Vobes, the Bald Explorer about the Petworth Emigrants who left Sussex in the early 19th century and headed oi upper Canada. Leigh explains the reason for their going and the hardships along the way.

This is a supplementary video as part of the Petworth project ‘The Bald Explorer goes to Petworth’. Check out the video on the Episodes page where you can also find out about the House of Correction, the old railway station and the boys school that was bombed during the Second World War.

Leigh Lawson together with Shelia Haines wrote a book on the life and works of Thomas Sockett who was a principle player in the Petworth Emigration story. The book is entitled ‘Poor Cottages and Proud Palaces’ and is available from all good book shops.

For more information about the Petworth Emigrants do check out the website: www.pertworthemigrations.com

Leigh’s also worked on these other books which she was a researcher:  Assisting Emigration To Upper Canada by Wendy Cameron and Mary McDougall Maude and English Immigrant Voices edited by Wendy Cameron, Sheila Haines and Mary McDougall Maud.