Clapham Woods Mystery

Some time ago, I met up with Charles Walker, a paranormal investigator, to find out what exactly has been going on in the strange and mysterious woods out at Clapham, a small village to the north east of Worthing in West Sussex. There have been many stories of devil worship and strange meetings in these woods. Dogs have disappeared and threatening men with guns running about.

Listen at your peril!

Download as Podcast.
Download as Podcast.
Download as Podcast.
Download as Podcast.

The Brede Steam Giants

Back in 1900 the town of Hastings was rapidly running out of water. It had grown quickly towards the end of the Victorian era and all the traditional sources of water had been developed. The Borough Engineer was tasked with finding a reliable and an additional 1,000,000 gallons of water per day. He found it in the Ashdown Sandstone lying beneath the Brede Valley.

Two giant steam pumping engines were installed in a purpose built engine house. They were manufactured by Tangye of Birmingham. Each engine was able to lift the water to the surface for purification, and also to pump the cleaned water six miles to storage tanks up to the high ground 500feet above Hastings.

Find out more about the Brede Steam Giants at

The Ouse Valley Viaduct

In this video I am off in search of probably the most elegant viaduct in Britain, the Ouse Valley Viaduct. Built to span the valley close to the village of Balcombe in Sussex as part of the London to Brighton railway in 1842, it is a splendid example of Victorian civil engineering.

Stretching across the Ouse Valley in Sussex, close to the village of Balcombe, the red brick Victorian railway architecture is a fabulous landmark and popular with walkers and photographers. I million bricks were used to build the edifice, shipped up the River Ouse, which in those days had been made into a canal and navigable from the port of Newhaven.

A Pause in Production Until the Spring

Thank you for your continued support for the Bald Explorer. It’s been very much appreciated.

Now that we are in fast coming into winter, the days are shorter, the temperatures are cold, the scenery bleak and the weather unpredictable. I have decided to suspend filming activities until the spring when everything is nicer and the heritage sites look their best for filming.

To that end, if you are one of my lovely Patreon Supporters, I suggest you halt your Patreon payments. I may even have to close down the Patreon account so that your money isn’t taken without you wishing it and then restart in 1916 when I am up and running again.

In the meantime, I shall release all the videos that are ready to be viewed on the Bald Explorer website and may even get out and record the odd film or podcast.

Until the new year then. Take care and thanks for the support!

The Long Man of Wilimington

The Long Man of Wilmington has long been a mystery. The strange figure, cut into the north slopes of the South Downs above the rural village of Wilmington with his two staves, has baffled experts for years.

Who is he? What is he doing there? I’m Richard Vobes, TVs Bald Explorer and I am in search of answers and, strangely enough, beer. There is a fabulous brewery round the corner from the Long Man, of the same name, and I am keen to try their brew and discover their history. Care to join me?

Cowdray House

Cowdray House in Midhurst, West Sussex, was a Tudor nobleman’s grand mansion, built around 1520 and 1542. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I visited and stayed there, no doubt hunting in the local hazel wood forest. The house was a near copy of Hampton Court, although not quite as big. No one was permitted to have a house bigger than the king, although Cowdray did have a bigger Bay Window, much to Henry’s envy!

In 1793 a double tragedy happened. The house caught fire and gutting all the wooden interiors, priceless paintings, furniture and hammerbeam roof. Also, the current owner, the 8th Viscount Monatgue and his intended brother in law drowned in a boating accident in Germany. As a consequence the house was left in a state of ruin as no one knew quite what to do with it.

In time the house became an attraction in its own right, particularly with the Victorians after the railways arrived in Midhurst. It still is, but these days it is run by the Cowdray Heritage Trust and manned by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers. It is definitely a Vobes recommended place to visit.

Download as Podcast.