The second episode of the Bald Explorer is now under way. The filming has commenced in Shropshire and this time I am looking at historic travel. With me to assist is my media student daughter Georgie, who just discovered she got an A for photography. Normally I work with Steve Pegram on these projects, but because of the distance, I persuaded him I could manage to film a couple of interviews on my own. At the last minute though, Georgie said she would like to come along for the ride and now I have her poking the camera in my face.
The high light of today’s filming has to be a visit by a man in a radio car and a ‘live’ microphone in his hand. This was Ian Perry from BBC Radio Shropshire and he was eager to know what exactly I was doing climbing up Lord Hill’s Column in Shrewsbury.
I told him that as part of my documentary I was eager to look down on the old London to Holyhead road where the old stage coaches would have trundled on their 170 mile journey to London. The Column, which was built back in 1814-1816, stands 133ft high and is claimed to be the tallest Doric column in the world. (A fact that is confusing as Lord Nelson’s column is 169 feet tall and the Monument in London is 202ft in height!)
The very nice people from Shire Hall who look after Lord Hill’s column, permitted me access and handed me the key to the small door at the base of the edifice. Inside, in semi darkness, there are no electric lights to illuminate the way, just very tiny slits for windows, is a spiral stone staircase that slowly winds its way up goodness knows how many steps.
Once at the top another door opens to take you out to a circular viewing platform, just below the 17ft high figure of Lord Hill, former MP for Shrewsbury and commemorated soldier that fought along side the Duke of Wellington in the Napoleonic wars.
Needless to say the views are spectacular and well worth the climb. You can see across the River Severn to Shrewsbury of course, but more, the 360 degree panorama allows you to make out the Wrekin, the Long Mynd and other Shropshire hills.
There is plenty more to be filmed in Shropshire, so I shall be back soon to complete the second video in the series of the Bald Explorer.