Doctor’s remedies are just quackers

The Quack Doctor Ken Scott treating patient Paul Foster at the Beamish Georgian Fair.
The Quack Doctor Ken Scott treating patient Paul Foster at the Beamish Georgian Fair.
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FROM garlic in your ear to turpentine on warts – this quack doctor promises a remedy for all aches and ailments.

The “medic”, armed with his cure-all lotion, is stopping off at Beamish this weekend as part of the Georgian fair.

On the doctor’s visit to the open air museum’s Pockerley Waggonway, his first patient was Will, a railway worker who chopped off two of his fingers while fixing a train engine.

Ken Scott, 52, who plays the quack doctor, said: “The quack doctor would travel from fair to fair, treat as many people as possible and make lots of money. Then he’d move on quickly before they realised his potions did not work.”

In a time when certified doctors were expensive and situated mainly in the towns, the quack doctor was a cheaper alternative for working class families in rural areas.

He often operated alongside peddlers who sold gingerbread and lavender favours which would be given to loved ones for good luck.

Ken will be treating locals and visitors alike at the Georgian fair, which runs until Sunday.

Other attractions range from 1830 swing boats to Svenson’s amazing Flea Circus.

There will be a special appearance by Durham’s Light Infantry and a fire-eater will thrill the crowd.

Other family activities include the Hiring Fair where the Squire of Pockerley will look for young, strong labourers to work in his fields.

The new workforce will then be given “God’s Penny” to seal the contract, which they can spend at the fair.

The Wellington Redcoats, in authentic military uniforms, will also be recruiting anyone brave enough to join them.

Visitors can also find out about traditional costume, from the farm labourer to a Georgian lady and market stalls will sell a range of plants, bread, vegetables and wine.

Paul Foster, events officer for Beamish, said: “The fair gets bigger and better every year.”