Mrs Bimble’s Travelling Medicine Show & Apothecarium
In addition to our regular programme of shows, markets and events, we are also involved with the Steampunk community across the North East of England. For those not familiar with the Steampunk genre, it is often described as a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, usually inspired by 19th century industrialised Western civilisation - think Jules Verne, Victorian Dress, HG Wells - an alternative-history version of Victorian Britain.
We’re big fans of social history, particularly with regard to health and wellbeing over here at Bimble, so we use our involvement with Steampunk as a vehicle to share our interest in Victorian medicine and the history or herbal healthcare. We do this in two ways - by giving presentations on Victorian health at places as varied as Women's Institutes, libraries, schools and colleges and clubs and societies, and by exhibiting at Steampunk markets and events.
Our Steampunk market visits run in the style of a Victorian pharmacy. We have a herbalist ‘in character’ at our booth to provide confidential, free advice on health problems - whether you want to talk seriously about a problem you’re experiencing, or you want to quiz us on the weird, wonderful and macabre from our not-so-distant past!
In addition to our regular Bimble range of products, we also carry several lines not normally available elsewhere, from hair pomade and moustache wax, through a range of herbal remedies made to traditional Victorian recipes. Some of these have been slightly modified to either remove ingredients that are no longer legally available (like laudanum and arsenic!), or to make them safe by modern standards (see previous comment about laudanum and arsenic!), or to make them more effective, all whilst retaining the original character of the remedy. We have the same standards of manufacture with these that we do all Bimble products, so no artificial ingredients or chemical nasties.
We’re often asked why we don’t make these remedies available online, and the simple reason is that we’re not allowed to. The Traditional Herbal Products Legislation allows herbalists to prepare traditional medicines for patients having consulted with them in person (as we do at the travelling apothecarium), but not to supply them online without consultation. However, if you’ve seen us at a show and purchased in the past, we are able to arrange additional supplies so long as we’ve spoken about using the remedy face to face previously.