A Doctor Calls

Two days ago the sad news was announced that British character actor Geoffrey Bayldon had died at the grand age of 93. Younger readers may not recognise the name, he having been retired for a while, but those old enough to remember Worzel Gummidge and Catweazle certainly will know him as the both the Crowman whose magic brought scarecrows to life, as well as the ancient time travelling wizard who landed in 1970s Britain to discover the perverse magic of electrickery and telling bones. He also appeared in a long old list of TV shows and films.
His magical characters inspired me with the visual image of Doctor Winter, a real life Cunning Man who lived in the 1700s and early 1800s in Ipswich. When writing fiction I find it helps if I can put a face to my characters, so often draw on both celebrities, people I know, and random strangers I see whose faces interest me. I wanted to restore Winter to life as the sleuth in a short story called 'A Doctor Calls' (part of the crime anthology 'A Dangerous Place' published by Moon Books). The story blended elements from Ipswich history and quite a few geeky nods to the television work of Mr Bayldon.
I decided to record the story (apologies for the meandering accents, I'm not used to doing consistent silly voices) by way of a small tribute to someone I never met but whose work I have greatly enjoyed (he did lots of hammy horror films too, included the excellent Asylum). I have seen various people on social media talking about meeting the actor at conventions, all saying he was a very sweet and gentle soul.

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