Our Next Event: A Splendid Day Out in Morecambe on the 2nd-4th June

Monday, 6 February 2017

An Unexpected Steampunk Adventure

Mill engine
We visited London's Science Museum recently and an had unexpected Steampunk adventure! As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a gallery about the history of steam power including displays and working models of steam engines from the first engines right up to the horizontal Mill engine.
They have a working Mill engine and believe it or not, some Mill engines were used right up until the 1970's!

Walking around the other floors, we found a gallery dedicated to the history of watch making in London with large displays of pocket watches from private collectors as well as examples of large case clocks and tower clocks.
18th Century Pocket Watches

19th Century Pocket Watches

We also saw a large gallery about the history of time keeping with displays of more pocket watches as well as the tools of the trade and working enlarged version of the 3 main types of escapements used in pocket watches.

Tools of the Trade
At the back of this area, there is an original speaking clock from the 1970s. It has 3 separate systems working together and is surprisingly large for something so simple - it really is a feat of engineering!

But the creme de la creme had to be the working Difference Engine No. 2 complete with printer built to tolerances achievable in the 19th Century from Charles Babbage's original designs.
Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2

There is even a section on the technology through the centuries, the picture on below is for the 19th Century and would not be complete without a Penny-farthing.
 Overall, the Science Museum is really worth a visit for any Steampunk as well as anyone interested in the history of technology although strangely for a Science Museum it wasn't very, for want of a better word, sciency.

Monday, 7 November 2016

WGW November '16

Mask and Monoggle Display
Whitby Goth Weekend was very windy... We didn't check the weather forecast for the weekend like we usually do and got a shock when we did on Thursday night, the forecast was for rain and winds between 40 - 50 mph for the whole of the weekend! It was certainly an experience packing down in those kinds of winds - namely chuck it in the van and hope for the best.

We didn't have many new items or ranges this time because we are concentrating on having completely new ones for next year, we have lots of ideas just a lack of time to actually produce them. Keep an eye on our etsy shop as they'll be appearing there before our next event next year, currently penciled in as The Asylum in Lincoln.

All the talk after WGW in April was about the photographers in the graveyard by the Abbey and building a 'mock' graveyard for people wanting photographs. We haven't heard anything since and certainly there didn't appear to be one in evidence although we didn't get a chance to see for ourselves. We're sure more info will come out over the next few weeks.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Asylum Steampunk Festival VIII

Our Gazebo in The Castle
The Asylum VIII was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, despite the deluge that hit on late Saturday afternoon just before we were due to close which meant closing our gazebo was a rather wet experience that we'd rather not have the unfortunate opportunity to repeat - but it was good for umbrella sales! The bad weather must have continued overnight and a fairly strong gust of wind must have developed as a few of our fellow traders had leaks in their tent / gazebo and a couple of banners had been blown off too.

This year was disappointing in the ingenuity stakes, there didn't seem to be many stand-out outfits or piece of equipment compared to last year, highlights included a rocket pack and a couple of pirates with real parrots.
Maybe last year was an exceptional year having a Steampunk camper-van and Albot making an appearance on Monday. We did enjoy the falconry display though, especially the Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owl

As always, we'll look forward to next year, it could well be our first event of the year. Maybe we'll be a bit more organised for it and buy tickets for the evening events instead of leaving it until a month before - they'd pretty much all been sold out by then.

See you all in November at Whitby Goth Weekend, we're in the Spa Theatre at the Pavillion.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Crewe Steampunk Convivial - May 2016

The inaugural Crewe Steampunk Convivial on the late May Bank Holiday weekend was a good fun-filled weekend with the unique, over-riding theme of music. There were bands and groups performing during the evening entertainment but the organisers of this event had set up places where street artists and buskers could perform such as in the marquee in the Market Square, a stone's throw from the Lifestyle Centre. It was a nice touch that they brought them into the Steampunk Market to perform too!
Town Crier
A Street Performer

It was a last minute decision to go to the Masquerade Ball on Sunday night but we're glad we did but not only because we got to see Crimson Clocks' last performace. There were a number of groups / bands we hadn't seen before but the stand-out performance was by The Wattingers (not to be confused with The Wottingers from In the Night Garden). It was a shame they were on so late because we had to leave part way through their performance - we wish they'd had an earlier slot!
The Wattingers
The Wattingers
BB Blackdog

The floor-space we had in Crewe was a bit smaller than at Comic Con and WGW so we had a similar set up as at those events and after trying it at a few events now we've come to the decision that its  not working as well as we thought so it's back to the drawing board we go!

For anyone who was asking about the black pagoda umbrellas, we have some on the way so we will have some for the Suffolk Steampunk Spectacular and The Asylum.

Friday, 3 June 2016

WGW April '16 - Remembered for the wrong reasons

There are only 4 words that can describe this WGW event, damn cold and quiet. It's easy to forget how cold the wind is when it blows straight in off the sea. We even had a smattering of snow on Sunday morning and we were told by someone who had driven in over the tops they were covered in snow.

The main talking points of this WGW are the new rules for entering the venues, which basically boiled down to no weapons of any description -  a point picked up in Steampunk Journal's article and the petition for the closure of the graveyard during both events. The article by Steampunk Journal also raises some interesting points that should be kept in mind when designing a new outfit or accessorising an existing one. We're not sure about con-safe ones though as we must admit we forgot to ask!

The biggest talking point after this event is the petition set up to close the graveyard for the duration of both events. We don't how or why it's suddenly become such a big issue, perhaps WGW is getting more popular with both visitors and photographers and its become the 'thing to do' and this event was the tipping point. There are plans to create a mock graveyard so people wanting photos don't go into the graveyard itself.

 Nevertheless we enjoyed the weekend and broke tradition by eating at the moon and sixpence instead of the magpie. We highly recommend it and think it's a local's secret spot because the other people didn't look like they were in Whitby for the Goth Weekend, so we'd say it's recommended to book in advance.

After doing Comic Con in March, we thought that the floor space was the same as WGW so we thought we'd try a similar set-up. We thought it worked really well for us but it's difficult to get a good idea because it was really quiet, it probably didn't help that Easter was really early this year so it didn't fall in the school holidays as it usually does. I think a good indication of how quiet it was is that we had a choice of tables in the Elsinore at 8pm on Saturday! Usually people are spilling out of the door and onto the path outside.We're back in November so we'll try the same set up to see how it goes then.

Highlights of the weekend...

For all the wrong reasons
© Rob Grey
For all the right reasons
So onwards to our next event Crewe Steampunk Convivial