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Steampunk UK devotees descend on Bressingham

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Steampunk at bressinghamWith this weekend's BresSteam Steampunk weekend fast approaching we thought it would be good to talk to an expert in the field to find out just what it’s all about!

Jamie Powell is owner of Bee's Bizarre Bazaar, a family run business along with his wife and daughter and a purveyor of all kinds of handmade Steampunk accessories, jewellery and clothing.

To start with we thought we’d better find out exactly what Steampunk entails..

What is steampunk? What are it’s main influences and how did it start?

There is not an easy answer to “What is Steampunk?”. The shortest answer I could probably give is Victorian science fiction.

Its based on the work of H G Wells and Jules Vernes, that we then reimagine into a modern day viewpoint, drawing very heavily on Victorian fashion and technology.

There are no rules or boundaries, time travel is possible, so it’s very open to interpretation.

You see very traditional Steampunks in pretty much standard Victorian dress, all the way through to spacemen and alien technology in weaponry. Steampunk involves lots of different types of people sporting a vast range of eclectic ideas, looks and styles.

Is there a big Steampunk scene in the UK and what types of things does it involve?

There is a fairly big Steampunk following in the UK. I would rate it probably more in the thousands than in the tens of thousands.

Alot of people are what I would call ‘steam curious’.

We get a lot of people attending events, but only smaller numbers of hardcore followers dress up every weekend.

Saying that, its still a very large and popular thing because it’s such a welcoming community - you can go along to a Steampunk event and not be looked down on you if you go along dressed in normal everyday clothes!

What types of things usually happen at a steampunk event?

They are very relaxed events - the standard things are that you’ve got people dressed up, there’s a very big focus on alternative costumes. There’s a lot of chatting and admiring of other’s costumes and who made them.

There will generally be a vast array of stalls selling pretty much everything from chocolates and fudge all the way through to outfits.

The event you’ll see at most Steampunk meetings is Tea Duelling - this involves two people standing on stage and they dunk biscuits into cups of tea.

The winner is the one who manages to eat their biscuit without it dropping off!

We have umbrella fencing, lots of silly little games that are great fun very much involving the whole family which is another really nice element.

Our 7 year old daughter goes to the events and most people are very polite. The kids can run off and everybody keeps an eye on them. Its generally a very relaxed, friendly environment to just have a bit of fun.

The events are generally run at museums and places of interest across the country - places like Bressingham Steam & Gardens, so not only have you got the Steampunk going on, you’ve actually got an interesting venue to look around.

Zeppelin or Steam Engine?

That’s actually a tricky question for me. I quite like the idea of a Steam engine strapped to a Zeppelin!

Is there anything we should’ve mentioned?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or views on Steampunk events?

Is there anything you think we should have mentioned?

If there is get in touch and let us know – you can also do it on Facebook or Twitter.

By Alastair Baker at 7 Apr 2015, 18:30 PM