Steampunks take Crich Tramway museum back to the future

Lynn Clarke and Aileen Cook get some help to check out the attractions at Crich Tramway Village.
Lynn Clarke and Aileen Cook get some help to check out the attractions at Crich Tramway Village.

Crich Tramway Village was transported back to the future at the weekend, as a gathering of steampunks mixed science fiction with Victorian vintage.

The museum’s second annual Steampunk Day saw costumed enthusiasts arrive from far and wide for a feast of alternative history on Saturday, October 7.

Olly Reavley gets a pat on the back by a steampunkster.

Olly Reavley gets a pat on the back by a steampunkster.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction which incorporates technology and styles inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

Museum spokesman Amanda Blair said: “I think it brings a whole new perspective to what we do.

“We already have a number of period history events, but the futuristic element adds another dimension and helps to bring in a new audience.”

Around 100 members of the nationwide steampunk scene gathered to trade memorabilia and creative inventions, and run activities for museum visitors.

Steampunks board a tram back to the future.

Steampunks board a tram back to the future.

One of the most popular was the tea duelling by the Red Lion pub, where opponents battled to see whose biscuit would survive repeated dunkings the longest.

There were also costume competitions, a dramatic Great Tram Un-Robbery, snake displays, and live music from steampunk singer Lone Dog.

Amanda said: “It’s only our second year doing this, but the feedback we got was really positive, and the numbers of visitors were up on 2016.

“It’s interesting and unusual, and the public seem to really enjoy it.”

Chloe, Archer and Curtis Richardson from West Hallam check out the head gear worn by the Industrial Dandy from the League of Ghosts.

Chloe, Archer and Curtis Richardson from West Hallam check out the head gear worn by the Industrial Dandy from the League of Ghosts.

She added: We’d like to thank all the steampunks who came, helped the day go so well and adding something special to our atmosphere.”

This coming weekend at Crich will be the last opportunity to see the stunning R Whetstone model layouts in the Great Exhibition Hall.

Then from Monday to Saturday, October 23-28, the Starlight Spectacular will light up the village into the early evenings throughout for a half term week of family fun and themed events.

The autumn season will finish with the Winter’s Eve Folklore Festival, October 28 to November 3, with ghost talks, live folk music and workshops and children’s activities - before the Big Tram Shunt brings events to a close on Sunday, November 5.

Visitors take part in a tea duel.

Visitors take part in a tea duel.

For more event details and visitor information, see www.tramway.co.uk or call 01773 854321.