Steamed up

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - NI­CHOLAS MCBRIDE

Sick of hear­ing there’s noth­ing to do in the city, a Palmer­ston North group en­gi­neered a dis­play of Vic­to­rian in­dus­trial chic wor­thy of a sci­ence fic­tion novel.

The week­end’s Steam­punk Ex­pe­ri­ence, con­vened by Fu­ture’s Past Manawatu, saw a unique ar­ray of top hats, teapots, cogs, clocks, and corsets en­liven the city’s li­brary.

Event or­gan­iser Dee Cat­ter­all said the group wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.

‘‘For so long we have been sick of Palmer­ston North get­ting bagged by peo­ple say­ing there is noth­ing hap­pen­ing.’’

‘‘From what started out as a fun lit­tle idea to what we see to­day, in­clud­ing peo­ple com­ing from out­side the re­gion, is just gor­geous.’’

Terry Shee­han was mak­ing his first foray into steam­punk af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced to the genre by his wife.

‘‘It is a so­cial out­ing with kin­dred spir­its.’’

Although, the cos­tumes got a mixed re­ac­tion on the street.

‘‘Some peo­ple al­most pre­tend they don’t see you, but a lot give you a half-smile.’’

His cos­tume was a sharp waist­coat, cra­vat, badge and top hat.

One group of women made a 350 kilo­me­tre trip from Ki­hik­ihi, near Te Awa­mutu, to at­tend.

Lorraine Olsen said they made the most of the jour­ney.

‘‘We stopped at all the sec­ond hand stores in the small towns we passed and came out with arm­fuls.’’

Paula McWha said steam­punk style al­lowed peo­ple to be cre­ative.

‘‘We all visit the op­shops, all our cos­tumes are sec­ond hand, we take them home and redo them. My dress has a du­vet cover and a brides­maid dress.’’

Each woman had her own char­ac­ter.

‘‘I am Vercitea Er­rwit,’’ McWha said.

‘‘It is an ana­gram of ‘cre­ative writer’. My per­sona is I travel from past to present col­lect­ing quotes and sto­ries.’’

Bar­bara Preece re­called how she first got into steam­punk

‘‘I just said ‘I like that, what is it about?’ That was it, and I just started mak­ing some­thing. Now you can’t keep me away.’’

Matt Lock was one of a few in reg­u­lar cloth­ing who just wanted to check out the sights.

‘‘We were just walk­ing down the street and we called in.

‘‘It is def­i­nitely unique, I’d never even heard of steam­punk be­fore.’’

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Jac­inta Har­rop aka Ms Evan­ge­line Rothold of River­stone, mod­els a brolly.

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