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