It was 200 years last year since the birth of Queen Victoria. By coincidence a new activity group with a Steam-Age link was set up within Congleton U3A.
The Congleton U3A Steampunk group is certainly a bit diﬀerent. It’s a social group that allows a free reign in terms of creativity and quirkiness. Members of the group participated in various UK steampunk events throughout 2019, supported many local events and have had fun times meeting socially on a monthly basis.
Steampunk was described by one enthusiast as “the biggest genre that relatively few people know anything about”. From my experiences I think this is true – it is actually a “big thing”, not just in the UK but in many other countries from Canada to France and New Zealand to Lichtenstein. However, not many people know what it is, although they may have actually glimpsed it without really recognising it!
For me I like my description of Steampunk which is how Victorians may have seen future life after having consumed one too many gins! Steampunk is a sub-genre of science ﬁction that typically features steam-powered machinery and anything else from the Victorian era. The essence of steampunk fashion is homage to the Victorian age with a modern, sassy twist.
Sue Stanmore, joint group leader comments, ‘This genre is loaded with creativity and fun. Steampunk parasol duelling, tea-duelling and the occasional illicit market are great examples of Victoriana with fun and eccentric twists!’
At a recent U3A social event our Steampunk group “unexpectedly” arrived; our Flugenfarten time machine had broken down just outside the venue and they needed an 1873 Chromotron transducer wand for their Flugenfarten 64B time machine so they could return to 1st May 1851 to celebrate the opening of Crystal Palace! Fortunately someone in the audience oﬀered to give us one he had lying around! As a “thank-you’ we provided some musical entertainment, however, this had to be brought to a halt as underlying tensions between Lady Florence Huxley Chuzzlewit and Lady Henrietta Bounderby Postelthwaite needed to be resolved there and then. The only way this could be addressed was by parasol duelling! This provided some further fun and insight into the wonderful world of Steampunk.
Hopefully more fun to come in 2020 or is it 1853?!