‘The Town that Never Was’ 1st – 2nd July
Steampunks and their friends are invited to Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge over the weekend of 1st and 2nd July for its first ever Steampunk Festival. The fantastical ‘Town that Never Was’ day and evening event is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
A neo-Victorian scientific fantasy, steampunk is all about mixing the old and new. It re-imagines today’s technology powered by 19th century steam, combined with lots of good humour, fun, games and elaborate fashions inspired by Victorian and Edwardian costumes, reinvented for the 21st century and beyond.
Come dressed in your steampunk finery on either 1st or 2nd July. Those who are new to steampunk can gain lots of inspiration online, just Google ‘steampunk’ for ideas, or visit Vintage Corner in Ironbridge, where there’s a range of perfect outfits. Alternatively, steampunk fashions, jewellery, comics, art, gadgets, goggles and accessories can be purchased from the wonderful market at Blists Hill, featuring specially selected artisan traders during the weekend.
A highlight will be the fabulous exhibition of steampunk art, costumes and sculptures with some of the artists present to explain their work and give tips on creating your own. Artists being featured include Karen Grover, TV costume designer and award winning steampunk creator, Peter Harrow winner of four steampunk art medals and local steampunk artist Mark Goodman.
Throughout the day you can also discover more about the origins of steampunk from fashion designers, authors and artists who will be giving fascinating talks around the recreated Victorian Town.
Down on The Green there will be a living history encampment of Her Majesty's 3rd Foot and Mouth Regiment; join them on parade and try your hand at drill as you discover more about soldiering in the late 19th century. Elsewhere you can visit the recruiting office of the ‘Martian Expeditionary Force’, whose rallying cry is ‘Remember Woking’.
Inspired by the Pamplona Bull Run, brave competitors can run through the streets of Blists Hill and try to avoid the inflatable dinosaurs who will be charging through the Town. Join in if you dare!
Younger visitors can create their own steampunk items in a craft area, or follow a hunter’s activity sheet to track down and identify fairies hidden in a garden and earn a Fairy Hunters badge, if they find them all.
Paul Gossage, Director of Marketing and PR said: “Blists Hill Victorian Town, with its recreated Victorian streets, shops and cottages, is the perfect location for a steam punk festival. We are sure it will be a fun and spectacular event for all.”
The day time event runs from 10am to 4.30pm at Blists Hill, one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. Blists Hill daytime admission tickets are available on the gate for £17.95 adults, £13.75 for 60 Plus and £11.85 for children under 16. Tickets can also be purchased at www.ironbridge.org.uk.
On Saturday evening from 6pm until 9pm, inspired by ‘Westworld’ and ‘Wild Wild West’, Blists Hill will be transformed into to a fantastical science fiction Western World. Dress up for the night, put on your stetsons and holster your nerf guns as you stride into town.
During the evening watch out for zombie outbreaks, shootouts and saloon girls in a fully immersive evening of fantasy and fun. Nerf-type toy guns are welcome but please no electric motorised versions or authentic looking replica weapons and wield them only in clearly designated areas.
The evening event is priced at £9 for adults and £6 for children, tickets for the evening must be purchased in advance at www.ironbridge.org.uk .
For further information, call the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk. The Gorge is easily reached via the M54 motorway exiting at Telford junction 4 or 6.