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Steampunk takes over Telford museum for festival

Telford | Entertainment | Published:

Steampunk enthusiasts dressed the part as they flocked to Telford for a unique festival.

Blists Hill Victorian Town held its first ever Steampunk Festival over the weekend, which drew more than 3,000 visitors.

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.

The fantastical Town that Never Was day and evening event was part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Many people came in fancy dress and discovered more about the origins of steampunk from fashion designers, authors and artists.

The weekend featured a living history encampment of Her Majesty’s 3rd Foot and Mouth Regiment.

People were invited to join them on parade and try their hand at drill while discovering more about soldiering in the late 19th century.

Inspired by the Pamplona Bull Run, brave competitors ran through the streets of Blists Hill trying to avoid the inflatable dinosaurs who were charging through the town.

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Younger visitors also created their own steampunk items in a craft area.

They were also invited to follow a hunter’s activity sheet to track down and identify fairies hidden in a garden and earn a fairy hunters badge.

On Saturday evening, Blists Hill was transformed into a fantastical science fiction Western World.

Zombie outbreaks, shootouts and saloon girls featured amongst the fun.

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Faye Broadway, visitor and sales team leader at Blists Hill Victorian Town, said: "The feedback has been most excellent.

"A lot of people have been asking us to repeat it again next year.

"It's an event that's been a bit different.

"We had about 1,400 people during the daytime on Saturday and 940 in the evening. We had another 1,200 people come on Sunday.

"About 85 per cent of those people were dressed up, including our staff members.

"There's been some outstanding costumes.

"The dinosaur run has been very popular, as have the cooking with gin demonstrations and the steampunk belly dancers."

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