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In pictures: Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park


Hundreds of people took a step into an alternative reality at the Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park on Saturday.

Combining retro and future technologies, the event encompassed everything from live music, talks by authors, performers, traders and games for visitors.

The fun event was centred around The Museum in the Park in Stratford Park and featured events such as hobbyhorse dressage, rolling a small cheese down a hill, and tea duelling.

steampunk 17 | In pictures: Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park
Rolling a small cheese down a hill in the courtyard of The Museum in the Park.

Tea duelling involves competitors dunking a biscuit into a cup of tea, the winner being the last person whose dunked biscuit falls into the tea or onto the floor.

“You have to have tea duelling, it’s a standard steampunk thing – you need to have nerves of steel and a strong biscuit,” explained Tom Brown, author and artist for graphic novel series, Hopeless, Maine.

steampunk 27 | In pictures: Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park
Tom Brown.

“This is the first time we’ve done the hobbyhorse dressage and that just came up better than our wildest imaginings, it was absolutely brilliant,” added Tom, “it’s the new things we are bringing to this event that are the most exciting.”

steampunk 13 | In pictures: Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park
Best foot forward – one of the riders in the hobbyhorse dressage.

Photographer Gregg B McNeill, of Darkbox Images, used a Victorian-era bellows camera to produce exquisite one-off portraits on hand-coated metal plates. Gregg set up a darkroom in the pavilion in the museum’s garden where he used collodion and silver nitrate to coat the plates. The sitters had to keep still for the seven-second-long exposures, necessitating the use of a neck clamp, an object common to Victorian photographic studios.

steampunk 20 | In pictures: Stroud Steampunk Picnic Party in the Park
Angela Stevens with the portrait made by photographer Gregg B McNeill.

Also in the pavilion was a display of steampunk artefacts made by Herr Doktor, including a ray gun.

Evening events included performances by Victor and the Bully, Ominous Folk of Hopeless, Maine, and Madam Misfit.

Pictures by Matt Bigwood

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