9 October 2016 – Capital! Steampunk creative afternoon

Our own Lady Bugg has been kind enough to book the Newlands Community Centre at  9 Batchelor Street, Newlands, from 1.30 – 3.30 on Sunday 9 October.

Call it a workshop session.  Bring along any project you’re working on – we always like to see work in progress.  Swap some of your stash overload.  We’ll rehearse a reading or two for Hallowe’en or the Wellington Museum weekend (new performers always welcome).  And we’ll have the obstacles along for you to try out your racing teapot in the carpark.

A gold coin will help pay for the venue.  Tea and coffee will be supplied; bring along some nibbles to share.

We hope this will be the first of a series of regular gatherings, so come along, meet some new friends for a chat and tell us the sorts of things you’d like us to do.


25 September 2016 – Flaming Nora’s Cavalcade of Tomfoolery

We joined the Noras last year and had a splendid time.  The Cavalcade is simply a gentle stroll from Frank Kitts Park along the waterfront to Waitangi Park, dressed splendidly to celebrate the coming of spring.

Unfortunately the Capital! Steampunk Grand Kazoo Orchestra won’t quite be ready to join in, but you may sing if you wish.  If you have a racing teapot, bring it along too (make sure it’s fully charged so you don’t have to carry it all the way).

Meet at Frank Kitts Park from 1.30 on Sunday 25 September  – the parade participants won’t be hard to spot – and after a bit of a safety briefing we’ll be off down the waterfront, to the amazement of the populace.  Huzzah!

Here’s the Eventfinder listing – you may even recognise somebody you know in the photos from last year.

11 September 2016 – picnic at Zealandia

If you’ve never been to Zealandia – you know who you are – here’s your chance to get in cheap, have a nice lunch and swan about with your Capital! Steampunk friends.

Zealandia is offering $2 entry next Sunday as part of Conservation Week.  There’ll be stalls, a weed swap (exchange an invasive weed from your garden for a free native plant) and even a pest feast – the Colonel is hoping there may be possum pies on offer.

We’ve been intending to hold a Capital! Steampunk event at Zealandia for a while.  Apart from the an excellent exhibition centre (and cafe) and the chance to see a tuatara or a takahe up close, there are a number of impressive relics of the valley’s previous industrial uses.  Marvellous props and backdrops for photos are easy to find and you can bet this will be a popular day so there’ll be lots of people to introduce to the splendidness of steampunk.

We won’t be heading into the bush in our finery, but the main path up to the tuataras is most suitable for a promenade, and there are grassy areas near the entrance for our picnic.  If this is your first time, don’t be surprised when you’re asked to open your bags before you can go into the sanctuary itself.  It’s just a precaution in case your pet ferret sneaked in when you weren’t looking.

Meet at midday outside the main entrance to the visitor centre and shop.  Bring a picnic lunch if it’s fine (the forecast looks good) and if it’s wet come anyway and we’ll have lunch in the cafe.  Parking may be a problem, so consider the free shuttle from the Wellington i-site by the library or from the top of the cable car.

22 October 2016 – Spring Fair at Cobblestones

For those of us who like to stay near Welly and avoid most of the traffic over holiday weekends, here’s a bit of fun for the Saturday of Labour Weekend.

Our friends at Cobblestones Museum in Greytown have asked us back for their annual Labour Weekend fair.  Apparently they’ve had some trouble with Snarks, so Capital! Steampunk’s intrepid hunters, ably assisted by Wai Steam, will be heading over the hill equipped with thimbles, forks, soap and everything else needed for the Hunting of Snarks to see if we can sort it out.

We don’t have details of time yet, but it will be a jolly day out in Greytown anyway.  Please join us, and bring your Snark net.

It’s a steampunk spring!

Museums Wellington have just published their Spring 2016 Events Guide, and Capital! Steampunk is going to be busy.  We need your help, although that doesn’t have to mean any more than just showing up and looking splendid.

If you’re new to steampunk and/or don’t have your outfit completely sorted yet,some of these events might be a great opportunity to dip a toe in the water, give your new hat an outing … there’s nothing in the rules (there are rules?) to say you have to be fully steamed-up to come along on one of our outings.

First up is something we’re not involved in, but if you have aspiring young coglets or gearlings who need something to keep them busy during the holidays, this might be just the thing.

Space Place School Holiday Programme: Steampunk Science (4 – 5 – 6 October, 9am – 12.30pm)

Space Place (or the Carter Observatory, if you’re a traditionalist) has its own mad steampunk scientist and you can be the apprentice and take part in hands-on activities to improve your scientific knowledge and unleash your imagination.

For children aged six and over.  For more information and bookings see museumswellington.org.nz/steampunk-science/

The Big Hallowe’en 2016 (Queens Wharf, 29 October, 4 – 8pm)

This is big!  Capital E, Wellington Museum and Queens Wharf are all getting together for steampunk-inspired family fun on Queens Wharf, and Capital! Steampunk will be helping out.  Get lost in time in Capital E’s time machine maze, then travel to the mysterious 13th floor of Wellington Museum, but watch out for Professor Prime Evil.  There’ll be something for children of all ages, plus food stalls for a spooky supper.

Capital! Steampunk will be doing story readings on the small stage, plus popping up for a quick tea duel here and there.  If you can come along please let us know so we can share more details of what will be going on.  We’re not running the Maze or 13th Floor, but if you happen to wander into either one we want you to have a general idea of what’s happening so you can be part of the story.  The event listing is here.

Wellington’s War of the Worlds (Space Place, 24 November, 7pm)

This sounds splendid.  Six improv actors performing HG Wells’ War of the Worlds, with a Wellington twist, in a planetarium!  What could be better?

Bookings are open now and numbers are limited, so get in quick and help us lend some of our ‘modified Victorian’ look to the proceedings.  $20 per adult; event listing and tickets here.

Steampunk Weekend (Wellington Museum, 26-27 November from 1pm)

This is our big one – a weekend of readings, talks, craft workshops and Splendid Teapot Racing to celebrate the first birthday of Wellington Museum’s marvellous exhibition space The Attic (it’s what all steampunks wish our lounges looked like).

The workshops will include découpage, goggle making and English Paper Piecing, and the readings will range from the silly (a bit of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear) on the Saturday to the serious (women’s suffrage) on the Sunday.  We’ll be racing teapots from 1.30 on Saturday (new teapots are always welcome; check the rules here).  And at about 4.30 on the Saturday we’ll begin our celebrated ambulatory reading of The Hunting of the Snark, which will take us all over the museum, finishing in The Attic for the cutting of the birthday cake.  There might even be time for a bit of tea duelling in there somewhere.

Here‘s the event listing.  Let’s go for a great turnout – we could use some help serving tea, and for good old moral support.

Please get all these events into your almanac promptly – it’s going to be a fun few months.  And try to get your hands on a printed programme from the Wellington Museum, Capital E, Space Place or information centres and libraries.  There’s a fantastic steampunk poster on the back.



3 September – Teapot Racing at the Mini Fell Train Carnival

This carnival was lots of fun last year and the Cross Creek Railway Society has asked us back to show them what Splendid Teapot Racing is all about.

The carnival is in Clifford Square in Featherston and starts at 10am.  We’ll be racing at 11.30, 12.45 and 2pm.  Our friends from Wai Steam will be joining us and it will be great to have a variety of teapots along.  One word of caution – we’ll be outside on a tarsealed surface.  It should be fairly smooth, but may not suit some of the tiny racing teapots.

Between teapot races you’ll be able to enjoy the mini train rides and the market stalls.

Come and celebrate the first weekend of spring with us.

Cognition – until 28 August

CognitionCognition, Capital! Steampunk’s art exhibition, has opened at Alfred Memelink Artspace Gallery in Petone and the reception has been great.  We have some wonderful works from both new and established artists – including a number of our own members.

The gallery is open every day at 223 The Esplanade, Petone.  Do try and make time to drop in for a look before the exhibition closes on 28 August.

There’s talk of making Cognition an annual event, so it’s not too early to start thinking about what you, or any creative people you know, might like to put together for next year.

30 July 2016 – Steampunk Food Van

If you haven’t yet picked up on the news, Wellington has a steampunk food van.  Good basic food, and if you give them an extra $5 for your meal they’ll feed somebody else who really needs it – free.  We think that’s rather splendid.

The van has moved to the corner of Taranaki and Dixon Streets, near Les Mills, and we thought we’d pay them a visit.  We’ll meet there at 12.30 on Saturday 30 July for a spot of lunch, then maybe wander down to Eva Street and the Wellington Chocolate Factory for pudding.  Lovely!

And then for something completely different (as the poet said), we’ll then promenade to the Wellington Museum for 2pm for A Short History of Poison and Power.  To quote the museum’s site:

Socrates. Cleopatra. Julius Caesar. Adolf Hitler. Alan Turing. What do they all have in common? Death by poison.  

The talk will cover some of the most famous instances of poisoning in history, those who committed them and our potential future with toxic and nuclear warfare.

From poisoning princes and popes to the anti-nuclear movement, be thrust into the world of deceit, power, politics, and all that comes with it.

Entry is by donation.

26 June – Midwinter picnic

Here we are, just past the shortest day and winter really hasn’t got started yet.  But Mrs. Hudson (the younger) feels the time is right for a ‘bring on the sun’ picnic lunch in the Botanic Gardens.

Meet in front of the Begonia House in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden about midday and we’ll go from there (but not far, so latecomers should be able to find us).  The forecast isn’t marvellous, but if we decide we don’t like the weather we can head into the café beside the Begonia House, where the Colonel highly recommends the cheese scones.

After lunch we can sit around to exchange news, take a stroll or venture into the Begonia House to look for triffids.  See you soon.

Ever wanted to be part of a Guinness World Record?

Well, here’s your chance.

If you’re coming to Oamaru for the 2016 Steampunk NZ Festival, make sure you’re at the Oamaru Club at 5pm on Saturday 4 June for an attempt at breaking the current record for the Largest Gathering of Steampunks.

Have we got a chance?  My goodness, yes!  The current record, set at the 2010 Comic-Con in San Diego, is a mere 185 people. Here’s the current record page.

There are conditions we have to meet to have our record recognised, so  please don’t be late (and don’t wander off early!).  You’ll need to be in proper steampunk finery –  jeans and a top hat won’t do it.  We need to have a couple of independent witnesses to verify the numbers, and of course there must be photos, but it should be all over by 5.30, giving you plenty of time to get ready for the Mess Dinner.

Let’s see how much we can break the existing record by.  And remember, however long or short a time we hold the record, you’ll be able to say you were part of it.  Huzzah!

And an update – we did it!

It still has to be validated by Guinness, but our final count was 228.  This is what 228 steampunks looks like:


See anybody you recognise?