20 October 2018 – Cobblestones Family Fête

The Saturday of Labour Weekend is time for the annual Family Fête at Cobblestones Museum and historic village in Greytown.

The fête starts at 11am and finishes at 3pm.  We’re all likely to turn up at different times, but we never seem to have any trouble finding each other (now, why might that be?).  We don’t have any events planned – just show up, enjoy the displays and food and have a jolly good promenade about in your finery.

Cobblestones

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3 November – Cross Creek miniature railway carnival

Come along to the Cross Creek pre-Christmas festival, this year in Featherston’s new town centre – the Squircle.

Enjoy the stalls, entertainment, train rides to Clifford Square, swanning opportunities and even a spot of tea duelling. The terrain isn’t really suitable for some of the smaller racing teapots but we’ll have a couple of obstacles along anyway, so bring your teapot if you fancy giving it some exercise. Bring a picnic lunch, or indulge at some of the food stalls.

The festival runs from 10am – 3pm on Saturday November 3rd. See you there.

23 September – Steampunk through the tulips

Celebrate Spring with us at the Wellington Botanic Gardens and enjoy the tulips and family-friendly fun.
Meet around the main gate on Glenmore Street near the soundshell at 11am. There shall be promenading, Her Excellency Netherlands Ambassador Ms Mira Woldberg will speak at noon, and food will be available.

Wear your finest steampunk, spring themed or Netherlands traditional clothing. Everybody welcome.

18 August – National Library/Hill Street Market

Have you visited He Tohu, the National Library’s display of three of New Zealand’s founding documents? From 1835, 1840 and 1893, these are tremendously important parts of our country’s history and well worth a look.  The associated displays with their interactive elements help fill out the stories around the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes, the Treaty of Waitangi and the Women’s Suffrage petition.

Capital! Steampunk proposes an outing on Saturday 18 August.  Meet in the foyer of the National Library, corner of Aitken and Molesworth Streets, at 10am and we’ll explore He Tohu and some of the Library’s other fascinating treasures, then head into HOME cafe in the Library building for a spot of morning tea.

If the weather’s good we can promenade to the Hill Street Farmers’ Market, just across the road, where there’s delicious produce to eat there or take home for later.

Steampunk costume is optional but highly encouraged!

Sunday 20 May – spats workshop

For this month’s ‘third Sunday’ Capital! Steampunk gathering, Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be talking about, and demonstrating the making of, that most useful addition to any wardrobe – spats.

Have you got a comfortable pair of shoes that aren’t quite steampunk? Would you like to wear them with more than one outfit but they don’t quite match? Spats are the answer. They’re quick and easy to make, and with two or three pairs in colours to match your outfits, almost any pair of shoes will do.

We’ll be meeting in the Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor Street, from 2pm. Bring the fabric you’d like your spats to be made from, along with the shoes you’re going to wear them with so we get the size right. There’ll be one sewing machine available; feel free to bring yours too if you can.

Tea and coffee are available, and bring something to share for afternoon tea. A gold coin donation helps ensure we can keep using this venue.

CubaDupa – our Capital! programme

As we write this, CubaDupa 2018 is just a shade over one month away, so here’s what Capital! Steampunk is doing, and where to be (and when) so you can join in.

The festival runs from midday till late on Saturday 24 March and midday to 5pm on Sunday 25 March. Capital! Steampunk is involved in three different events.

Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club’s successful mission to build a gun powerful enough to send men into space. NZ Opera’s The Eagle Has Landed is a short musical piece in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin arrive on the Moon to find Verne’s characters still there. Did we say ‘send men into space’? Surprises await …

They’d like our help. Each performance will start with a promenade of steampunks from Ghuznee Street to the venue in the Hannah Courtyard in Leeds Street. Effectively, we are the Baltimore Gun Club, marching to see our heroes off, so bring your favourite ray gun!

You can take part in as many or as few promenades and performances as you wish. The promenades are at 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm both days. The performances last for about 20 minutes and steampunks can perform as extras in the crowd scenes. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street, a few doors along towards Glover Park from the intersection with Cuba Street, 10 minutes before we leave for each performance.

For those interested in taking part in the performance, there’s a dress rehearsal at 10.30am, Saturday 24th March, in the Hannah Courtyard. This will be filmed for archival purposes. Don’t worry if you can’t make the rehearsal; many of us will be doing more than one promenade so there should always be somebody who can tell you what to expect.

Teapot Racing

It wouldn’t be CubaDupa without teapot racing – register your teapot here. This year we’re out on Dixon Street again, near the Dixon Street Deli.

Racing will be from 3.30 to 5.30pm on Saturday 24 March and we’ll be setting up the course and welcoming racing teapots from 3pm. When you arrive with your teapot you’ll be given a number in the running order so you’ll have an idea when you’ll need to be ready to race. As you’ll see from the above, there’s a slight clash with the last performance of The Eagle Has Landed; you’ll be able to join Saturday’s final promenade but if you want to watch or take part in the show it’s probably best if you pick one of the other five performances over the weekend.

A new feature of this year’s teapot racing will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots for the public to try. They’re basic, but they work. We’ll have to strictly limit the numbers who can try them out (the batteries will only last so long), but if you haven’t yet taken the plunge into making your own racing teapot, this might give you a feel for what it’s all about.

Tea Duelling

Once again we’ll be on the small stage in the middle of Cuba Mall, ready to help settle any dispute that comes along. The Colonel and Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be officiating, starting at 3.30pm on Sunday 25 March and continuing until we run out of duellists, biscuits or hot water. Or until 4pm; whichever comes first.

Come along to cheer the duellists (or be one yourself) and provide more splendid spectacle for the CubaDupa crowds.

In a nutshell …

The Eagle Has Landed promenades and performances – Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th, 1.15, 2.15 and 3.15pm. Meet outside 55 Ghuznee Street 10 minutes before each promenade starts.

Teapot Racing – Saturday 24th 3.30 – 5.30pm. Deliver your racing teapot to the pits outside Dixon Street Deli from 3pm.

Tea duelling – Sunday 25th, 3.30 – 4pm on the Cuba Mall small stage.

Teapot Racing at CubaDupa – register now

CubaDupa is coming again and Capital! Steampunk will be there in splendidness, parading, tea duelling and – most important – racing teapots.

The festival dates are 24-25 March – check the CubaDupa site for the full programme.  The teapot racing is currently scheduled for 3.30pm on Saturday 24th (we’ll let all the registered teapot owners know if that changes, but it should be pretty firm).  As with last year, the venue is expected to be Dixon Street, outside the Dixon St. Deli.

If you’ve raced a teapot before, you know how it all works.  Fill in the registration form with details of you and your teapot and we’ll confirm time and place nearer the day.  We plan to give you a race number before the day so you’ll know roughly when you’ll be performing, but we’d like all teapots at the course by 3.15 on the day so they can be on display in our pits area.

If you haven’t raced before – how about making this the year that all changes?  The rules are simple (and very flexible, if the judges are suitably bribed).  The only rule that really matters is about the size of the racing teapot, so you can be confident it will fit through the obstacles.  We can also offer some construction tips if you need them.

Along with ‘normal’ teapot racing through the obstacle course, we’ll try to fit in some Teapot Sheepdog Trials.  A new feature this year will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots.  They’re basic, but they’ll get round the course without too much trouble and give you an idea of what can be achieved with a simple, relatively cheap base vehicle and a minimal amount of decoration.  We’ll set aside some time during the racing for a (limited) number of people to try out our splendid sport.

Contact us if you have any questions.  And may the best teapot win.


Racing teapot

 

3 – 4 February – Vintage Harvest Rally

Every two years the Wairarapa Vintage Machinery Club organises this popular event, with working vintage machinery, lots of other displays, markets, food and more.  Our friends at Wai Steam are going, and Capital! Steampunk members are welcome too.

The event runs over both days of the weekend from 9am to 4pm at the Clareville Showgrounds – just north of Carterton on Chester Road, if you’re coming from Wellington.  One of the highlights will be the harvesting of a specially planted wheat field. The harvesting, threshing and milling will all be done by vintage machinery.  Draft horses will harvest a wheat crop with a binder and a Clayton Shuttleworth mill will be working.

We may be able to do a gentle teapot racing demonstration, so bring your pot along – you have got your teapot ready for CubaDupa, haven’t you?  Otherwise, we’ll enjoy the opportunity to promenade, have photos with the marvellous machines and catch up with Wai Steam.

The best bit?  If you come along in steampunk costume, you’ll get in free!

Some thoughts on making a satisfying racing teapot

CubaDupa 2018 is now just two months away and we’ll be opening registrations for Splendid Teapot Racing very soon.  If you haven’t got your racing teapot together yet, here are a few observations you might find useful:

  • The basics: get a radio-controlled car or truck, remove the body, attach a teapot, decorate the vehicle according to your taste then race against the clock through an obstacle course. This clip of Lord Edmund from 2017’s CubaDupa will give you the general idea
  • Read the rules. Most rules can be got around with a suitable bribe to the judges on the day (small bars of chocolate, cups of tea or small bags of shiny objects are often appreciated), but don’t ignore the one about the recommended maximum size. The main reason for this rule is not to stop you making a megapot if you want to, but so your teapot has some chance of getting through/over/round the obstacles without damaging itself or them. If you’re buying a vehicle, somewhere between 1:24 and 1:16 size is about right
  • It’s more about control than speed or power. Spend the right amount on your base vehicle.  You can pay $1000 or more on a radio-controlled car, but don’t – it’s unlikely it will get round the obstacle course any better than something much cheaper.  But don’t spend too little, either. Some of our friends and acquaintances have been delighted with a bargain from an op shop, only to find the vehicle either doesn’t steer at all, or only turns left.  If possible, try to see the vehicle in action before you buy it – make sure it has enough power to get up a slope (and remember it’s going to be heavier by the time you attach a teapot to it)
  • And on the subject of the teapot – keep it light. Your vehicle should be able to both climb ramps and go round corners without tipping over.  Ceramic teapots are far too heavy (and breakable).  Aluminium or stainless are generally fine; you might even find small plastic ones at a toyshop. The teapot doesn’t have to remain functional as a teapot once you’ve finished, so don’t worry about drilling holes in it
  • Attach things firmly.  It’s hilarious for the audience but embarrassing for you if some major component of your racing teapot (like, say, the teapot!) falls off partway through the course.  Glue doesn’t seem to be what it was back in Queen Victoria’s time, bless her, although some of us still swear by hot glue. The Colonel, with several racing teapots under his belt, is a firm believer in small bolts or screws for hooking things together. And don’t ignore the mounting points the original body came off – they can be very useful if you can manage to put matching holes in the bottom of your teapot (some of us struggle with the degree of accuracy required …)
  • On teapot racing day, don’t run out of steam.  Use fresh batteries, or if your vehicle uses rechargeables, make sure they’re fully charged the night before.  And don’t forget about the batteries in the controller as well.

That should get you going in the right direction.  Watch here or on Capital! Steampunk’s Facebook page for registrations to open and we’ll see you at CubaDupa.

Racing teapots

6 January 2018 – The Greatest Showman

Join us for our first 2018 event at the Embassy Theatre in Kent Terrace on Saturday 6 January at 5.45.

This film is one we’ve been keeping our eye on as a Capital! opportunity for splendidness and tells (with some artistic licence) the story of P. T. Barnum – creator of the Greatest Show on Earth.  Come along in full steam, part-steam or your new Capital! Steampunk t-shirt – whatever you’re most comfortable in.

Book your tickets here – as a bonus for online bookings, this is the Embassy’s Movie of the Week so tickets are only $10 if you register with them.  Otherwise buy them at the door.  It’s the 6.15 session, but come early and meet us in the Black Sparrow bar under the Embassy before the show starts.