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.



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.

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!

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.

Save the Queen – Capital! Steampunk shirts

Some of you will know we acquired a splendid two-metre statue of Queen Victoria a while ago.  She was a little worse for wear then, and she became a little more so as we tried to get her out of the building she’d been in!  Our wonderful sculptor Kim is now giving her some TLC, and we’re also going to have to work out where to keep her (Her Majesty, not Kim) and how to transport her to our various outings.  That will probably require money and Capital! Steampunk’s income is somewhere between zero and tiny, so we’ve produced a range of t-shirts to help raise some funds.

Shirt_1_tThere are three designs (click the images to see bigger versions).  The first was inspired by spotting a garment bearing the legend ‘Less is more’.  As steampunks, of course, we could never subscribe to such a philosophy, so the idea was born to combine its opposite with a reference to Mr. Poe’s raven, printed on a light grey shirt.





The second design reproduces a road sign seen on State Highway 1 at both Wairakei and Taihape.  We feel this one looks best on a black shirt.





And the third is a valuable reminder of a trap a number of steampunks will have fallen into.  This is on a nice blue – the colour you see here isn’t exact, but it’s close.



The first run of the shirts has now sold out, but never fear – we’ll look at putting a second order together early in 2018.  We’ll post a proper order form then, but contact us in the meantime if you’d like to register your interest.

25 November 2017 – Christmas at Homewood

Each year the British High Commissioner hosts an International Christmas Fair at his residence, Homewood, to benefit Save the Children.  We’ve been several times and it’s a jolly splendid place for a day out, with music, stalls, Devonshire teas, foods from Wellington’s ethnic communities and more.  (And they’re always delighted to have steampunks wandering about.  Expect photo requests.)

This year it’s on between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 25 November and admission is by gold coin.  We don’t bother with meeting times and so forth; just come along in your finery and we’ll find each other.

Homewood, at 50 Homewood Avenue in Karori, is a lovely old house with delightful grounds to explore.  The weather is sounding quite propitious at this stage, so we’ll look forward to seeing you there.