30 July 2017 – Steampunk tintype photo shoot

TintypePhotographers Brian Scadden and Jane Fletcher are coming to Wellington on Sunday 30th July to take our photographs using traditional Victorian photographic techniques. You can see your photo develop before your eyes out in the daylight.

This event is for steampunks who wish to have their photos taken in full steam or Victorian/Edwardian dress. You get an original tintype photo, an electronic version to keep and an amazing experience, just for $40 each.

The photographers Brian and Jane are available between 10.30 am and 3pm. The process is leisurely and cannot be rushed. We will have a friendly BYO shared picnic in a beautiful home while we wait our turn, watch the photo process and socialise.

Contact us to confirm and indicate how many people will attend and we’ll let you know the address in Khandallah and a guide time for the photo session. Numbers are limited.

You can hear more about the technique here.

24 June 2017 – The Time Travellers’ Ball

Time to oil the time machine and polish your finery, or vice versa.  The Time Travellers’ Ball is coming to the ANZAC Hall in Featherston on Saturday 24 June, starting at 7pm and finishing … later.

The entry price of $30 includes a glass of mead on entry plus supper and entertainment.  Come dressed in your most splendid outfit from the past, future or alternate timeline and join us for a fun night.  We already know some of our friends from the Wairarapa and Whanganui steampunk groups will be there – we can pick up where we left off in Oamaru!

Book your tickets here and, while you’re on the site, have a look at the concept art for the venue – it should be amazing.  (A steampunk-themed bar?  What are they trying to say … ?)

15 May 2017 – Time Travel

James Gleick is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and, under the auspices of the Royal Society of New Zealand, will be discussing his new book Time Travel – A History with Wallace Chapman, the host of Sunday Morning on RNZ National.  He’ll be talking about how the idea of time travel has evolved through literature and science, and how it’s influenced our ideas about time itself.

Time travel is of course dear to the hearts of many steampunks – some of us, indeed, might not exist without it – so we think this might be rather fun to attend (in our approved time travelling outfits, of course).  The event will be held in Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre on Monday 15 May at 6pm.  Tickets are available here.

Remember – this is definitely For Science!

16 April 2017 – Dinosaurs!

RawrOur favourite (extinct) scary monsters are coming to the Botanic Gardens, and it is our duty as proud citizens of the Empire to defend our fellow Wellingtonians against their depredations.

Or alternatively, in the words of the Eventfinda listing:

Get up close and personal with our friendly T-rex, Velociraptor, Dilophosaurus and meet some baby dinosaurs.

Learn about the dinosaurs, plants, and trees which lived millions of years ago in our ancient continent of Gondwana. Ideal for kids aged 4 – 12 years old.

This amazing kids’ event also includes sieving for real fossil sharks’ teeth, (keep the best one you find!), kids’ dinosaur tattoos, and making fossils.

This is a bookings-only event on the soundshell lawn and runs from 14 – 18 April, with a number of daily session times.  We can’t guarantee every Capital! Steampunk member who wants to go will be able to get into the same session, but the Colonel and Mrs. Hudson (the younger) will be there from 1-2pm on Sunday 16 April.  Book on Eventfinda – it’s only $8 – and don’t forget to bring your best ray gun.  Can’t be too careful, you know.

A scone and cup of tea in the Lady Norwood Rose Gardens afterwards is entirely on the cards for any who’d like to join us.


18 April 2017 – A night at the theatre

Circa Theatre will shortly be presenting Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows & Psychics, and it sounds like just our thing.  To quote their publicity material:

1888. New Zealand. Mr Alexander defies the laws of physics. Mrs Alexander reads minds. Audiences gasp at their heart-stopping finale, The Possum Trap… until the night they disappear.

Step right up for a seat to Mr and Mrs Alexander’s final perfomance. Acclaimed variety artists Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman weave together illusion, mind reading and sideshow to tell this award winning New Zealand story, which has enjoyed sold out seasons across Australia, the UK and Canada.

Inspired by a ruthless Victorian underbelly of hucksters, mediums and carnies; expect edge-of-your-seat, breathtaking fun, full of laughs and thrills.

Capital! Steampunk is making an evening of it for the opening night on Tuesday 18 April at 7.30pm.  Seats aren’t allocated, so we’ll be able to cluster in a splendidly-attired group.  Book here and we’ll see you on the night.  Gentlemen: please remove your top hats once inside so other patrons can see the stage.

Circa has a bar in which to congregate before and after the show, and we are promised … a photographer!

(It’s also Professor Carwadine’s birthday that day, so give her a hug.)

Pre-CubaDupa excitements – part 2

There’s not much that can keep a steampunk away from an op shop, so here’s your chance for a fix.

On Friday 24 March (the day before CubaDupa) we’re exploring what Petone has to offer (hint: quite a lot).  To allow our out-of-town visitors time to get off their planes and maybe even find some coffee, the tour will start at 1pm at the Te Omanga Hospice Shop at 41 Fitzherbert Street.  After that, it’s up to you.  All the shops below are within about a 20 minute stroll – we’ve put a couple of food/coffee possibilities in there, but Petone has no shortage of cafes.

Offers of and requests for rides to/from Petone are welcome.  Let us know if you need or can offer one.

Te Omanga Hospice Shop
41 Fitzherbert Street
Open until 4:00 PM

Hills Hats
30 Fitzherbert Street

Ontrays (gourmet food ingredients)
38 Fitzherbert Street

Village Beads (heaps of jewellery supplies)
129 Jackson Street

My French Larder (lovely savoury pancakes and very steampunk-friendly)
190 Jackson Street – there’s also a good second-hand shop a couple of doors back towards Wellington

Particles of Time (vintage clothing)
3/44 Nelson Street (off Jackson Street)

SPCA Op Shop
211 Jackson Street
Open until 4:30 PM

Red Cross Shop
239 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

Salvation Army Family Store
288 Jackson Street
Open until 5:00 PM

The Sewing Depot
47A Buick Street

St Vincent De Paul Op Shop
318 Jackson Street
Open until 4:20 PM

A couple of notes:

  • Hills Hats now has a retail shop attached to the factory, and that’s what we’re visiting.  This is NOT a factory tour, so please don’t try to head off behind the scenes
  • Keep an eye on the time (and your ride, if applicable).  We’ll need to be back in Welly by 5.30 for the open evening at Clockwork, and some of us will need to see about dinner before heading to The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Gryphon Theatre in Ghuznee Street
  • We haven’t organised a dinner for Friday night.  Wellington has a huge variety of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit every taste and dietary requirement.  However, it’s likely you’ll find a steampunk or two enjoying cocktails at the Hawthorn Lounge, upstairs at 82 Tory Street.

CubaDupa activity programme

CubaDupaWe can now confirm the timings for what we’re doing at CubaDupa 2017.

Our main festival event will be Splendid Teapot Racing, and thanks to our Steampunk Taranaki friends who are bringing some of their obstacles down to combine with ours, we’ll have the biggest obstacle course ever.  Yes, Teapot Sheepdog Trials are also planned.

We’ll be setting up the course in Dixon Street (outside the Dixon Street Deli) from 12.15 on Saturday 25 March.  Bring your teapot along any time between 12.15 and 1.15 and set it up in our pits area (you have registered your teapot, haven’t you?).  It will be well-guarded while you then head up to Marion Street for the beginning of our steampunk parade.  Assemble on the intersection of Marion and Ghuznee Streets, and well head off at about 1.40.  The route will be Marion Street > Ghuznee Street > Cuba Mall > Dixon Street, and we encourage you to bring along anything noisy – drums, bells, kazoos, you name it.  We want people to know we’re coming!  The teapot racing will start when we arrive, about 2pm, and will continue until 4pm.  After which, perhaps a drink?

On Sunday 26 March we have a session of tea duelling booked on the small stage in Cuba Mall (the same place as last year, for those who were here then).  The duelling will commence at 1pm, and we welcome moral support from our steampunk friends – rounding up new victims duellists for us will be much appreciated.

When we’re not engaged in the above activities, we’re looking forward to taking in more of CubaDupa itself.  Promenading will be very much the thing; be prepared for lots of photo opportunities with our adoring public.

Pre-CubaDupa excitements

Clockwork_logoOur friends at Clockwork Steampunk Emporium have organised a special treat for those who are in Wellington on Friday 24 March, the day before CubaDupa.

The shop will be open late, with drinks and nibbles from 5.30 until 8pm and lots of specials to round out your CubaDupa wardrobe.

Clockwork is in the Old Bank Arcade on the corner of Lambton Quay, Hunter Street and Customhouse Quay.  Enter up the steps from Hunter Street or, if you come in through the (step-free) Lambton Quay entrance, turn left just past Starbucks.  Options will be available for those who fancy dinner and/or a cocktail afterwards.

28 January – meetup at Bangalore Polo Club

Shortish notice, but we’re getting together at the Bangalore Polo Club in Courtenay Place for drinks and nibbles on Saturday evening at 5pm.  If you can make it we’ll be very happy to see you.

We did one of these last year and it was splendid – we even met some new people. 

Steampunk dress is optional, but please do if you can.

Splendid Teapot Racing at CubaDupa 2017

Splendid Teapot Racing logo

Here it comes again!  Splendid Teapot Racing will return to the marvellous CubaDupa festival for the third time.

CubaDupa this year runs over the weekend of 25-26 March. We found racing over two days last year was a bit much (we want to see some of CubaDupa ourselves!), so this time the racing teapots will battle it out on the Saturday afternoon only.

However …

This year the organisers of CubaDupa want us more in the heart of the action, so they’ve given us a space right on Dixon Streen, just outside the Dixon Street Deli.  The road surface is quite smooth, so the smaller teapots will be able to get around just fine.  We’ll have some new obstacles joining the dreaded Ramp of Doom, Seesaw of Indecision and the breakables, including one very special one if we can get it (hush – it’s a secret).  And that means the course will be bigger, letting a whole lot more people see what’s going on.  We’re even having our own steampunk parade through the crowds just before the racing.

The time has come, as the Walrus may have said, to prepare your finest teapots to race.  Refresh your memory of the few rules we have (they haven’t changed), get your bribes ready for the judges and, most importantly, send in the registration form for your teapot(s).

For visitors to Wellington (locals are very welcome too) we’ll have a few other activities on the Friday and Sunday, more more on that later.