Tea duelling really takes the biscuit
Imaginations ran wild at the weekend as record numbers attended a steampunk weekend in Bressingham.
Around 1,200 people from across East Anglia and beyond went along to the two-day event, which is now in its fifth year.
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
The event, held last weekend, is billed as a celebration of all things steampunk and as a festival of the future, as Victorians may have imagined it.
“It was our most successful year to date,” said museum manager Alastair Baker.
“There was a mix of splendid costumes, creativity, imagination and invention amongst Bressingham’s magnificent collection of functioning steam engines.”
Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre, steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century British Victorian era or the American Wild West.
All this though is still set in a futuristic era in which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world.
Along with snail racing and umbrella fencing, where competitors used colanders as body armour, another activity that proved popular during the weekend was tea duelling.
“This is a gentlemanly sport in which the two duellers dunk different varieties of biscuit,” explain Mr Baker.
“Basically, whoever retains their biscuit for longest, before if falls into the tea, is the winner.”
Other attractions and activities during the weekend included a steampunk market and a host of elaborately dressed magicians, jugglers, comedians and comperes.
“People enjoy steampunk from all walks of life and of all ages,” added Mr Baker.
“It’s a futuristic, yet simpler way of life.”
Were you at the event? More pictures in the current edition of the Diss Express