Rachel and Andy outside The Lawn, Lincoln on Sunday
This weekend saw the UK Steampunk Weekend - at The Asylum, Lincoln.
More pics at Rachel's LJ
We travelled up on Friday and would have set off earlier if I'd been up all night sewing, rather than up all morning sewing. Stopped off at the surplus place near Worcester and bought overcoats for a fiver! Needn't have bothered with all that sewing really, could have costumed the lot for tuppence ha'penny.
Lincoln, which I'd never visited before, is a great big hill. That wasn't something I'd expected either, I was thinking more of languid watermeadows and great flat plains.
The B&B was amusing. Cute Victorian building, with the most evil parking ever. I found it difficult to park there. In a Honda Jazz. A bit more plumbing wouldn't have gone amiss either. Maybe this was the first stage of the Steampunk Assault Course and we were expected to have installed something shiny by the end of the weekend?
We garbed up (which Rachel took more seriously than I did) and climbed the rest of the hill to the venue, just alongside the castle. Now we started to appreciate the B&B! What it lacked in facilities (and website accuracy!) it made up for in altitude. Events for Friday were pubbage, barbecue, bands in a marquee and a multi-functional steampunk stand-up comedian (Chap model and on Sunday he was in one of the bands). Sunday Driver were an odd mix of klezma, bhangra and Pot Noodle, enough to make us buy their CD.
Saturday was a quick scoot around mundane Lincoln in mufti and a far too brief trip to Steep Hill (a steep hill) where AVOs are almost as plentiful as ex-aircraft radio gear. I hardly bought anything, honest, as it was a very hot day and I was suffering heatstroke. We also discovered that Lincoln is so Posh that a Gregg's pasty costs 1½× what it does in Wales!
Garb time again, as airship crew. I was a boiler-suited use-no-grease monkey with an oxygen bottle hanging off my belt, Rachel was the sort of posh astrolabe-wielding navigational aviatrix who can afford to buy Gregg's pasties. You can tell Lincoln has something of an aircraft tradition: two people recognised my oxygen bottle for what it was (Martin-Baker H7 seat bailout bottle), one offered to sell me a few more to go with it, and one denied flatly that it was anything of the sort, but he was from Cranwell so what would he know!
During a brief remission from my heatstroke I ran back down the steep hill and bought some radar kit, big meters and half a periscope. Heatstroke was to return soon, when I had to carry the lot back up the hill. There aren't many shops where you can walk in looking, well, ridiculous and all they ask is what sort of cockpit section you're restoring (Chap in the shop was part of the Bruntingthorpe Buccaneer project). Oddly I seem to have been the only costumed steamer who'd made it this far. I didn't buy the entire shop, but did get the feeling that it was offered for sale should I want it...
Dr Arfon Jones BA and I, receiving our medals for craftsmanship and ingenuity.
Saturday evening was the Empire Ball, which involved more costume changes and a scrub up for myself into uniform. Whereupon I still felt woefully under-dressed. The standard and commitment to costuming was fantastic amongst everyone.
I also found myself receiving the inaugural Pugin Medal for Craftsmanship, which was very welcome (and brightened up my uniform). I'd hurriedly grabbed my copper & oak Stickley Nixie clock from the mantelpiece before setting off, then popped it into the Contraptions Contest.
Toby "Lemming Man" Frost was one of the guest writers and seems an awfully nice chap, although disturbingly young! Robert Rankin was also there, wearing a little number that Elton John had run up for him from Michael Jackson's cast-offs.
Sunday was my ubiquitous Brown Suit Of Failure and my newly purchased top hat (not a Goff, honest). This was bought in celebration of finding a hat (any hat) the right size to fit my enormous head. At least it's brand new, not worn out and isn't black. Rachel looked at her best in yet another stack of, "Does my bum look big in this? It ought too, there's half a sofa in here" skirts.
We wandered for a while, visiting the Castle prison (grim) and then the Cathedral (airy), via a rather decent Thai lunch.