I’m back from my trip to New Zealand for the longest running Steampunk Festival in the Southern Hemisphere, in Oamaru. I’ll be posting photos and videos during the month as I work my way through about a thousand photos and videos.
I’ve joined the the League of Victorian Imagineers, which includes such illustrious members as Billy Connolly!The Festival was held in the Victorian Precint of Oamaru. Most events were held in Harbour Street, Tyne Street or in the main road, Thames Street. Nineteenth century buildings line all three. During the event Harbour Street was festooned with festive bunting, reminiscent of the street parties for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation – most fitting as the event was held on the Queen’s Birthday weekend and this year’s theme was celebrating the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria.
The costume parade (The Gaslight Fantasies of Steam and Stitches Fashion Show) was held in the Opera House, which was officially opened in 1907 and is heritage listed.
While I was there I took the opportunity to do some research. Several of the seats in the balcony section have been restored to their original condition. Under the seats are wire frames to store top hats so fellow attendees can watch the entertainment unhindered. This has inspired a few ideas for book two of The Department of Curiosities series…
And I donated a copy of The Department of Curiosities to the Oamaru branch of the Waitaki District Libraries. It will take a while to go through the system and then will be available to borrow. (I’m told you can do inter-library loans in NZ as well.) A big thank you to Jean (pictured) and Macleod for making me feel welcome. They were keen to have another steampunk novel available for borrowing.
I’ve also made a start on the second ‘Aunt Enid’ mystery, A Fey Tale. Now I ‘m back in Oz, I’ve got more research to do on 1920s Adelaide and start work on a new book blurb.
Photos: ©2019 Karen J Carlisle.
Historic New Zealand, Steampunk and Writing Research. was originally published on karen j carlisle
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