Colourful costumes and wacky entertainment as Hartlepool hosts its first ever Steampunk festival

Organisers of Hartlepool’s first ever Steampunk Festival hailed the historic Headland as the perfect setting for the event.

Enthusiasts of the style influenced by a re-imagining of Victorian science fiction and fantasy dressed in weird and wonderful outfits while the Borough Hall and Heugh Battery Museum hosted of variety of attractions on Saturday and Sunday.

Hartlepool's first Steampunk festival took place over the weekend at The Borough Hall and the Heugh Battery. Steampunk enthusiasts The Lowther family l-r Martin, Peter, Penny and Derek

Hartlepool's first Steampunk festival took place over the weekend at The Borough Hall and the Heugh Battery. Steampunk enthusiasts The Lowther family l-r Martin, Peter, Penny and Derek

The Borough Hall played host to entertainers including juggler Erwyd Le Fol, from North Wales, and escapology, magic and storytelling by Greg Chapman, from the Isle of Wight.

There was also balloon modelling, the chance to hold an owl, and trade stalls selling Steampunk fashion, accessories, jewellery, art and other items.

A highlight of the weekend was a Steampunk cabaret on Saturday night the Borough Hall headlined by The Filthy Spectacula, plus performances by The Pastures and blues band The Wattingers.

Festival organiser David Smith said: “Hartlepool is just the most glorious place. There is so much history here.

Hartlepool's first Steampunk festival took place over the weekend at The Borough Hall and the Heugh Battery. The Heugh Battery Museum hosted a Time Travelling Tea Tent, featuring the art of tea drinking, hamster racing and fox tossing. However, the tent succumbed to the windy conditions on Sunday.

Hartlepool's first Steampunk festival took place over the weekend at The Borough Hall and the Heugh Battery. The Heugh Battery Museum hosted a Time Travelling Tea Tent, featuring the art of tea drinking, hamster racing and fox tossing. However, the tent succumbed to the windy conditions on Sunday.

“Everyone has been incredibly friendly. All of the traders and entertainers have loved their time in Hartlepool.

“We had a really fabulous concert on Saturday night with three bands and four speciality acts.

“All of them thought the venue was the best they had ever played in. We are hoping the response has been sufficiently positive that the council will want to continue it as an annual event.”

Among the Steampunk enthusiasts there was the Lowther family from Hartlepool.

Andrew and Lynn Gaffney of Derbyshire in all their finery.

Andrew and Lynn Gaffney of Derbyshire in all their finery.

Mum Penny said: “We like Steampunk, goth, anything. We started with Steampunk about five or six years ago.”

Son Martin said: “I’ve known about Steampunk since I was a kid but there was nowhere ever to do it until Whitby started doing it.”

Also in eye-catching outfits were Andrew and Lynn Gaffney from Derbyshire. Andrew said: “Steampunk is more inventory than goth with Victorian influences. The only limit is your own imagination.”

The festival was funded by Hartlepool Borough Council. The Heugh Battery Museum hosted a wacky Time Travelling Tea Tent featuring the art of tea drinking, toy hamster racing and fox tossing.

Looking for a new hat Helen Harris from the Wirrell (left) and Kelsang Jorlan of Huddersfield.

Looking for a new hat Helen Harris from the Wirrell (left) and Kelsang Jorlan of Huddersfield.

The Lowther family, from left,  Derek, Penny, Martin and Peter

The Lowther family, from left, Derek, Penny, Martin and Peter