Leeds steampunk market in pictures

Pairing corsets with goggles and a stovepipe hat, steampunk fans in Leeds have long set a striking sight.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 3:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 3:57 pm
Paul and Tracey McGuyre with their children Elizabeth, 11 and Morgan, nine

The city’s annual steampunk market, now in its ninth year, returned to Leeds’s Abbey House Museum this weekend.

And, proving popular as it trebled its intake on the first day, there has been an abundance of creative flair on display.

“It’s been absolutely brilliant,” said organiser Jo Burgoyne-Neal. “We’ve already asked if we can come back next year.”

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The Leeds Steampunk Market at Abbey House Museum, Abbey Walk, Leeds, Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd March 2019. There was a flying display from Frankie one of Amy Jo Lawranceâ¬"s owls from Wakefield of The Flying Squadron on both days

The Leeds Steampunk Market, launched in 2011, is now believed to one of the world’s longest running, alongside an event in Lincolnshire and one in New Zealand.

Described as an artistic genre, the fair celebrates style which mixes Victorian fashion with outlandish gadgetry, emerging over recent decades with a mix of eclectic creations.

“You could ask six different people what steampunk is, and get six different answers,” said Mrs Burgoyne-Neal.

“There’s Victorian dresses, skirts and garments, with the corsets that go with it. Stove pipe hats. Goggles, for a futuristic approach. And in America-style, it’s the Wild West.

Stephen Cottrell at the Leeds Steampunk Market

“Steampunk has gone off, on so many tangents. It was originally defined by steam and the Victorian era. But now there’s diesel punk, a bit of Gothic. Glow in the dark, then cyber punk. And some 1940s vintage.

“It’s all gone a bit bonkers really. There are no rules. That’s the glory of steampunk, you can get away with just about anything.”

This weekend’s market saw dozens of stalls, featuring costume traders, jewellers, metal workers and artists, as well as a charity tombola to raise funds for Leeds’ mental health and wellbeing charity Touchstone.

There was an owl display, punk performances, and a coffee-jousting tournament, with winners defined by their ability to prevent a biscuit from crumbling in a dunking duel.

Steve Frisby looks round Abbey House

“We’ve seen three times more people than last year, with a footfall of 1,772 on Saturday alone,” said Mrs Burgoyne-Neal.

“There’s such a lovely atmosphere. And despite how bonkers its become, everybody still settles in the cafe at the end of the day with a cup of tea, in a most civilised way.

“It’s just all about escapism, from the normal hum-drum of everyday life. And it’s a lovely way to spend a day.”

Jenny Makin and daughter Rose of Batley