Top hats and tea pots, cogs and clocks in Palmerston North Steampunk Experience gallery video

Nicholas McBride/FAIRFAX NZ

Tea pot races were among the attractions at the Steampunk Experience.

Sick of hearing there's nothing to do in the city, a Palmerston North group has engineered a display of Victorian industrial chic worthy of a science fiction novel.

The Steampunk Experience, held by Future's Past Manawatu, saw a unique array of top hats, tea pots, cogs, clocks, and corsets filled the city's library on Saturday.

Event organiser Dee Catterall said the group wanted to do something different.

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Rob Archer dressed as Captain Viscount Eastman Wesley Archardt III.

Futures Past, Manawatu's steampunk group held a "Steampunk Experience" at the Palmerston North City Library.

Jacinta Harrop, aka Ms Evangeline Rothold of Riverstone, shows off her umbrella.

Alisha Harrop, aka Ms Violet Coppersmith, decorates a steam punk gun.

A close up of Alisha Harrop, aka Ms Violet Coppersmith, at work.

Brian Davies and Sadie Lock, 3, enjoy the steampunk experience.

Liane Rowe from Manawatu steam punk group Futures Past.

An ornate steampunk gown, fit for a steampunk princess.

Lorraine Olsen catches up with fellow steampunk fans.

Model dirigibles made by members of the Manawatu steampunk group Futures Past.

The Palmerston North city library was full of all kinds of characters.

Terry Sheehan's has his steampunk hat style on lock with this handmade hat.

Allen Borgwardt from Wisconsin, may or may not have flown in on a dirigible.

It's the details that really make the costumes come to life.

Lyn Sheehan enjoys her steampunk experience.

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"For so long we have been sick of Palmerston North getting bagged by people saying there is nothing happening."​

READ MORE: Steampunk sculptor provides centrepiece for weekend event

Catterall said the event had exceeded expectations.

A sculpture by Therese Quinlivan on show at the Steampunk Experience in the Palmerston North City Library.
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

A sculpture by Therese Quinlivan on show at the Steampunk Experience in the Palmerston North City Library.

"From what started out as a fun little idea to what we see today, including people coming from outside the region, is just gorgeous."

Terry Sheehan was making his first foray into steampunk after being introduced to it by ​his wife.

"It is a social outing with kindred spirits."

Although, the costumes got a mixed reaction on the street.

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"Some people almost pretend they don't see you, but a lot give you a half-smile."

His costume was a sharp waistcoat, cravat, badge and top hat.

"It is so many different things for so many different people, it is whatever you envisage."

One group of women made a 350 kilometre trip from Kihikihi, near Te Awamutu, to attend.

Lorraine Olsen said they made the most of the journey.

"We stopped at all the second hand stores in the small towns we passed and came out with armfuls."

Paula McWha said steampunk style allowed people to be creative.

"We all visit the opshops, all our costumes are second hand, we take them home and redo them. My dress has a duvet cover and a bridesmaid dress."

Each woman had her own character.

"I am Vercitea Errwit," McWha said.

"It is an anagram of creative writer. My persona is I travel from past to present collecting quotes and stories."

Barbara Preece recalled how she first got into steampunk

"I just said 'I like that, what is it about?' That was it, and I just started making something. Now you can't keep me away."

Matt Lock was one of a few in regular clothing who just wanted to check out the sights.

"We were just walking down the street and we called in.

"It is definitely unique, I'd never even heard of steampunk before."

 - Stuff

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