Oamaru claims official steampunk world record from Guinness

Steampunks gathered on Queen's Birthday Weekend at Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru for the most steampunks in one place ...
LIZ CARDOGAN

Steampunks gathered on Queen's Birthday Weekend at Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru for the most steampunks in one place world record attempt.

Oamaru steampunks now have a world record to confirm their place as the national steampunk capital.

Earlier this year, the town hosted a Guinness World Record attempt, packing 228 steampunks in one place.

World record attempt organiser Leslie "Colonel Sir Julius Hawthorne" Craven confirmed the record was official over the weekend.

Leslie Craven, organiser of the steampunk world record attempt and his wife Jane, both founders of Capital Steampunk in ...
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Leslie Craven, organiser of the steampunk world record attempt and his wife Jane, both founders of Capital Steampunk in Wellington.

The attempt took place in the Oamaru Club hall as part of a Steampunk NZ Festival event on June 4 when 228 people in full steampunk regalia piled into the hall.

READ MORE: *Steampunks attempt world record

Steampunk was a conceptual style that mixes the old and the new, Craven said.

Iain Clark and Helen Jansen, organisers of the 2016 Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru.
RYAN DUNLOP/FAIRFAX NZ

Iain Clark and Helen Jansen, organisers of the 2016 Steampunk NZ Festival in Oamaru.

"It is what Victorians envisaged the future to be," he said.

The previous record had been previously set by a group called The League of S.T.E.A.M. at San Francisco's popular Comic-Con, where 185 steam punk enthusiasts gathered.

Craven said there were no plans for another world record attempt.

"Not until someone knocks us off our perch," he said.

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After seeing the previous record number, 185, Craven knew it could be toppled, but it had to be in New Zealand steampunk capital.

"If it was going to be anywhere, it would be in Oamaru."

Guinness World Records had been contacted prior to the attempt to inquire about guidelines to make the attempt official, he said.

The guidelines stated contestants attempting the record had to be fully clothed in steampunk attire for at least five minutes.

"A full costume consists of a Victorian period costume and at least one 'gadget' accessory, which is worn, not carried," Guinness said.

Steampunk NZ Festival organiser Helen Jansen said she was pleased to see the world record attempt confirmed and thought the exposure would increase numbers for future steampunk festivals.

"People are already booking in market stalls for next year and wanting to buy tickets," she said.

The term steampunk was coined by American novelist Kevin Wayne Jeter in 1987 when he tried to find a word to describe the books that he and fellow novelists had written, Craven said.

 - Stuff

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