Kelham Hall Steampunk Gathering Aug. 2020

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For the last several years, the largest Steampunk Festival in the World has taken place in Lincoln over the August Bank Holiday weekend but this year it has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However instead, the Ministry of Steampunk (the organisers) arranged a socially-distanced steampunk gathering at Kelham Hall, near Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Martine with mask and gloves at Kelham Hall
Me wearing the mask I made. Note the gloves with the long little finger nail and dangling jewellery that I added.

Kelham Hall has 40 acres of grounds which provided plenty of space for the limited number of attendees to perambulate around the grounds in all our finery in perfect safety. In fact safety was very much the prime consideration for the whole event and I know the organisers worked very hard with all the authorities to ensure everything was compliant with their conditions and with the constant threat right up to the last minute that permission to go ahead could be withdrawn.

Martine at Kelham Hall
Martine at Kelham Hall

Kelham Hall is only a short drive from me and I went on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend with my friend, Maxine. When we got there we met up with Rachel from Newark for whom it was an even shorter drive of just a couple of miles.

Of course the event was very limited compared with the usual festival at Lincoln. Everything was outdoors with the only access to the hall itself for the toilets and a bar. But there were a fair number of traders in gazebos and tents well spread out around the grounds with strict safety procedures; number limited, sanitizers and face masks requirement at every stall. There was no food available on site but most people brought a picnic. I believe there were spot prizes for the best looking ‘punknics’ and also most stunning face masks (which had to be worn wherever 2m social distancing was not easy to observe). We didn’t see any prizes being awarded but that might have been because we had our picnic lunch by our car rather than the main picnic area. However there was a parade at 3pm for those who wanted to show off their costumes but I did not enter as I preferred to watch and take photos from the side.

With all the events we would normally have attended since March having been cancelled it was really good to have the opportunity to get all dressed up again. It was also great to see the amazingly creative costumes of the other steampunkers who are all very friendly and courteous. I really have to thank the MoS (Ministry of Steampunk) for a very well organised and most enjoyable event.

For a blog and photos about the Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln, August 2019 please click here

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