PEOPLE from across the region will be gathering at a special event this weekend that harks back to Victorian times.

The Abergavenny Community Centre is the venue of the Steampunk Shownanigans event which takes place today and tomorrow.

You might have heard of or seen steampunk events in the past, or have heard of it used in fashion or film. The genre draws on a variety of influences from Jules Verne and HG Wells to comics.

Charlotte Baston from Wee Crafty Folk is organising this event and also organises the popular events which are held at Blaenavon Ironworks.

She said: “I would define steampunk as a genre of science fiction that started life approximately 30 years ago in America. It is loosely based on a nineteenth century that never really occurred; containing every modern invention that we utilise in the 21st Century, but without electronics.

“Everything is steam powered, oil fired, clockwork or simply manually- operated, so it has a Victorian feel about it.”

Rob Maybin, from Magor, has been involved in the scene for two years and gets many of his steampunk outfits custom made.

“I have a small company that sells corsetry,” he said, “and someone said to me that I should go to a steampunk event to sell items. I went to an event and it was a blast.

“It was fun from start to finish. People were dressed up, and it was all about having fun. The people are so friendly and supportive of everyone.”

Ms Baston added: “People become attracted to steampunk for various reasons, but many appreciate the elegance of the Victorian era and the wistfulness for a simpler world where people are not fast-tracked into a pace of life that seems unsustainable without an element of escapism.

“Steampunk offers this opportunity to escape the harshness of the ‘real world.’ Many like the steampunk motto, which is ‘be splendid to each other’. Many people have adopted a home lifestyle where the furnishings and decor reflect their love of steampunk.

“We are friendly, interesting, unusual people who just want to bring communities together for a great time. Most of us dress up in steampunk, faery, witch, pirate, goblin attire. We encourage big hearts and open minds at our events.”

Mr Maybin is currently organising a fundraising event, the Steampunk Records Roadshow in Cirencester to raise money for a hospital’s cardiac unit.

In his day-to-day life Mr Maybin installs hospital equipment and his colleagues know about his steampunk life.

“They all take the mick out of me,” he said. “They all see my pictures on my Facebook page and they know it’s a blast. Some have said they are going to come along and see what it’s all about.”

He even had steampunk elements to his wedding day, although he says his wife Fay kept with tradition.

“It was partially themed,” he explained. “My wife is very traditional and I dressed up, as did some of my friends. People said that it’s not very often that the groom outdoes the bride.

“My wife loves it though. She doesn’t get to come to events much but when she does she enjoys them. We have a few events where we go and really let our hair down.”

In Gwent there is one event which attracts crowds from all over the country. The South Wales Steampunk Extraordinarium is held in Blaenavon and this year’s event attracted more than 3,500 people.

It wasn’t just people from the scene who attended.

Ms Baston said: “There are obviously those who view the entire scene as a bit too weird for them, but the majority of spectators enjoy what they see. In many instances, they become steampunks themselves, and enjoy the great imagination and creativity in their interpretation of the genre. We encourage big hearts and open minds.”

To find out more about the event visit