I have come to the conclusion that the splendid steampunk aesthetic is very good for Britain. Ever since falling head over heels in love/obsession with what some deem the retro Victorian/Edwardian SF movement, I have been astonished by the outburst of creativity it engenders. Up and down the country and internationally, steampunks are expressing themselves and with that comes a renaissance of exquisite craft. Steampunk means small companies and individual milliners, artists, jewellers, corset makers, gadget inventors, dress makers, tailors and crafters of all sorts of lovely . quirky things are flat out making beautiful objects of desire to sell. Charity shops also are benefiting from eager steampunks looking for things and clothes to adapt. I spend time now, hand making bustles from fabric sourced from charity shops!

Nothing brought this thought home to me more than a day spent at the first London Steampunk Market held in Islington, East London, on the 21st April. The venue was packed with stalls selling everything from cogalicious jewellery, exquisite hand crated brass goggles and steampunk fabric rabbits…these alone sold out within minutes! It was crowded yet relaxed, enormous fun and my cogling (son) and I cannot wait for the next one.

The old fashioned ethos of steampunk society is good for Britain too. Not just does it celebrate hand crafted things and individuality. Steampunk mottos include,  ‘Be Splendid’ and ‘Be Nice.’  An ideal, treating everyone with decency and good manners. To not taking yourself too seriously, to accepting people for who they are, regardless of creed, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation. Not particulary Victorian maybe, but this is a movement based on fantasy after all, an age that never existed beyond the minds of Jules Verne, HG Wells and other pioneers of SF.

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Beautiful hat made for me by April Oakley-Bartram

Steampunk is a vibrant movement, also inspiring novels, music and art. I love it with all my heart, my Cyrus Darian books are my humble contribution, as those who craft wonderful works of jewellery , fabulous hats etc are making theirs for the good of the community….and the economy. Britain used to make stuff. It still can!