BBC TV date looms for Morecambe steampunk festival

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A festival where costumed characters celebrate a bygone era is all set to go prime time on BBC TV.

The ‘A Splendid Day Out’ steampunk festival will be part of popular BBC1 magazine show Inside Out.

And co-organiser Ian Roberts says the unusual Morecambe festival - where ‘steampunks’ dress up in ‘Victorian science fiction’ outfits – could soon rival the town’s vintage weekend which pulls tens of thousands.

He said: “We are not far off where it’s close to the vintage festival in popularity, certainly by next year,” said Ian.

“The Midland are coming in with us now and the Arndale. It’s growing.”

Mr Roberts said 8,000 people attended the previous steampunk festival in June.

The Inside Out programme will be aired live at 7.30pm in the Morecambe Winter Gardens on the first day of the festival, Friday, October 21.

Ian, 56, organises the festival with wife Rose, friend Rob Bracewell and volunteers.

He said: “We’ve kept that idea of Victorian costumes but everything else has moved on. For me it’s something different, I’ve got a new lease of life.”

Tea duelling is one of the most popular and unusual events at the unique festival.

Rob Bracewell said: “Two protagonists have a dispute to settle, instead of resorting to unseemly fisticuffs they face each other over the tiffin table.”

Two cups of tea are poured and a plate of malted milk biscuits (all referred to as weapons) are placed between the two. The pair then have to pick their weapons using only their thumb and forefinger. After commands they lower their weapon into the tea and hold it for a count of five. The last one to get the weapon whole into their mouth wins.

For a full festival preview see next week’s Visitor.