Leeds Steampunk Market brings unique fashions to historic city museum

Leeds Steampunk Market returned to the city this weekend. Pictures: Scott Merrylees
Leeds Steampunk Market returned to the city this weekend. Pictures: Scott Merrylees
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Fantastical costumes and fascinating stalls filled a city museum this weekend as it welcomed back the popular Leeds Steampunk Market.

Leeds Industrial Museum provided the perfect historical setting for the event, which celebrates all things related to a science fiction genre full of steam-powered machinery.

Emily and Elizabeth Armstrong at Leeds Steampunk Market.

Emily and Elizabeth Armstrong at Leeds Steampunk Market.

Dozens of market stalls were dotted around the museum in Armley Mills, offering everything from handmade medals and corsets to steampunk novels and artwork.

The Golden Grain Tavern, Gintopia and a vintage tearoom were on hand with refreshments to suit all tastes, while the museum’s 1920s cinema screened a fitting series of family films.

Organiser Jo Burgoyne-Neal, who founded the market with husband Si, said: “It’s just a bit of escapism from the humdrum of the week and work.

“It’s great fun and the people here at the museum are absolutely wonderful. We couldn’t do it without all the help and hard work they put in.”

Brian Leeman.

Brian Leeman.

The market, which began at Left Bank in 2011, is believed to be the third longest running steampunk event in the world.

It moved to the museum in Armley Mills in 2013 when the couple decided they wanted to help boost footfall at museums in Yorkshire as many struggled with funding cuts.

“The whole setting works really well and the museums always love having us in,” Mrs Burgoyne-Neal said.

“We get all sorts of people coming along and we always welcome the public if they’re curious about what we do.

Paul and Patricia Heritage.

Paul and Patricia Heritage.

“We also get people come to the market who say they’ve lived in Yorkshire all their lives and didn’t know this museum was here, then they come back.”

Entertainment this weekend included Jonathan Hemingway on the hurdygurdy, Amy Jo Lawrance’s Flying Squadron owls and a coffee jousting – a biscuit dunking tournament which is now a firm favourite.

The market next takes place at Bradford Industrial Museum on December 2 and 3, before returning to Leeds on March 3 and 4 next year.

Rachel Garden.

Rachel Garden.

Christine Leeman.

Christine Leeman.