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Goulburn’s Steampunk Victoriana Fair stymied by COVID-19

Sharon Kelley 23 June 2020
Group photo of Steampunk Victoriana Fair participants posing by riverbank.

The 2020 Steampunk Victoriana Fair will not go ahead due to COVID-19. Photo: Supplied.

Last week, Goulburn Mulwaree Council decided to cancel the 2020 Steampunk Victoriana Fair due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty relating to when restrictions on events and festivals may ease.

Council also determined the budget for the event be transferred to an “events reserve” for use in the 2021 fair, or an alternate event at the Goulburn Historic Waterworks.

Steampunk Victoriana Fair coordinators Julianne Salway and Angela Remington said they had been looking forward to hosting this year’s fair before its cancellation was announced.

“We understand why this decision was made,” said Ms Salway. “A multitude of considerations went into making this decision, in particular the health and safety of those involved in running the fair, and those attending.

“We look forward to planning a bigger and better Steampunk Victoriana Fair in 2021, and we can’t wait to welcome back the style, the flair, the stunning creativity and the smiling faces.”

Details for a makers-and-inventions market in March 2021 are yet to be confirmed.

“We hope many of our Steampunk fans will be able to join us at the market, which will coincide with our ‘steaming day’,” said Ms Salway. “We will release further information for this event as planning continues later in the year.”

The Steampunk Victoriana Fair was to be held in October 2020 at Goulburn Historic Waterworks.

The term “steampunk” is used to describe stories that celebrate the adventurousness and technological progressiveness of the Victorian era, and encompasses the era’s romantic view of science in literature, plus elements from the Industrial Revolution in Europe from 1760 to 1840.

The pumphouse at Goulburn Historic Waterworks is home to the original 1883 Appleby Bros. steam engine. It is known as a “beam engine” because of the large overhead rocking beam that transmits motion from the pistons to the cranks. This particular beam engine – of the type first invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712 – is an example of the powerhouse that drove the Industrial Revolution.

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