Retford's first Steampunk Masquerade Ball was hugely successful and has left guests wanting more. The not-for-profit event was a combined celebration of the Town Hall's 150th anniversary, and the all-inclusive and welcoming ethos of Steampunk as a creative and artistic platform for anyone to enjoy and take part in.
The idea originated from the Retford Steampunk Society who meet in The Ship Inn once a month. The conversation started when they found out that Retford Town Hall is 150 years old this year, and how could they utilise this much-loved public building. Holding a Steampunk Ball seemed to be an obvious choice so volunteers along with local businesses got together to create a quality event that the whole family could enjoy, keeping entry prices really low to make the event accessible to as many people in the community as possible.
Leading the event team was Kenny Roach from West Street Galleries. He said '... once again, Retford has shown its colours. We've had great support from the Council and local businesses, Steampunk groups from other towns have helped us spread the word, and the people of Retford have been brilliant in embracing our events and taking part. We're also really proud that over 90% of our suppliers and 100% of the entertainment were Retford-based.'
The evening started with the opening of the Victorian Market, looking like a scene from the Sherlock Holmes movie 'Game of Shadows'. The Butter Market at the back of the Town Hall was totally transformed with Steampunk and Victoriana stalls, games and amusements, clairvoyant Deborah Reeves, DGin Leathercraft and a Nerf Guns Shootout. Next came the Steampunk Catwalk Fashion Show, choreographed by local Steampunk enthusiast Keran Marsh with enthusiasts modeling their own stunning costumes. The next highlight of the evening were Retford youngsters Oliver Lyndon Johnson and Lottie Tomlinson, who are currently winning and gaining top positions in Latin American and Ballroom dancing competitions both regionally and nationally.