The next instalment of #LocalFolkUs is here! This month we have an interview with Haworth resident and local event organiser extraordinaire, Nikki Carroll. Nikki owns and runs Firth’s Boutique on Haworth’s famous cobbled Main Street, and hugely involved in the local community of Haworth. She not only came up with bringing the amazing retro-fututristic event of Steampunk to our local area each November, but she also organises the Haworth 1940’s Weekend each year and has raised thousands of pounds for Help for Heroes and also our local and very fantastic hospice, Manorlands. What a busy lady!
If you fancy visiting a festival featuring steam trains, a fashion show, bands, dancers, burlesque shows and visitors displaying their industrial goggles, corsets, top hats and antiquated military weaponry then Steampunk may be for you! The Haworth Steampunk event is one of the newest events on the Haworth Christmas calendar, but it certainly one of the most popular. It’s the weekend that hundreds of fantastical characters visit Haworth to celebrate the festival. Steampunk is a part of science fiction that I never really understood so I was keen to ask Nikki all about it, and what we can expect from the event! Nikki thankfully agreed and so here is our interview, hope you enjoy it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!
Thanks so much for agreeing to be part of the #LocalFolkUs blog series Nikki. Tell us all about the Haworth Steampunk weekend, when is it, how long does it run for?
Haworth Steampunk Weekend commences this Friday 20th November through to and including Sunday 22nd November
What exactly is Steampunk? Do you get involved personally?
The Steampunk movement is based around the idea of science fiction set in the past, specifically the Victorian era – a world that incorporates steam power and other Victorian technology, rather than electricity and computers. It’s a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery in a setting inspired by industrialised Western civilisation during the 19th Century. It also refers to any of the artistic styles, clothing fashions or subcultures that have developed from the aesthetics of Steampunk fiction Victorian-era fiction, designs and films from the mid 20th Century. Yes, I absolutely love Steampunk and particularly the elegance of the Victorian era. Every outfit worn at the event is unique and to see the effort that people put into their outfits and accessories never fail to inspire and amaze me! I also have a few outfits of my own too and thoroughly look forward to the opportunity to wear them.
How long have you been running the Haworth Steampunk event and what inspired you to begin with it? Who else is involved?
This year will be the 3rd Haworth Steampunk event.
I first came across Steampunk 4 years ago whilst visiting Whitby with my family. I met with a group adorned in exquisite Victorian attire, top hat and goggles and being the sociable person that I am, I made conversation with them! They informed me that they were ‘Steampunk’ and I fell in love with concept and the thought of organising a Steampunk event as part of the Christmas Victorian Weekends for the following year. A seed was planted which soon became an oak tree!
On my return I spoke with fellow business owners on Haworth Main St and proposed my idea to set too and organise a Steampunk Weekend for the following year, with full enthusiasm the dates were agreed so I contacted The White Rose Yorkshire Steampunk group and together in 2013 we delivered the first Haworth Steampunk Weekend raising £2400 for Manorlands.
Do you run any other events in the local area? Why do you like to be involved?
Yes, for the last 5 years I have also organised the Haworth 1940’s weekend which to date has raised over £76,000 for military charities. I am very passionate about my community and strive to bring businesses and the community together.
Why Steampunk in Haworth and what’s special about Haworth in your opinion?
Haworth’s beautiful landscape, the cobbled Main Street, the Bronte Parsonage, the Steam railway, it’s Victorian backdrop lends itself so well to the ‘Steampunk’ genre. Lily Cove, the first female parachutist who stayed at the Old White Lion, fell to her death from a hot air balloon at Haworth Gala in 1906. Her Gravestone is situated within Haworth Cemetery.
The #LocalFolkUs series is all about Yorkshire greatness, what do you think is wonderful about our County?
It’s Gods own county!
What would people expect to see at the Haworth Steampunk event?
People dressed in Victorian attire, vintage vehicles (including a 1903 Clement – one of 3 left in the world on display)
Steampunk exhibition, authors, vintage stalls, Victorian photography, Burlesque, Masquerade Ball, Steampunk Bandnight and more…
If someone is new to Steampunk, what advice would you give to them in terms of outfit, characters etc?
Steampunk is related to the Steam Era and Punk means to adapt/change. Imagine Philleas Fogg (Around the world in 80 days), League of Gentleman.. Jules Verne.
Are there events on in and around Haworth during the weekend? What’s not to be missed?
There will be a program of events on sale on and around the village, from Firth’s Boutique and Visitor Information Centre. There are activities to be had in the Methodist Chapel (Opposite the Sun Inn) and Community Centre.
Any tips or practical advice for our readers visiting Haworth during Steampunk weekend?
Be prepared to be inspired and surprised!
Where can our readers learn more about the event? Do you have social media channels running during the weekend?
Follow @HaworthSteampunk on Twitter and purchase the above mentioned program for 50p. Every penny goes to the events chosen charity (Manorlands) last year we raised £4077! There is also a Facebook page for the event too.
What do you hope to achieve for Haworth Steampunk events in the future? Any plans in the pipeline? What’s your top tips for organising a successful community- focused event?
I believe it will get bigger and better every year and to see the community embrace and engage is overwhelming. The most important things are community involvement and engagement.