TEA DUELLING and a popular performance from the Musical Saw Lady were just few of the festivities at Didcot Railway Centre’s Steampunk weekend.

Visitors donned impressive Victorian steampunk-inspired costumes to roam the railway centre for a weekend based on the science fiction theme.

The centre, in Didcot, hoped to combine steampunk with real steam as performers took to railway carriages and celebrated all things steam-powered machinery.

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Didcot Railway Centre commercial manager Ann Middleton said the weekend was a complete success and attracted visitors far and wide.

The weekend was staged by the centre with the help of Wonky Spanner who set up the 'off the rails' weekend to bring together music, fashion exhibits, authors, and the infamous tea duelling.

Miss Middleton added: “It all went really well. We have never held a steampunk event before and it was nice to attract a whole new audience to the railway centre.

“We had visitors come from all over for the weekend including one person who had come all the way from Liverpool. It was brilliant.”

Music for the weekend included performances on the main stage at the centre, as well as more intimate shows onboard the steam trains.

Artists included Horatio Kupp T, the Zeppelin Crew, Time Machine and one of the most popular acts according to organisers Caroline The Musical Saw Lady.

Elsewhere there was also a host of exhibitions and talks, plus signings from guests such as Steampunk luminary Herr Doktor, and author Raven Dane.

There was also a Steampunk market trading out of the wagons from firms such as Belle Epic Vintage clothing, The Toggery, and Broadarrow Jack.

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There was something for all ages as organisers made sure the younger crowd were not left out with a range of activities including treasure hunts around the railway centre, craft workshops, and tea duelling training.

Tea duelling is a steampunk sport, known as being ‘more civilized’, where two components go head-to-head in dunking their biscuits.

The rules are each component must dunk said biscuit at the same time in a cup of tea for a period of time. The aim is then to get the biscuit into your mouth without losing any along the way – easier said than done after dunking the biscuit for five seconds.

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But it has become a Steampunk traditional and is played at events up and down the country including this past weekend in Didcot.

The centre also put on Edwardian Steam Rail Motor rides, and allowed people to take a look round the signalling centre with Swindon Panel Society demonstrating both days.

It is the first event of its kind to be held at the Didcot Railway Centre and organisers say it is too early to say whether it will host another event of its kind but dubbed it very successful.