One of our regular activities at Didcot Railway Centre is a day trip to another museum or heritage railway when we set out from Didcot by train (of course) to explore parts of the public transport network, visit an interesting attraction and have a nice meal.

A few years ago we visited Kew Bridge Engines and it happened to be a steampunk event.

There was lots to do but my main memory was the tea duelling competition where I’m afraid that my competitive instinct took over and I’m still thinking about how to win next time.

We are always looking for new events and have been working with the Wonky Spanner on ‘Off the Rails’, an event which will bring steampunk music, fashion, exhibits, authors and tea duelling to the centre.

According to Wikipedia, steampunk is 'a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery'.

Over the weekend of April 27 there will be musical performances on both the main stage and in the intimate setting of the railway carriages from the likes of Horatio Kuppa T and the Zeppelin Crew, Time Machine and Caroline the Musical Saw Lady.

The days will include exhibitions, talks and signings from guests such as steampunk luminary Herr Doktor and acclaimed author Raven Dane.

There will be a steampunk market trading out of the wagons from the likes of Belle Epic Vintage clothing, The Toggery, Broadarrow Jack and much, much more.

For younger visitors we are planning a range of activities, including treasure hunts around the railway centre, craft workshops and maybe even break out the training biscuits for some junior league tea duels.

I hope there will be senior tea duelling too. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but suffice to say that tea duelling involves tea, biscuits and dunking, and is far more civilised than pointing guns at each other.

As well as all this, visitors can ride on the unique Edwardian Steam Rail Motor and on our other train – unlimited rides as always.

The Signalling Centre will be open and our friends from the Swindon Panel Society will be demonstrating the panel on both days.

Our own antiquary, selling railwayana, should also be open.

So if you see people dressed as Victorians walking around Didcot at the weekend, they may be steampunk fans who have been to our event or to the evening cabaret that has been arranged at The Marlborough Club, a short distance from the railway centre.