Our attention was recently caught by an advert for a steampunk event at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire. Steampunk is a Victorian Sci-Fi genre, inspired largely by the technology of the Industrial Revolution during the 19th Century. So, what better setting for such an event than a heritage railway with its own late-Victorian influences. We ordered our tickets straight away!

There are four stations along the GCR line, and each one had plenty of attractions and entertainment lined up for the day. We parked up at Quorn & Woodhouse station, and used our event tickets to travel up and down the line between each of the stations in turn. First stop, Leicester North at the far end of the line, where Sam The Entertainer and Way of Wyrd Morris were performing. Then, back to Rothley where I remembered to start taking pictures!

BR Standard Class 5 No.73156 at Rothley station
BR Standard Class 5 No.73156 at Rothley station

Lots of activity at Rothley station, with a host-meet and greet plus fire breathing performance, Punch & Judy with Professor John Thursby, and the Bare Bones Morris Dancers. There’s also a nice little cafe at the station, where we could take shelter from the occasional rain showers and warm ourselves up with hot drinks.

Fairground Organ at Rothley station
Fairground Organ at Rothley station
Punch & Judy show at Rothley. Class 45 D123 "Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry" in the background hauling a Loughborough train
Punch & Judy show at Rothley. Class 45 D123 “Leicestershire & Derbyshire Yeomanry” in the background hauling a Loughborough train
Bare Bones Morris Dancers at Rothley
Bare Bones Morris Dancers at Rothley

A couple of hours later, we headed back to Quorn & Woodhouse station. We explored the steampunk market in the large marque, which was also hosting various competitions, Charlie Draper playing the Theramin (look it up!), and music hall act The Cogkneys.

1940s Classic American Cars at Quorn & Woodhouse
1940s Classic American Cars at Quorn & Woodhouse
Weirdos at Woodhouse
Weirdos at Woodhouse

After more hot drinks and a bite to eat, we headed north to the other terminus of the line, at Loughborough. More competitions and entertainers, and a few more steampunk market stalls to explore. The engine sheds are also at Loughborough station, so an opportunity to spot a few more locomotives!

Steampunk crowd on Loughborough platform
Steampunk crowd on Loughborough platform
A line of diesels outside Loughborough engine sheds
A line of diesels outside Loughborough engine sheds
BR Standard Class 2MT at Loughborough station
BR Standard Class 2MT at Loughborough station

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and there was quite a large attendance on the day, even though it’s the first one of its kind held by the GCR. I’m sure it will only go from strength to strength if they make it an annual event!