...and after! Rachel as Duchess Wulfrunia Chesterton.

'Steam-virgin' Rachel gets 'splendid makeover!

With no less than two steampunk groups regularly meeting in Horncastle, it was only a matter of time before the ‘splendid’ steampunks gave us a flavour of what they are all about.

By Rachel Armitage
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:00 am

With the promise of a warm welcome, and a steampunk makeover, I went along to meet the Fenwold League of Splendid Steampunks (FLOSS) at their meeting place at Just One More Bike in the town centre.

I was indeed given a very warm welcome by the group’s leader and founder, who goes by the name Captain Nathaniel Tennison Skirmish, and introduced me to his wife, the very fabulously dressed Lady Evangeline Maudlin, who helped me put together my first look.

As luck would have it, this month’s meeting included a preloved sale for steampunk retailers and crafters to sell their wares, and there was a huge array of steampunk-esque wedding and prom dresses for us to try.

The rules with creating a steampunk look, Lady Maudlin told me, are there are no rules! The bigger, the better.

No ladies’ steampunk outfit is complete without a corset though, so soon I was being laced into a (very) tight corseted white dress with stunning detailing to the back.

"Us ladies get used to tight corsets,” Lady Maudlin said, “But we have learned our lessons about wearing shoes we can walk in, especially to all-day events!”

My gorgeous dress was topped off, literally, by a top hat decorated with fetaures, brooches, buttons and flying goggles, and my ensembles was topped off with a leather gun-holder converted into a fan-holder, as well as a fan, statement necklace and lace gloves (remember, less is more!)

I have never felt more fabulous in my new outfit, so much so I begged to try on another outfit!

This time, Lady Maudlin found me a purple corset with a stunning purple skirt that wouldn’t look out of place in a Cockney music hall, topped off with a mini top-hat fascinator.

This corset was just as tight as the first, but did wonders for my posture and my waist hadn’t felt tinier in years!

I was also given the steampunk name Duchess Wulfrunia Chesterton – a nod to my Wolverhampton upbringing and the famous writer GK Chesterton.

In the space of just six months, FLOSS has grown to now boast 90 members from all across Lincolnshire, including Sleaford, Alford, Boston and Skegness.

But Horncastle was chosen as their base due to our town’s plethora of antiques establishments:

"It's got so many diverse shops here and lots of antiques,” Captain Skirmish explained, “We can repurpose all sorts of antiques and there’s a slot of buried treasures in these places.”

FLOSS member Dr Ed Nought said that he’s had all sorts of reactions from the public when wearing his steampunk garb in public, and an elderly lady was thrilled when he doffed his hat to her:

"That's what we are, old school manners,” he said, “We've cherrypicked the best bits of history, victoriana weren't averse to shoving kids up chimneys but they dressed splendidly

Only 2 rules, be polite and be splendid,

Love the outfits the most, the parading, not a fan of having photo taken but love showing off. Love performing innuendo vulgar ditties! Can't have smut without steam

Lady Evangeline Maudlin

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