SWINDON was transformed into a world of pure imagination at the weekend as the wonderfully eccentric steampunk festival was held at the Steam Museum.

The Alice in Wonderland-like, steampunk spectacular saw people from all over the county turn out dressed in wacky, Victorian-inspired costumes to celebrate all things steam.

The festival, organised almost single-handedly by steampunk enthusiast David Smith, started with a cabaret welcome party on Friday evening.

Guests enjoyed live music, performances, art and trade stands.

And the fun carried on right through to Sunday.

David said: “Steampunk is a cultural genre that has risen out of people’s fascination with the Victorian era and certain aspects of science fiction.

“It tries to envisage what it would be like if steam power continued to be the main force of power, rather than the internal combustion engine.”

Revellers dressed in fabulous costumes, most of which were assembled from a wild variety of materials and were fashioned into elaborate designs.

One man even carried on his back a metallic rucksack that emitted steam.

People were also able to browse the many craft stalls on display and enjoy a selection of refreshments.

David said: “The great thing about steampunk is that anyone at all can join in.

“You can pop down to a charity shop and find something that will get you started.

“You can then just bling it up until your heart’s content.

“It’s wonderful because anything goes; you see some really amazing costumes.

“You can recreate the past but you can create an imaginary future. It’s a very happy environment and it really puts a smile on people’s faces.”

It was the first time the event has been held at the Steam museum and David is hopeful that the festival can become a regular feature in the calendar.

Mark Wells, 43, from Cirencester, turned up on Saturday afternoon with his wife Francesca.

“I was thrilled when I heard that this festival was coming to Swindon,” said Mark.

“Steampunk is a unique thing that brings everything to life. It should be a great weekend.”