Let There Be Light....Sound.....Drums....Bass.....and another Bass
This coming weekend brings the world of Steampunk to Matlock Bath in the Derbyshire Dales, centred on the recently reopened Grand Pavilion (above) ,to whose further renovation any post production profits will be donated. Although built in 1910, nine years after Victoria's death, the structure still exudes that periodic feel possessed by the entire village.
It all makes for a splendid backdrop to The First Steampunk Illuminata and Market, an event which it is visualised will grow in stature over the coming years to encompass the whole of the village.
The weekends proceedings begin in The Fishpond, just over the road from "The Pav", with a free show upstairs in the ballroom, featuring a full set from the sublime Gladstone and a support slot from "Seasick Dale" or should that be "Timetravelsick Dale" with Axel, possibly the tallest drummer you will meet playing the smallest drum kit, you have ever seen.
On Saturday the Steampunk market is open to all free of charge from midday in The Pavilion and will run until 6pm, during the course of the day some acoustic sets will take place alongside the market and the chance to enter into "street tea duelling" and other activities.
After the market closes, there will be time to enjoy the local surroundings, indeed anyone in Steampunk attire is able to access the Derwent Gardens for free, thanks to an accord struck with Derbyshire Dales Council. The Gardens are where the illuminated boats are launched and where some of the set pieces of the illuminations are located. In years gone by it was also the venue for the highly controversial Switchback, built in 1889 at 139 yards in length, the early gravity propelled rollercoaster was the longest in the country.
The illuminations rejoice in over a century of history, inaugurated in 1887 to celebrate The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the original spectacle being provided by candelight.
At seven o clock in the bandstand there will be a juggling and fire show by Kris Katchit. The boats are despatched up the river towards Matlock at eight and these can be viewed anywhere up the promenade. This is followed at nine by a fireworks display from the cliff tops.
After the fireworks the focus returns to "The Pav" where BB are joined by Professor Elemental,"Chap Hopper" making his welcome debut to the area, bringing his humourous take on Steampunk and Demolitia dancing with her Bangtail Vixen troupe. An excellent show in store for £12 or £10 in advance.
For those who are not flagging after all this the market and daytime activities will be running again on Sunday from noon until six.
Anyone wishing to occupy Sunday morning, there is much to be found locally. Within Matlock Bath there is a chidren's theme park at Gulliver's Kingdom, up Temple Road or at the Matlock end near the railway station, the cable cars to The Heights Of Abraham an old attraction offering panoramic views and cave tours. On the main Parade is the Aqaurium and Petrefying Well.
Within easy reach are also Arkwright's Masson and Cromford Mills and a little further afield Crich Tramway Museum, Peak Rail at Matlock and Ecclesbourne Railway at Wirksworth.
So well worth a weekend and there are hotels and b&b's a plenty to suite all budgets.
Many buses serve Matlock Bath, however if you are coming in after fiveish on the Saturday, traffic does become heavy and certainly by car, the park and ride facilities at Matlock County Hall, up the hill from the town centre roundabout or Cromford Meadows out on the Crich/ Lea and Holloway road are advisable. Best bet is by train from Matlock or Derby.