This week I received an invitation from the Queensland Steam and Vintage Machinery Society to bring S.T.E.A.M along to see their works at Old Petrie Town's regular markets. Unfortunately it clashed with some already organised SEQ steampunk events, but I made sure to go to the QSVMS demonstrations and WOW were they spectacular. Along with so many working steam engines, they had fully functional vehicles (two steam rollers with real steam, along with others); miniature steam engines running on tables and the markets also hosts a foundry, with sand casting and polishing. It was positively breathtaking seeing these massive machines in action, being able to smell the engines and feel the vibrations; you could even donate some coins to sound the steam whistles (glee!). Bill, who invited me, gave me a fascinating walk through of his two steam rollers - from how he acquired them to what work needed to be done to make them safely functional again, right up to the reasoning behind the name Ida for one of them.
If you're in SEQ, or you can somehow get to SEQ, and you like steam punk, or working steam engines, or vintage engines or engines in general, you've got to see when the Old Petrie Town markets is on. The steam engines were special for this event (I think?) but they have many other engines up there (some of them are too big to be moved even if they wanted to), and the casters are there every Sunday. Sean was unavailable this week, but as soon as I can I'm taking him back there because I'm sure he will get almost as much a kick of it then I will the second time around.