Sunday, December 11, 2011


Text by Rhissanna
Ephemera Sets by Rose & Co

The ladies of the Hangar Club gather together their reticules and muffs, cloaks and boots, to head out into the snowy, bustling streets of Old London.

(Old London as it was in summertime)
(Just add snow, and stir)

They could hail a hansom cab, maybe, or call for a carriage, but no. Instead, the adventurous ladies exit their hotel, stepping out onto the sidewalk, to be met by Dr. Algernon Crupper, whose secret subway experiment they are about to become a part of.

"Algie!" They cry. "Where is this startling new contraption you want us to try?"

Dr. Crupper bows slightly, sweeping off his top hat with a graceful gesture. "Dear ladies, once again, I am delighted and disarmed by your intrepid nature. The Pneumatic Passenger Subterranean Transport Conveyance, which I call the PPSTC, is ready to convey you, if you so desire."

A voice calls out from the back of our group: "I do hope it's safer than your Automatic Hair Cutter, Algie! My poor parlour maid is still bald as a coot!"

There is some sympathetic murmuring, as Dr. Crupper replaces his hat on his head.

"Most regrettable. Do apologise again for me, won't you? And yes, dear ladies, it is quite safe. As long as you are all adequately attired?"

Adventure Apparel for Ladies & Gents

Download Digi PNG Version HERE

Download For Print Version HERE

Dr. Crupper's assistant steps forward, opening a rolling chest full of goggles, stout boots, gloves, puttees and other essentials for adventures of a subterranean or experimental nature. The ladies gather around, examining this stash, excitedly exclaiming over every detail.
"Very wise, Algie dear, but really we can't put them on in the street! This device of yours, it does have a Ladies' Waiting Room, I take it?"

"Of course!  of course. If you would step this way?" 

Dr. Crupper bows again, his gloved hand indicating the direction the ladies must take, towards an unassuming door set into one of the walls of the neighboring hotel. 
Once inside, the ladies find themselves happily ensconced in a warm room, fitted with mirrors and several dressing tables, along with everything one could require. There are two girls, adepts at fastening buckles and lacings, who help the ladies on with their new apparel. 

There is also a very large tapestried hanging on the wall opposite the entryway, and a separate powder room for more private functions such as ladies might require. The tapestry is beautifully made, depicting a dozen smartly dressed people, all riding to hounds.

Dr Crupper takes out his watch, peers at it,  and raps smartly on the door of the Ladies' Waiting Room.

"Ladies, it is time!" He calls out. 

With a sudden surge of excitement, one of the ladies flings wide the door, to reveal Dr. Crupper, his goggles glinting in the light from the gas lamps inside the Waiting Room.

There is a secret hatchway hidden discreetly behind the vast tapestried wall hanging just steps from the Waiting Room door. Dr. Crupper removes a set of curiously shaped keys from one of his pockets, and the next thing our Hangar Club members know, they are standing in a somewhat drafty passageway which leads them away from the comforts of the Waiting Room and into regions of the mysteries of Time Travel in London's underworld realm! 

It is a walk of around ten minutes' duration, yet no one feels inclined to speak. They are all simply too amazed at this new development for words. Just ahead, the good professor is striding confidently in the direction of heaven knows what. The walls are of solid mortar and brick. The steps of the ladies echo strangely, while all about them, the gas lanterns jutting  here and there like arms in the subterranean gloom, flicker overhead.

All the while, the floor slopes away from underfoot, leading ever downwards....

Then, rounding a corner of the strange passageway, they encounter quite a stirring sight. For, lo and behold! There is a station--almost, but not very like, the train stations all know so well. Along one side, a platform awaits them. Dr. Crupper's bold steps lead them thither.

Dr. Crupper's Secret World

Download Digi PNG Version  HERE

Download For Print Version HERE

The Hangar Club ladies form an impressive lot as they stand together on the platform. Goggles firmly fixed, bright eyes taking in the splendid scene, they stand crowded together, eagerly awaiting what's yet to come. Dr. Crupper stands at the open end of the tunnel and gazes down it. In the distance, a man raises a signalling lantern and then steps aside for safety.

The ladies gasp as the pneumatic train wooshes into the station, steam hissing, whistle blowing. A few of the more timid ladies discreetly cover their ears hastily. Then they all applaud and Dr Crupper blushes slightly above his mustachios and bows dashingly, his brass rimmed goggles gleaming.

On the train, there is plush seating, all tufted, quite comfortable. Along with this, there are pretty cabinets of fine burled wood  and  the new electric lighting. It is like a best parlour, with everything one could desire for one's comfort while en route to one's next destination.

Dr. Crupper nods and smiles as the transport glides forward, all the while adjusting his Chronometer. He answers the ladies' many questions, but his expression becomes more and more distracted.

He moves out into the empty carriage at the rear of the train, where he is seen in earnest discussion with one of the engineers. The ladies peer through an adjoining window. "What on earth is bothering Algie?" they murmur to one another.

"I told you it wasn't safe,"  mutters the skeptic.

The engineer hands Dr. Crupper a newspaper. Even from where they are stationed, they can see his emotions have taken a decided downturn. The paper is open at a page advertising--well--ladies' personal attire, and the engineer is pointing and gesticulating to a particular magnetic item on the same page.

Essential Unmentionables

Download Digi PNG Version HERE

Download For Print Version HERE

"Well, really," says one of the less modern members. "I thought he was a gentleman!"

Dr Crupper steps back into the carriage, clearly discomfited. He displays the advertisement for the view of each of his passengers, all the while with a worried air. "I regret to inform you, ladies, that we have been experiencing what can only be called a serious malfunction.  There is an issue with the train in conjunction with my Chronograph, and it may be one of you splendid ladies is the unwitting cause. Is any one of you, by an chance, wearing one of these?" His hand points to the alarming magnetic corset.

One lady blushes and raises her hand. "Algie, dear, I think we might all be."

"Then," said Dr Crupper in a solemn tone, "I don't know quite where our train is taking us. It could be anywhere. Or anywhen..."

To be continued...

Images used (prior to our fiddling)
courtesy and Wikimedia Commons


Rhissanna said...

Oh my! Well, I'm as excited as you are, as our adventure unfolds. I love those corsets, dear Miss Possum and I think they'd be rather dashing, printed out and embellished with ribbons and lace, as a gift tag for some feminine trinkets. In fact, I might do just that!

Dorthe said...

Rose, whaT A FANTASTIC STORY - and the free downloads are WONDERFUL, thankyou so much-- they are saved on my computer for dayes with more time to play :)

Hugs, Dorthe

Steam Tea Travels said...

Dorthe: It's Rhissanna's writing you're cheering, although we like to brainstorm our concept together. She's really quite good, don't you agree?
She gives a dash of panache to our whole scene!
Have fun!
And happy Holidays!

Steam Tea Travels said...

Rhissanna: Without your input, we wouldn't be having nearly as much fun as today.
Bless you for a brilliant storyteller!
You amaze and delight me!
Thank You again!

Gems-By-Julz said...

Love, love, love this Rose you are so wonderful, creative, talented and I adore the png's you created. What a lucky duck am I to have such a fantastic friend. Hugs Julz

Steam Tea Travels said...

Julz: Thank you, my dear! And let's hear it for Rhissanna's writing too! Without her input, things wouldn't be quite as fun for us all! She's really got it going for her.
So glad to see you here!

Ann said...

oh..such a wonderful trip...but,wait...there's more and i can hardly wait!! long must I wait? the images!!!
so many are participating in the Travels!! it's just awesome!! i just knew that SteamTeaTravels was going to be the best!!! so wonderful to find new blogs to visit.
i hope to participate again soon...i know you'll forgive me ,Rose,as you know my hectic life right now!!

Steam Tea Travels said...

Ann: hey, sweetie! So glad you could find a way to take some time for yourself for a little fun! We're glad to have you if ever you know you'll be available enough to join our links. We so enjoy your visits here!
Please check back shortly, as we're sure to keep on posting new ephemera sets for our readers!

bobbie said...

LOVE it!! Love the story, and the downloads...

Sim said...

I 'll take your wonderful gifts & I'll show you the result if I do something with in the future days!
(not before next year anyway...)
I often use corsets in my images, specially those named "Démembrements" & "Pantins".
Thank you so very much sweet ladies!
May you have warm & delightful Xmas time!

Steam Tea Travels said...

Bobbie: So glad you came by! We love feedback like yours! it helps us know what you like best!

Steam Tea Travels said...

Sim: Oh good! I can hardly wait to see what you'l come up with!
A very Merry Xmas time for you too dearie!

Jules said...

I am loving this adventure!

Steam Tea Travels said...

Jules: Thank You! It's become a fun venue for our love of Steampunk.

Mina said...

Oh Rhissanna, I am riveted by this journey seeing and experiencing every minute detail. So enchanting! I cannot wait to see where the ladies of the Hangar Club will end up! Cheers!

Mina said...

Just a note to tell you I have been trying to follow this blog for a few weeks but for some reason it will not come up in my dashboard. I know blogger has been having some "experiences" lately so I will try again at a later date. Hugs.

Steam Tea Travels said...

Well hi there!
There've been enough problems technically lately w/Blogger it's amazing we can still get together! LOL
At least it's not as bad as it had been.
And it's free, which is really good!
Our adventures continue this afternoon.
Stay tuned......