How Steampunk found home

How Steampunk found home

By Catherine Franks

This month (March 2024) marks 10 years since Steampunk opened the doors of its warehouse roastery and coffee bar. We have gone through a lot of changes over those 10 years and maybe I will share some of those in a future post, if there is interest. But this anniversary has cast my mind back to how I found our home.

Customers enjoying the terrace, 2023.

It was the sunny patch of gravel in front, that first drew my attention to the old warehouse building. I had walked past it many times, tucked as it was away around the corner from the High Street. It was this little square of stones and slabs, seemingly always in sunshine, that first made me love the old building. Stepping in past the old wall, the buffeting sea air receded. No longer the feeling of being bundled about in a cold tumble dryer, this place felt quieter and a bit secret garden with its ivy cloaked walls. I looked up the building at the sun blistered antiques sign, headed down the side of the building and went in.


Lyndsay Antiques, 2013. 

The downstairs was painted a bright yellow, flashing out from behind the china filled glass cases and jumbles of furniture. The ground floor stretched back as I wandered through the piles of dark wood, stacks of old Punch magazines, higgledy piggledy piles of china, illuminated by neon strips on the ceiling. A man sat behind a newspaper, seeming like he had been there as long as the furniture and felt almost a part of it. After a good rummage through metal signs and old maps and copper pots, I followed the ‘Kirkports Gallery’ signs and headed up some red concrete steps. The staircase was dark, the walls lined with framed pictures of the sea, ships, landscapes. The stairs turned a right angle at the top and as I pushed through the door I looked up. That is when I properly fell in love with this building.

First was the brightness after emerging from the tight dark staircase. Stretching high up above me the white steel framework, like ribs, pressed up against the honeyed wooden planks of the ceiling. The sun slanted through the metal meshed glass of the roof lights illuminating patches of floor and highlighting the dust motes like glittering spotlights cutting through the warm air. Contrasting with the slight chill that always rides the seaside air, the building smelled warm and dusty. Good dusty. With its arching ribs above, it was like entering a lung, it made me breath deep. The air brought the comfort of libraries and tucked away corners, the warmth of good memories and moments by a window, looking out and thinking of nothing much in particular. 

I knew in that moment that I had found Steampunk a home. 

The gallery at Lyndsay Antiques, 2013.



The same corner in 2023, now home to Orange Moon Records.

Back to blog