MINGLING among the many colourful characters who descended on Tenby during the Steampunk Festival, you may have recognised one world renowned engineering genius. 

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (diverted from a visit to Neyland apparently), attended council meetings, where he was “not amused” in the De Valence, and also in St Catherine’s Fort. The former is pushing the boundaries of belief somewhat, while the latter is completely beyond belief, as the fort was not even built at the time! 

However, when ‘Harvey’s Murder Mystery Group’ was asked to come up with “something for the Steam Punk weekend”,  imagination knew no bounds. This time there was no murder mystery, just a light-hearted nod to Brunel’s Great Western Railway, and a far-fetched idea that Tenby Town Council, in the 1830s, might have invited Isambard to create a cross-Atlantic port in Tenby, involving the total ruination of Castle Beach, a canal link from St Florence to Carew,  and, not least, a red-light area on Caldey Island!  

Blame all this on Anne Draper, who organised the festival so successfully, and took the risk of asking the popular local murder mystery group to take part.  

So - contrary to their usual murder mystery - for this unique conjuring up of a colourful character from the past, there was neither motive or cue. ‘The Motive and The Cue’ is the title, by the way, of the hugely successful production, currently on in London's West End, written by Jack Thorne, son of Mike Thorne, who started Tenby’s original Murder mystery Group 30 years ago. Since then, the group has gone from strength to strength, with productions at Scolton Manor, and Carew and Picton Castles, among many others. Look out for more murder and mayhem in the near future, in Carew and Amroth, and of course, Brunel will be making a return visit next year, in the 20245 Steampunk Festival.  

Thanks are due to the cast comprising Roger Williams, Glyn Harries  and June Howell, and also to Lollies of Tenby, for generously donating prizes for the fun quiz which followed each performance.