Hucknall heroine Ada Lovelace features in short films for new Discover Ashfield project

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Hucknall computing and science pioneer Ada Lovelace is one of the historical figures who features in a series of new short films that have been created as part of the Ashfield Art Trail.

The videos, filmed by Ashfield videographer Tom Cable, offer a unique glimpse into Ashfield’s past.

Like her famous father Lord Byron, Ada is buried at Hucknall Parish Church.

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She is most famous for her work on the world’s first computer, Charles Babbage's mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine.

Claire Finn with Coun Matthew Relf at Mill Waters Café, Kings Mill ReservoirClaire Finn with Coun Matthew Relf at Mill Waters Café, Kings Mill Reservoir
Claire Finn with Coun Matthew Relf at Mill Waters Café, Kings Mill Reservoir

She was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine.

As a result, she is regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a 'computing machine' and one of the first computer programmers.

Her achievements are celebrated each year on Ada Lovelace Day on October 12.

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You can watch the films and listen to the stories told by Ada and other figures like William Duke of Portland and a Medieval Kirkby local, on Ashfield District Council’s Youtube channel.

The films can be viewed by scanning the QR codes on the boards displayed at Mill Waters Café at Kings Mill Reservoir.

The remaining boards will be installed next to the Ada Lovelace plaque on Hucknall High Street, and on the railings on Kirkby Plaza early next week.

At least five more films are currently in production and will be released in the coming months featuring more hidden figures from the district’s surprising history.

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Claire Finn, creator of Ashfield Art Fest 2021, was heavily involved in the project acting as script writer, producer, and star of the Ada Lovelace film.

She said: "It has been an absolute pleasure working on this project to produce these wonderful historical films about Ashfield.

"To collaborate with local historical groups and work with creatives from the area has been an enormous privilege.

Coun Matthew Relf (Ash Ind), cabinet member for regeneration and planning, added “I am so proud that we have been able to support local artistic talent by commissioning them to star in, film, and write the scripts for these films.

"I would like to thank Kirkby Heritage Centre, Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group, and Sutton Living Memory Group for their invaluable help and knowledge of the district’s history.”