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Festival Day

Friday, 30th August 2019

9:00am — 9:30pm The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge


JP Rangaswami

Keynote: The Future of Lurk

Participation in any active community tends not to be homogeneous or evenly spread. More often than not, it’s lumpy and misshapen and follows some sort of power law. The open source movement; businesses that operate freemium models; even society as a whole, in a Miltonian they-also-serve-who-only-stand-and-wait way, they’re all examples of lurkers amidst the workers. Today, as everyone else talks about the future of work, I want to spend some time sharing ideas about the future of lurk.


Claire Garside

Sense and Sense Air-bility: Building a Community Network of Air Quality Sensors

The Foundation for Digital Creativity’s moonshot for 2019 is to add 350 air quality monitoring stations to a citizen science map and put decision making back into the hands of communities.

Claire will talk about how adults and children are engaging with the The Internet of Curious Things programme to bring about healthy changes in their own neighbourhoods, and how you can support the call to global climate action.


Tea/Coffee Break


David E. Fletcher

Powering the Valley Over Time

The talk will start at the beginning, exploring the first 500 years and early reports of “One Continued Village”. Following which 18th/19th century transformation and the wealthiest parish in the world, prior to decline and subsequent recovery. Closing with a local case study and a look to future prospects.


Dr Heather Williams

Your anti-twin could be your best friend

In most hospitals, there is a department tasked with injecting radioactive materials into patients to diagnose and treat disease. It's called Nuclear Medicine.

Dr Heather Williams has worked as a medical physicist specialising in Nuclear Medicine for over 20 years, with a particular interest in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), an imaging technique which uses anti-matter emitters to map the internal workings of the body. In this interactive lecture, Heather introduces the principles underpinning Nuclear Medicine and PET in particular, describes how the PET scanners work, and shows what PET images mean and the difference they make to her patients.


Michael Dales

Anyone can build guitar: Getting started in a new domain with your local community workshop

Three years ago, despite having no background in any form of physical design or manufacturing, I ventured into my local community workshop (Cambridge Makespace) with the idea to assemble a guitar from parts. Fast forward to today and I’m making custom guitars to commission, using techniques and tools that most luthiers wouldn't consider, and I’m helping train the next crop of workshop members to make cool things.

In this talk I want to look at how you can take an idea for a project and not just make it happen, but find a way to help you keep improving and finding a community to help you along, who you can then help in return as a sort of perpetual positive feedback loop. We’ll run through how to structure projects to give them a better chance of success, how being part of a community is a big help for that (be it local or remote), and how you can even create the community if it doesn’t yet exist. My guitars will be an example, but you can take this an apply it to your own passion readily.




Introducing Halifax Digital Festival

A brief introduction to the first ever Halifax Digital Festival, which will take place 18-21st September 2019.


Georgina Ferry

Of tea, cakes and computers: LEO the Lyons Electronic Office

The first company in the world to launch a business application was J. Lyons & Co, Britain’s biggest catering company. It ran a national chain of high street teashops, some larger restaurants, and factories producing tea, cakes and ice cream - so why did it want a computer?

Georgina Ferry, author of A Computer Called LEO, recounts the story of a company that put Britain at the forefront of business computing in the 1950s, and asks why its innovative approach ultimately lost out to competition from IBM.


Ben Cartwright

From hobbyist to space telescopes and amateur satellites - how to get the most out of space.

Starting as a hobbyist in electronics and model aircraft, Ben started young and focused on the space industry in 2014 - when inspired by NASA’s Orion EFT-1 launch. Now building space telescope instruments at RAL Space and amateur picosatellites with The Flame Trench, Ben will talk about his career, the TFTqube project, and how to make the most out of the opportunities that amateur nano- and picosatellites present


Jo Hinchliffe

Libre Space Foundation, Open Source Satellites and SatNOGS Ground Stations

This presentation will give short overview of Libre Space Foundation, a non-profit organization developing open source technologies for space. Covering the short history of Libre Space Foundation and our flagship projects and achievements, this will include; SatNOGS the global open source network of satellite groundstations, UPsat, the worlds first fully open source satellite, the ESA funded SDR Makerspace project, PocketQube satellite development, high power rocketry and more. Having over viewed the various projects we will focus on the SatNOGS ground stations, how they work, what people need and how they can join the network and begin hunting satellites!


Tea/Coffee Break


Amanda Brock

Everybody wants to rule the world, but today software does and it is changing our day-to-day lives

This talk will start by exploring some of the profound changes that we have seen over the last decade or so and, in particular, how the smart phone and cloud computing have altered our perceptions of and interactions with software. Following which there be an introduction to trustable software and how we need to manage risk.


Sarah Angliss

The Atomic Gardener

Far away from the cares of Britain’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, Muriel Howorth, composer, self-taught physicist, sci-fi author and atomic evangelist set out ‘to lead women out of the kitchen and into the atomic age”. In 1948 she set up an audacious venture: ‘The Atomic Gardening Society’. Co-ordinated through the Post Office, the society grew atom-blasted seeds in gardens and allotments around the UK. Their aim was to find the ‘golden mutant’: a mutant vegetable that would grow so large, it would cure world hunger. Sarah Angliss tells the story of Howorth, a remarkable, British technoutopian whose ideas and methods were surprisingly ahead of their time.


The Legendary Wuthering Bytes "Happy Valley" After Party

Dave Ives (Red Tin Tunes) and Mark Tranmer (Gnac, The Montgolfier Brothers).

Playing folk to electronica, dream pop to space rock.

Food will be available from the cafe.

Finishes around 21:30 (last food orders will be earlier).


Derek Woodroffe

An Introduction to Tesla coils (demo + talk)

A general talk on Tesla coils, from the original spark gap tesla coils that would be recognised by Nicola Tesla, to modern day computer controlled electronic tesla coils. Briefly discussing the various types of tesla coil, their history, use, construction and design challenges with demonstrations.

This will take place in The Waterfont Hall and run in parallel to the After Party.

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Hebden Bridge

35mins from Leeds & Manchester