Vera double role for apprentice blacksmith Ashlee

Ashlee during filming.
Ashlee during filming.
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The daughter of a renowned blacksmith has shown off her creative flair by making a prop for a major television show – before staring as a double in the programme.

Cast and crew of popular ITV drama Vera used Stephen Lunn’s family-run workshop and house in Red Row last week to shoot scenes for series seven.

And during filming at The Forge, his daughter and apprentice, Ashlee Donaldson, was given her chance to step into the spotlight.

The 25-year-old was used as a double for a female sculptor and she did some welding as the cameras rolled.

The mother-of-one has also demonstrated her crafting skills for real, by making an eye-catching prop for the programme – a seven-foot roseate tern sculpture – following a special request from the show. Reflecting on the whole experience, she said: “Being a double was great – I really enjoyed it. I had to do a bit of welding; I started welding while Vera walked into the shot.

“It only started because they wanted the bird sculpture. When they came into the shop, they still hadn’t found anywhere to film. They saw our workshop and liked it.

“They needed a part where somebody would be welding and asked if I fancied it.”

The bird sculpture is a symbolic item for Ashlee. Not only will it star in Vera, but it is also one of the first projects that she has done solo.

Ashlee, who has been learning the trade for nearly three years, said: “My dad very much passed it on to me as my project. I think the sculpture is being used as a memorial in the show.”