A brief history of the
1975, a historic wooden wreck was discovered in
From the features of the wreck and its location in the Bay, it
quickly became a candidate for the famed
Bonhomme Richard of Commodore
John Paul Jones. The
Bonhomme Richard was lost in
1779 in the Battle of Flamborough Head during the American War for
Tony Green is the
architect of the Bonhomme Richard
Project in Filey.
Working as a volunteer, he was the Head of Project for fifteen years up
to 2009 after building it up from scratch with minimal resources.
It is true to say that the position enjoyed by the Filey
Underwater Research Unit (FURU) up to this date was entirely due to his
foresight and intuition regarding the complicated dynamics and politics
involved in running a scheme involving international bodies.
With an additional background of studies into marine
steam propulsion installations, he started out in the late 60's and
early 70's providing advice to local sport divers turned profitable
salvage divers, who were recovering rich pickings from the many wrecks
in and around Filey Bay. His researches proved useful in the world
of underwater recovery and in one unusual request he was even asked to
provide a theoretical risk assessment relating to live torpedoes located on a sunken U
In the early
days, the investigation carried out on a ‘hand to mouth' and 'make do and
mend’ existence due to the paucity of funding. Tony
was part of the driving force to obtain grant funding for FURU to enable
continuation of the work in the Bay, though not exclusively in later
years as this work was also undertaken by other colleagues in the Filey
As such, one of
the primary objectives was to make FURU a financially viable
organisation to further the work.
To help with this; some small but equally important grants were
obtained along the way. This
work was not easy and on one occasion, he presented with Donald G
Shomette at the Offices of the National Geographic Magazine,
in a visit that was funded from his own resources to pursue a
successful grant application. In addition he was the primary
signatory to the last major Heritage Lottery Fund grant award in the
town for the purpose of furthering the work of underwater archaeology
that finally saw FURU financially independent.
In 2002, the
designation of the wrecksite by the Department of Culture, Media and
Sport in 2002 provided protection against unwelcome activity on the
Up to 2009 there
had been three major investigations of the wreck site with these
prestigious organisations, with other investigations of a smaller scale
running in tandem. During
this time the project was helped by the production of a BBC documentary
on the work in the Bay.
Bonhomme Richard Project was a model of international cooperation
with such bodies as The National Geographic Magazine, The US National
Park Service Submerged Cultural Resource Unit and Donald G Shomette of
Cultural Resource Management,
participating in the investigations. In
addition to this, the Bonhomme
Richard project worked with Pritchard Diving Consultancy, English
Heritage, Wessex Archaeology and a host of other organisations and
private individuals, who in effect formed a ‘partnership’ for the work.
account of the project and those involved in it is already in the
and over this
period a tremendous amount of cooperation and goodwill was built up
between the partners on the site.
continues today to establish provenance of the wreck, by 2009 the
Bonhomme Richard Project had achieved its main objective and to deliver the results at that particular stage to the people
of Filey. This places the community of Filey firmly on the heritage and
Tony is also the
owner and author of the website
which forms one part of his Curriculum vitae, and the site
is kindly sponsored by Elite Truck Bodies Ukraine.
The website reaches far and wide and is maintained on a voluntary basis
for the continuing benefit of Filey and its environs.
In the website, he proposed the idea for an
extension to the existing
to encompass Filey and the Bay communities and is hopeful that the
recognition of the Filey
community will be taken into account if this proceeds.
forming part of his Curriculum Vitae is his
successful management and promotion of the Filey Bonhomme Richard
and today he remains a fervent
supporter of the Filey Bay Initiative and the recently formed
Kirkbean Parish Heritage Society.
In addition to this, he works to further the objectives of English
As an independent historian in his own right with
The Filey Bay Research Group, he now pursues his
own research on the
Bonhomme Richard and related local subjects. In a working
relationship with Archaeologist Peter Pritchard of Pritchard Diving
Consultancy, he also imparts his experience and knowledge to groups who
wish to setting up and undertaking locally based archaeological
projects. He delivers
presentations and consults widely with those who
have an interest on the archaeological work being undertaken in the Bay.
He also supports archaeological work
providing it is carried out in a of professional and competent manner,
and by individuals who are suitably qualified. When Tony left the
project, Pritchard Diving Consultancy also provided their illuminating
encompassing the standards and ethics that are required to undertake
work on the wreck site, that is now published by permission of the
As an international yachtsman in the
he draws on his maritime experience for his written work. As such he is the
author of several short articles and a fictional book
The Cullean Legacy. There is also an unpublished major work
concerning maritime salvage and future works are planned.
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