A Proposal: Presented by The Filey Bay Research Group
Knowledge through Perseverance

Tourism Consultants: Cultural Resources Management, Dunkirk, Maryland, USA, and James Hodgson of Filey.

"Rugged cliffs dashed by relentless seas, brimming with stories and legends with breathtaking views, fresh breezes and exhilarating walks make this heritage coast a must" -  Filey Bay is "John Paul Jones Country."

The Proposal is: To create, and to formalise a Heritage Coast for Filey and the environs of the Filey Bay to reflect the historical, classic and epic  sea battle in September 1779 known as the Battle of Flamborough Head.  All woven within the fabric of our own rich heritage and history.

 "These people were the astronauts of the 18th Century; they traversed long distances over great oceans…”

 In January 2001, the Tourism Minister Janet Anderson MP visited Scarborough  to reverse the decline of tourism on this coast.  'A rethink is decided on the traditional seaside holiday' she said, and she advised  communities to 'cash in on cultural strengths'.  This message is true today.

August 2005 saw the first Proposal for a Heritage Coast of this kind, as The Filey Bay Research Group took this advice on board wholeheartedly to develop new tourism products for the Town, the Bay communities and wider Yorkshire. The Filey John Paul Jones Heritage Coast is a classic example of a local group initiating and developing a project to improve our communities.  This is an ongoing volunteer project and a testimony to local passion and commitment to the community.

 “When challenged on the high seas – they answered with lead and iron.”

Such is the resonance of The Battle of Flamborough Head   that it has reverberated down the passage of time and is a by word of daring action of classic proportions that is embedded into the fabric of the maritime history of Filey Bay.   It has inspired a Nation, artists, storytellers and filmmakers to this day, and this Heritage Coast would celebrate the brave action of Captain Pearson of HMS Serapis and Commodore John Paul Jones of the American Continental Navy who fought a brilliant action at sea in a battle of epic proportions, all within the environs of Filey Bay.

There has been no formal identification of a wooden wreck in Filey Bay, however following the recent announcement by Merlin Burrows that they have located the wreck of the Bonhomme Richard in Filey Bay, we look again at our proposal.   The Filey Bay Research Group congratulate Merlin Burrows for their ground breaking work, which will benefit Filey and its environs.  If adopted, the Filey John Paul Jones Heritage Coast, will compliment the Filey Heritage Area which is the  the first of its kind in our location.

 The Filey Bay John Paul Jones Heritage Coast  is complementary to the Filey Town Council’s Cultural links with  Calvert County USA, (home of John Paul Jones) and has the involvement of James Hodgson with Filey’s local Trade and Tourism ventures. The Filey Bay Research Group is seeking to create a high quality 21st Century visitor experience from our heritage landscape.  International focus will increase the economic value of our wonderful landscape, promote our rich heritage, and attract new investment.  With increasing visitor numbers, this will create new opportunities for our local businesses  with added benefits of a wide educational delivery.  Overall, this will increase the profile of Filey, the Bay and the wider Yorkshire.

 This is a community and educational project that raises the international awareness of Filey and promotes the town and its environs.  It focuses on aspects of our beautiful coast and its heritage, with provision of additional information to visitors to Filey that will add flavour to their visit. 

“We who seek their footprints and relics are humbled to be in the presence of those whose example and philosophies have built great nations, and whose teachings are as relevant to today as they were many years ago - their spirit must never die.”

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Why a Heritage Coast and where is it?

Filey has already hosted overseas visitors regarding the famous battle.  Tony Green is the architect of the original project with additional studies in his own right, where he has presented to the National Geographic Society and prestigious groups in America. By utilising the benefits of this work  The Filey Bay Research Group, sees that in the short term it is now possible host a number of educational presentations for tourist groups, residents and visitors.  This has been developed over a long period of time.

The Filey's  John Paul Jones Heritage Coast Initiative is being progressed with the assistance of, or links with the following organisations and groups.

                        Filey’s Cultural Link with Calvert County, USA
                        The Filey Chamber of Trade
                        The Filey Museum
                        The Crimlisk Fisher Archives

The Filey Bay Research Group has a partnership or links with:

                        National Geographical Magazine
                        Department of the Navy Historical Centre
                        Donald G Shomette of Cultural Resources, Maryland
                        Natural England
                        Pritchard Diving Services (Consultancy)
                        John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum Trust, Kirkbean, Dumfries
                        Elite Truck Bodies
                        Lee Norgate’s Shoreline Wreck Survey Group
                        The Filey Brigg (Spittals) Group                       
                        Filey’s Jurassic Coast

©  All the  content in this site is copyright of Tony Green August 2005 and July 2017.  This proposal has been continuously published  online since 2005

          What and where is it?      The Battle        Heritage Features        Geology         Air Archaeology       Marine Archaeology                 
Filey Bay Research Group        The search for the Bonhomme Richard

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