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 NAS North East:

Regional Co-ordinator
Gary Green – gary.nasnortheast@virginmedia.com 

The NAS NE was formally established in 2004, based within the office space of Tees Archaeology, in Hartlepool on the North-East coast of England. The original team of three, Gary Green, Dave Coston and Sarah Scarlet, was joined by Assistant Tutor Diane Marlborough and a ‘regular’ core of volunteers. 

Between 2004 and 2012, NAS NE played a leading role in a number of major grant-funded projects, including ‘For the Record’, ‘Dig, Dive and Discover’, ‘North-East of England Maritime Archaeology Research Archive’ and ‘Hartlepool History Then and Now’.

Current NAS North East Projects

‘Hartlepool History Then and Now’ is an on-going, long-term, project in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council’s Library and Museum Services, together with various local Groups, Societies and individual Volunteers. The project website (www.hhtandn.org), contains a very large shipping section, providing details of more than 2,000 ships either built in the Hartlepools, or with strong links to this once major port town.

These ships traded around the world and many were lost, particularly during the two World Wars and their remains lie on the seabed of all of the world’s major sea and oceans. Many of these wrecks have been visited by divers, and we already have some excellent underwater images of some of them – but we would like many more, so please get in touch if you can help!

Embedded with our HHT&N website is our latest project ‘Heroism & Heartbreak: True Tales from the Hartlepools at War 1914-18’, grant-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

At the outbreak of war, the Hartlepools were major North-East ports, home to a number of well-known shipping companies and thriving shipbuilding and fishing industries. Almost every family in the town had links with the sea, with many having relatives serving in the Merchant Navy and local fishing fleets. Within this close-knit community the loss of every local ship and crewman deeply affected a great many people.

As the war progressed, German U-boats and mines took a huge toll of allied shipping, eventually sinking over 2,500 British merchant ships and nearly 800 fishing vessels, with the loss of more than 17,000 lives. Of these, over 400 merchant ships had either been built or owned in the town and more than 260 Hartlepool sailors lost their lives. Sailing on slow, largely un-armed and defenceless merchant ships, their actions were every bit as selfless and courageous as those fighting on the Western Front, yet their stories are all but forgotten or overlooked.

“Heroism and Heartbreak” aims to rediscover and retell their stories. Through family photographs, postcards, letters and diaries shared with us by the living descendants of these men, we will create a series of “talking histories” which will not only recognise and commemorate their sacrifices, but will provide lasting family memorials to those who lost their lives – but we need your help too.

We will also be recording the service histories and final fates of ships built or owned in the town that saw service during the war – some under enemy flags. Many of these ships were lost in relatively shallow coastal waters and their locations are well known – a number have also been dived on.

We would therefore ask all NAS Members and divers around the world to share with us any information they may have on these vessels. We are particularly interested in underwater photographs of the wrecks, or of easily recognisable material recovered from these sites, such as a ship’s bell or telegraph. These items offer living descendants of those who lost their lives at least some form of tangible memorial, physical proof that their relatives’ sacrifices have not been, and will not be, forgotten.

In addition, from an archaeological perspective, we would also like divers to check back through their Logbooks for information from any earlier dives on these wrecks, so that we can not only add this historic information to our “talking histories”, but also use it to help us build up a picture of how these wrecks are deteriorating over time and in widely differing conditions.

Our “talking histories” can be viewed in the Hartlepool at War section of our HHT&N website - http://www.hhtandn.org/hartlepool-at-war/wwi - or directly through Youtube. If you have any photographs or information you would like to share with this project, please contact Gary Green at gary.nasnortheast@virginmedia.com or Mob: 07752215633.

Past NAS North East Projects
2012 – Hartlepool History, Then and Now 
2011 - Ship-Shape and Hartlepool Fashion - accessible and enjoyable maritime research for all 
2009 - Hartlepool-built: Ships, Crews and Community 
2007 - North-East England Maritime Archaeology Research Archive” (NEEMARA) 
2006 - Dig, Dive & Discover 
2005 - Saltburn Rutway Survey 
2004 – For the Record

NAS South West
Regional Co-Ordinator
Peter Holt - pete@3HConsulting.com

Peter is based in Plymouth. Peter managed The SHIPS Project with the aim of recording and investigating the maritime history of Plymouth. For more information on Pete please visit his Senior Tutors Profile.


Peter works with other NAS Tutors in the South West to offer NAS courses. Look out for courses in the South West in this years timetable or if you would be interested in organising a course for your group please contact Peter.


NAS East Anglia
All NAS members, not just those in East Anglia, are welcome to participate in intertidal survey activities with the NAS East Anglia region. Generally concentrating on three separate wrecks, the Vicuna, a barquentine stranded in 1883, the Vina, a steam coaster with intact boilers wrecked in 1944, and an unidentified wreck, probably a local 19th Century sailing vessel, discovered in 2010 by the NAS East Anglia group.

No diving is required as the survey work is timed to take place at low water when these vessels are exposed. These weekends offers participants a great chance to build up their field work experience.

Aiming to extend the previous survey work undertaken by the NAS in Norfolk which, in the case of the Steam Trawler Sheraton, has resulted in five survey reports.

Feel free to contact the NAS Office if you would like more details.

The English Regions