An underwater archaeologist will speak at a meeting of the historical society

Shipwrecks, privateers and smuggling are among the topics of discussion at the Scituate Historical Society’s annual dinner meeting where British archaeologist and filmmaker Alec Collyer will be the guest speaker.

Alec Collyer, front, was instrumental in the underwater filming at the wreck site of the schooner, TW Lawson, and broadcast a documentary about the wreck in 2000. He was awarded the prestigious MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire - for being involved in mountain, cave and mine rescue for over 40 years.

Collyer, recipient of the MBE – Member of the Order of the British Empire – will return for a visit to Scituate to share stories from his years of research around his home in England.

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“I just came to drink beer, but I’m told I have to talk too,” he joked.

A distinguished career

Collyer has been diving for decades and has been involved in exploring, excavating and filming some historic wrecks over the years.

“Alec was instrumental in the underwater filming at the site of the schooner TW Lawson wreck and the broadcast of a documentary about the wreck in 2000,” said Scituate resident Tom Hall and member of the Historical Society. “I was included in the film of the story of Scituate and Thomas Lawson and the huge, ill-fated sailing ship that bears his name.”

Collyer and Hall met in 2000 while Hall was living in Greece and have stayed in touch ever since.

“He’s a very interesting and thoughtful man,” Hall said.

“I’ve always had an interest in underwater archaeology,” he said.

For over 40 years Collyer has been involved in mountain and cave/mine rescue in the UK – for which he was awarded the MBE.

“One of the guys on our team involved in the cave rescues was part of the rescue with the boys in Thailand,” he said, referring to the 2018 rescue of 12 members of a junior football team. of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave, which has attracted international attention.

British historian Alec Collyer will be the guest speaker at the Scituate Historical Society's annual dinner meeting on February 26.  He will talk about shipwrecks, privateers and smuggling off the coast of England.

“The police call us when they have a bigger area to search,” Collyer said, “like when you’re looking for discouraged people or people who might need help, like someone who might have broken ankle while walking on the moors.. You see a lot of things, nothing surprises me much today.

story tales

Collyer will share stories of smuggling, privateering off the coast of Devon and a story of Admiral Edward Pellew, who was immortalized as captain of the Indefatigable in some of CF Forrester’s “Horatio Hornblower” novels.

“Pellew led the British and Dutch siege of Algiers which freed over 100 Christian slaves in 1812,” Collyer said.

The Scituate Historical Society will hold the annual dinner meeting at 6 p.m. on February 26 at Harbor United Methodist Church, 55 First Parish Road.

The event includes a full turkey dinner followed by Alec Collyer’s presentation. Reservations are $25 per person and can be made online at scituatehistoricalsociety.org, by stopping by the school during regular hours, or by calling 781-545-1083.

Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth

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