2019 Annual Conference and Dinner

Saturday 19th October, 2019. All day.

Each year since 1990, the Society has held an annual conference and dinner at which leading pioneers and researchers give presentations and the Society’s various awards are given. The Conference and dinner are open to all – they are not restricted to members only.


Subsea 7
40 Brighton Road


Call For Speakers

We welcome proposals for talks about any aspect of diving history. Historic events, equipment, biographies, operational practices, company histories are all suitable subjects for talks. Presentations should be about 45 minutes in length and must be non commercial. Speakers will receive the published ‘Proceedings’ of the Conference including their talk. Please contact our Secretary (secretary@thehds.com) if you would like to present a paper at our Conference.

2019 Programme

Richard Castle

The development and experiments carried out on the JIM suit in the 1970s

Dr. Colin Martin

Early salvage divers: wrecks, practices and hazards encountered by these brave adventurers

Nigel Phillips

The development of diving apparatus prior to the introduction of Standard Dress.

CPO(D) Andrew Marshall MBE

Modern day RN Clearance Diving Operations within Fleet Diving Squadron

BY RAIL: turn left on exiting Sutton Station. Subsea7’s offices are a 5 minute walk on the opposite side of the road.
BY CAR: Delegates wishing to park at Subsea7 offices at 40 Brighton Road, Sutton, London, SM2 5BN must send the following details (by Tuesday 15th October) to secretary@thehds.com:
Driver’s name
Make and model of vehicle
Registration number
Drivers must not exceed 5mph on the ramp and in the underground car park.
Vehicles must be reversed parked.
Access to the car park is via the narrow road immediately to the left of the building.

08.30 – 09.30       Registration
09.30 – 09.45       Welcome and announcements
09.45 – 10.30       Development of the Diving Suit ‘JIM’ during trials undertaken by the Atmospheric Diving Group of the Ministry of Defence, by Richard Castle
10.30 – 10.45       Questions from the floor
10.45 – 11.15       Refreshment break
11.15 – 12.00      Diving Pioneers in Irish and Scottish Waters: 1588-1740, by Drs Colin and Paula Martin
12.00 – 12.15       Questions from the floor
12.15 – 13.45       Lunch
13.45 – 1400       A presentation on the proposed memorial to military Divers at the National Memorial Arboretum, by Paul Guiver & Tony Sexton of Monument Projects Ltd.
14.00 – 14.45       The Path to the Standard Dress, by Nigel Phillips
14.45 – 15.00       Questions from the floor
1500 – 15.30        Refreshment break
15.30 – 16.15       Modern day Royal Navy Clearance Diving Operations within the Fleet Diving Squadron, by CPO(D) Andrew Marshall MBE
16.15 – 16.30       Questions from the floor

The Society’s Annual Dinner will be held in the Orchard Suite of the Holiday Inn, Gibson Road, Sutton, London, SM1 2RF.
Dress Black tie or lounge suit. Guests are asked to be seated by 7.30pm.
There will be a private bar outside the suite where drinks may be ordered to accompany the meal.
Parking for non-resident dinner guests is complimentary (subject to availability). Register at Reception.

Tickets for the Conference include morning and afternoon refreshments as well as lunch. Tickets for the evening dinner can be purchased separately.
Please note: we do not issue actual tickets. By purchasing tickets your name will be added to our guest list. All you need to do is introduce yourself at the reception desk on the day and we will know to expect you. 


Every year the Society presents awards to the individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to the furtherance of diving history knowledge.



The Society publishes the presentations given by the speakers at the Annual Conferences each year.