The Elephant In The Room

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sheppane
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The Elephant In The Room

Post by sheppane » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:18 pm

This is a repeat of a post i have made on the Pistonheads 'Gassing' Forum.

A few points of clarification on the subject of Bluebird K7:

1) My name is Neil Sheppard, and I post under the name sheppane. I feel that all posts on these type of forums should be made in a transparent and clear fashion, so people are not able to deliver their diatribe behind the anonymity of a an unconnected user name. I am considered to be somewhat of an expert on the life and works of Donald Campbell and wrote the critically acclaimed account of his final record attempt, in order to put the record straight about that tragic event. My one aim in this regard is to ensure that Donald Campbell and his achievements continue to live on in the public's conscientiousness. If you need further information, please see www.bluebirdk7.com

2) I do not post under the name NeilDra which appears to be a somewhat mischievous combination of mine and my wife's Sandra's names (on the other hand it may be coincidental, although that does seem a stretch...).

3) There are a number of seriously misinformed individuals on both sides of the argument here. There are also a significant number of contributions that lack basic good taste and manners, particularly regarding the question of Donald Campbell's remains. Grow up, engage brain and think of others before hitting the keyboard. Imagine you were addressing individuals face to face.

4) Where Donald Campbell and his legacy is concerned, I believe there are two people in the world whose wishes are paramount, and should be considered above all others. Those two people are Gina Campbell and Tonia Campbell. The wishes of anyone else should be totally secondary, and that includes The Ruskin Museum, The Bluebird Project and any Donald Campbell enthusiasts.

5) Gina has stated that it is her preference that Bluebird K7 should not be run at high speed at any time in the future. So far, The Bluebird Project has remained silent on this stated wish, in any communication channel it has with the outside world. I think an acknowledgement of this needs to be made by the BBP as soon as possible.

6) Other contributors to this forum, or any other, should have the courage to front up who they are, and what their position is. It gives their argument more validity and strength. It will also make their contribution to this debate more considered.

7) I do not buy and do not agree with the characterisations made on this or other forums about people who disagree with their point of view. Type III idiots or any other such pejorative labels are themselves quite idiotic and demean both parties.

8) Gina's stated wish is that Bluebird K7 should be returned to the Ruskin Museum as soon as possible and practical for public display. At no time has she deviated from that desire. She has also expressed a desire to try and seriously consider how the two Bluebird's CN7 and K7 can re reunited at some stage in 2014 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Donald Campbell's successful double of breaking the LSR and WSR in the same year. This seems a reasonable request to make, and would align with the interests of all parties in putting Campbell's achievements front and centre in the public domain.

9) A company has been set up 'Bluebird Project Ltd' the aims and intentions of which are not clear. If the Bluebird Project hopes to continue the goodwill that has existed for it since 2001, it is contingent upon them to be absolutely upfront about their plans, motivations and an approximate timescale for the restoration of Bluebird K7. To do anything less would be considered in some quarters churlish, and in other quarters, downright questionable. I'm fully aware that the project relies on the goodwill of volunteers and companies providing assistance and material in kind, but I consider that milestones along to Bluebird's restoration should be able to be mapped out in order that an approximate critical path to the completion of the restoration can be communicated to the wider world.

10) I have no wish to fall out with any contributors on this page, but feel that the time has come for a much more transparent dialogue about the future of Bluebird K7 and Donald Campbell's legacy.

Finally, in the interests of total transparency, my comments above will also be published on the Pistonheads 'Gassing' Forum
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/

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Renegadenemo
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by Renegadenemo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:36 pm

You must be mad to go into that Pistonheads place...

Moaning will only slow or bring the project to a halt - the people we need on board to see this through are unlikely to stay with us if they see politics or controversy in the air, that's a no-brainer.
BBP Ltd is a red herring - it was formed to work with the FAAM on the Barra' project as they wanted a more formal relationship and Barra' Ltd didn't seem quite as romantic.
All being well we'll complete the boat as quickly as is reasonable bearing in mind that it remains a case of do you want it now or do you want it right.
She'll not be in any fit state to go on display next year, unfortunately, and when she's ready for testing we can do that away from prying eyes if that's what's wanted though I can't imagine the Coniston folks being best fussed.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

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rob565uk
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by rob565uk » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:22 pm

sheppane wrote: I'm fully aware that the project relies on the goodwill of volunteers and companies providing assistance and material in kind, but I consider that milestones along to Bluebird's restoration should be able to be mapped out in order that an approximate critical path to the completion of the restoration can be communicated to the wider world.
I think we need a reality check here!

The restoration of K7 requires highly skilled management and the application of a very wide range of engineering knowledge, skills and expertise to complete a highly complex and very costly restoration which, by definition, is a complete one-off.

The key word here is goodwill.

There is no steady or guaranteed budget to spend, no paid workforce to task and set targets for. The Project is wholly dependent on loaned workspace and tools and being able to secure the services of volunteers and partner organisations with the right skills, facilities and resources - in many cases, highly specialised - at the right time

How do you propose to map out milestones under these circumstances?

1 in 10 people understands binary. The other one doesn't

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mtskull
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by mtskull » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:02 am

*message removed by author*
Last edited by mtskull on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.

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Renegadenemo
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by Renegadenemo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:47 pm

BBP Ltd is a red herring - it was formed to work with the FAAM on the Barra' project as they wanted a more formal relationship and Barra' Ltd didn't seem quite as romantic.
Minor correction that became evident when I re-read that (was a bit shattered yesterday). Obviously BBP Ltd was always going to be formed, we've said as much for years. It is, of course, a not-for-profit, charitable company with an eye to not only looking after K7 into the future but, more importantly because we have a bloody big aeroplane to build once K7 goes home, to take in trainees to learn the skills we've picked up along the way. We had to turn one away this year from the local heritage skills initiative and that was desperately unfortunate.
What the above should have said, however, is that the timing of the formation of the company is a red herring. The reason we finally got our finger out and did something with the idea was so we could work with the FAAM and had nothing whatsoever to do with BBP.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

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bluebirdsback
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by bluebirdsback » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:38 pm

Just to add to what Rob said earlier. The volunteers also have there own work commitments and make there way to the project after a hard days work, we would all love to be there full time but we all have our bills to pay.

As for bringing the two machines together for the 50th anniversary of Donalds double, great idea but as the boat will be still having work done to her, why dont the powers that want this to happen bring CN7 up to the workshop? That way the work on the boat wouldnt suffer too much and everyone would be happy. Just a thought.
The moment you make something idiot proof a new breed of idiots will come along and prove you wrong

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Renegadenemo
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by Renegadenemo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:57 pm

Being honest about not having a clue how long this is going to take seems to have been a less than ideal strategy. Might be time to go back to the old , pin the tail on the donkey method. I'll take a stab at July 2015. It'll take me that long to get back into my drysuit!
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

winkster
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by winkster » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:50 am

I guess I'm stepping into the arena here but oh well here goes I've had worse.

QUOTE - A stab at July 2015.
2001 to 2013 now 2015 and when that time is reached?

Brings to mind= Now where did I put that three legged stool and bucket?

Also could we "out here" enquire what the BBP Ltd stands for in respect to rebuilding an aircraft?
Is it literally for Broken Barracuda Project Ltd because myself and quite a few others do not see what relationship the BLUEBIRD has to an aircraft being rebuilt. And surely the Bluebird should stand alone and not be associated with anything else or have it's name used regarding anything else even if there's no copyright to the name Bluebird in question. Unless of course it's appropriate to do so and associated directly with the family and legacy.

If this is the case with BBP Ltd in regards to the aircraft then may i be as bold just to point out that it's not going to look very professional when you are introduced to the press and media as the members of the broken barracuda project.

You can label me what ever Type you feel appropriate as i certainly wont be suffering sleep deprivation from it.

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Renegadenemo
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by Renegadenemo » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:15 am

BBP will always stand for Bluebird Project. 'broken Barracuda' (edited by the swear filter) was just a joke name we invented because it shares the same initials but Bluebird is what we're best known for and when people come looking it's the easiest way to find us. It was a logical progression that the museum world would find us another badly crunched vehicle to mend so we ended up with bits of aeroplane to train our newbies on and fill the gaps between other jobs and in the process the FAAM gets pieces of plane it wouldn't otherwise have so it's worked out very nicely for all concerned.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

ace_chris
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Re: The Elephant In The Room

Post by ace_chris » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:45 pm

Following the recent posting on here by Neil what is the current bluebird k7 situation? Have tools been downed by all concerned or is the rebuild on going?

The only reason I ask is that there appears to be a lot of half truths and unanswered questions on the piston heads forum. I do not belong to piston heads and have never contributed, taking a look at the site it seems to be a fiery ball of anger and ill informed opinion.

Chris

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