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Return to the Water

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:26 am
by Renegadenemo
Been reviewing what's to be done to get the big tin machine through her crew training and proving trials.

We're fast realising that our crew training exercise is an essential step before showing K7 off again in all her noisy glory to a waiting world. The more we develop our planning documents, kit-lists and the thousands of unknowns the further the effort seems to stretch into the future. Our crew training, at which we hope to map enough data at low speed to extrapolate a theoretical performance envelope for the craft, is planned for later this year. We initially considered (somewhat ambitiously) that we could then run a proving trial in the 2019 Easter hol's but that would be with an unfinished craft, in terms of being ready for museum display, so she'd have to come back here to be finished. The revised target, which we now believe we can meet, is the crew training mission in Aug 18 with the finished machine ready for the big spectacle in Aug 19.

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:20 am
by midlife
Holidays already put aside, just in case.
Awesome news Bill, and congratulations to all


Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:17 am
by wbjohn

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:30 am
by Bigfella
That's great to hear and very well worth the wait and additional planning for the big event. Amazing to see the colour coat being applied on top of all the work over the years to get to that stage.

Will be very special indeed to see K7 return to the lake.

Congratulations to all the team on such an achievement!!

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:28 am
by Steve
Great to hear the news of bluebird getting her feet wet again but why Scottland? Did coniston not lift the by laws to allow crew training there?

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:50 pm
by Steve
Thanks, I'll look forward to reading that. Be a shame really to do proving trials or crew training anywhere else. I hope that if it's a problem somewhere it can be resolved.thanks for your time.

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:40 pm
by Malcolm Ops
Having recently drafted a lengthy document summarising the Coniston Water Byelaw process and the timing of the Proving Trial and because I am one of the Bluebird Project (BBP) representatives on the Parish Council Event Working Group formed in 2016 I will try to set out clearly why we have arrived at the current position with regard to the Crew Training Exercise in August this year in Scotland and the suggestion that the Proving Trial could take place by August 2019. Readers may be pleased that this is a summary of that document.
The current version of the Coniston Water Byelaws (2010) allows for a ‘one off’ Proving Trial of Bluebird K7, which was the majority wish of the Authority Members. The BBP did seek permission for other events from the LDNPA, but this was not accepted by the Members. There is no provision for the Crew Training Exercise to be held on Coniston Water.
It has been agreed within the BBP that this training must be the next step so as to ensure that when the Proving Trial takes place it is a competent, slick and near faultlessly run celebration of the craft and her original pilot. The recent press release confirms that Loch Fad and the Isle of Bute have welcomed the training exercise in August of this year.
The village Event Working Group focused on probable dates for the Proving Trial of Bluebird K7 at a meeting in November 2017, because this would have allowed for the full briefing of an ‘event or project organiser or manager’ of the Festival events.
The BBP sent an e mail to the Event Working Group which outlined when we would consider making the Proving Trial. The months I proposed were still April, May, June and indeed up to July, but now in 2019. The importance of conducting the Proving Trial when school pupils could be present, with parents or guardians, from anywhere in the UK was re-confirmed. These two requirements have been stated in our documents and at meetings over the last ten years.
The LDNPA responded to this outline proposal by sending an e mail on the 8th December. Their Officer provided some new information and appended new documents about Coniston (although these were just amended Windermere paperwork. The Officer made the comment that the LDNPA held the presumption that school holidays were excluded from consideration and the document stated this as well as “not at weekends and on bank holidays”.
This stance created more than a hurdle, many of which the BBP relish as the crew have shown that they can overcome all, but a barrier to progress towards the Proving Trial being held on Coniston Water. The LDNPA December email went on to suggest that any application for running K7 during school holiday periods would be ‘contentious’ and the Members would reject it.
The BBP Operations Team for Bluebird K7 know that a written request has to be made to the LDNPA to gain confirmation for the Proving Trial to proceed. We know the format of the request, because there is a need to address the three LDNPA criteria which will ‘allow’ permission to be granted. The criteria are: “having regard to public health and safety requirements, the timing of the event and environmental considerations”.
On behalf of the BBP I considered that there was no need to make any ‘application’ for ‘speed exemption’ because the Coniston Water Byelaw 7, already notes that the craft will need to travel in excess of the speed limit imposed on powered craft.
At the Event Working Group meeting in early January 2018, Bluebird Operations not only rejected the thought of making an application but I put forward precise dates for consideration. These were described in meeting notes as being about “Easter 2019”. The BBP had however avoided the Easter weekend in its proposed nineteen days.
At the February 2018 meeting of the Event Working Group, the LDNPA representative present could not confirm the dates proposed by the BBP Operations were acceptable. In turn the LDNPA suggested to the meeting a fourteen-day period of alternative dates. These dates were earlier than those stated by the BBP and they included Donald Campbell’s birthday and the weekend of the Coniston 14 running event.
Bringing dates forward in the year did immediately cause a rethink concerning the build state of the craft at that time. As the dates did not include any school holiday period and only one weekend, they were always going to be rejected. However, this process did make the Project think about the condition of the craft during the Proving Trial and eventually it became clear that the boat should be fully completed.
The view now is that full completion should be achievable by August 2019. Not that this or any other dates have been proposed by the BBP. If you are asking Why? we consider that the best solution is for the village and the LDNPA to take regard of what has been said over the last ten years. Then an invitation can be given to the BBP to bring the K7 craft to the Heritage Festival during an appropriate school holiday time.
If you have any questions do use the forum or personal mailing.
Malcolm Pittwood, for Bluebird Project, Operations.

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:20 am
by Renegadenemo
First off, I'd like to thank our Malcolm for devoting his Saturday evening (we're all volunteers in the BBP) to setting out in his own meticulous way, backed by his almost religious documenting of every machination of everything that ever happens, to explaining that, despite ten years of us publicly building a boat for Coniston, with the absolute conviction that we'd take her home and run her in the biggest homecoming triumph ever seen on the water where everyone believed she'd met her end, we found that that the village has done absolutely nothing in the way of preparation and the LDNPA is making the HLF look like the SAS right now.

OK - I just said that out loud.

We tried not to say it out loud to begin with, we kept the press-call innocuous to give our haemorrhoidal attachment of bureaucrats a chance of recovering themselves when we could have buried them forever and that chance remains because the media storm has blown through and maybe won't read this.
Learned that one with the Hapless Lottery Fools who, in the face of massive public embarrassment and unavoidable defeat, cut off their do-good nose to spite their stupid face rather than quietly coming to the table to fix things then had to sort it out later after their very public hanging.
I mean - how dumb do you have to be?

But, and this is important, no way are we going to take the blame for shipping out to Bute when we did all we could to be at Coniston.

The Mount Stuart Trust ( assessed us very quickly - our first meeting was in December 2017 once we realised that Coniston and the LDNPA were likely to waste another decade when we had K7 about good to go.
The MST consulted with their people, reached agreement overnight and invited us in a heartbeat. The British Army is coming to lend a hand too and, best of all, every kid in the UK can come watch us drop spanners in the loch and remember what we forgot to bring and have to send someone back to North Shields to get it should they (and their parents) so desire. It was a no-brainer. Should anyone wish to visit possibly the last refuge of common sense in the UK you'll find it, along with Golden Eagles, Ospreys, beautiful scenery and fab places to eat and drink a mere smidge west of Glasgow.

In the meantime, there's lots of waffle from the LDNPA about them receiving an 'application' for us to put on a world-class event for them. Not happening, I'm afraid.

There will be no application.

Sort yourselves out, remove every impediment and invite us as guests of honour to make the big blue star of the show sing and dance.

Or, publicly and graciously step aside at which point I'm sure Scotland will find a bigger loch and a couple of hundred miles of red carpet that it will be our privilege to tread.

Isn't Campbell a Scottish name?

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:07 am
by Richie
Well said ! And if I may also offer my gratitude to Malcom for his fine work once again

I was not impressed with the defamatory nature in which the LDNPA portrayed themselves as the victims and us as the aggressors in recent media, in fact I am a little bit hurt, which for me is quite a difficult thing to achieve !

Insert: Of course I am still considering that it was the media who have deliberately twisted words to get views and papers sold.... which is why I dislike most media outlets..... did I say that out loud ?

That said despite rigorous efforts by Bill to contact the LDNPA to sort the matter out, I may be correct in saying all contact has stopped from them. It is said in legal circles, “sometimes it is safer to say nothing than risk incriminating ones self”, interestingly this is why they invented the “No reply” comment during interviews.... should also be noted that the “No reply” comment or infact no comment at all is usually a sign of significant guilt.

So I am told.....

From a simple volunteers perspective the whole thing has left me somewhat deflated, the paint going on and the recent press release should have been a celebration of our achievements, yet it has been sullied by the LDNPA and to some extent the citizens of Coniston.

I am a touch angry about it all.

For me personally they need to get their act together ASAP ! At the parish meetings and LDNPA meetings, rather than spend 45 minutes discussing church bells and a chair in someone’s garden, perhaps start to arrange important things so the boat can come back once and for all.

Re: Return to the Water

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:18 am
by Richie
Double post sorry.