Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

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Jett
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Jett » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:11 am

Cheers, Renegadenemo. I'm not sparring, though. And I have no idea how this will ultimately play out between yourselves and the trustees.

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Renegadenemo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:16 am

There were two agreements at the same time. One that the museum was gifted the wreckage and only the wreckage and another to ensure that only the BBP completed the rebuild, the only caveat to that being that we were allowed to engage such specialist sub-contractors as we saw fit.
The second saying that we could, if we so desired, then transfer title of our proportion of the completed craft into the museum's ownership at our discretion once she had been successfully operated on Coniston Water. That one was put in place to make sure that no title would pass until we were granted our reward of seeing the boat run after all of our years of effort.
Either way, it has never been the museum's responsibility to organise an event on the lake. Their responsibility ends at the display. It falls to the BEWG or some other responsible body to arrange the proving trial, an implied contract of some fifteen years and an obligation they are yet to discharge. But I'm sure they will get there.
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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Renegadenemo
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Renegadenemo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:31 am

Cheers, Renegadenemo. I'm not sparring, though. And I have no idea how this will ultimately play out between yourselves and the trustees.
You're very welcome and please spar as much as you like, just let's all be friendly adversaries. All we want is for everyone concerned to get the biggest slice of what everyone wants. Display in the Ruskin for the village and those who want to get out of the pissing rain in January in the Lake District and a couple of months of blood and thunder on a lake or a loch or a reservoir somewhere in the summer for those who want to hear jet engine noises. Surely we can reach a happy compromise. That's the plan, anyway.
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

Jett
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Jett » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:32 am

Renegade Nemo/ Bill, do you have a fee contract for BBP's rebuild work? The Deed of Gift simply states that you will rebuild and return it for permanent display within the Bluebird Wing, built at a cost of £800k I understand, for that purpose.

Did you ever go back and demand a fee, across the 17 years of the housing/ rebuild? Or did you simply rely on your volunteers and donations?

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Renegadenemo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:04 am

We never demanded anything. The deal was always that we took the wreckage away and added that which was missing by our own endeavour. The project has been entirely volunteer lead and staffed. In point of fact, donations accounted for a very small part of our income stream for many years, though that has increased a bit since running the boat was introduced.
The Bluebird Wing is an entirely fitting piece of work. I was involved in its design from the very beginning and what we all envisaged has been executed beautifully from the reclaimed slate outer fabric to the lead-work on the roof to the interior. I still have the architect's various iterations in my archive. The one element that was dropped on a cost basis was a small gable above the main doors so we could get the boat in and out without having to take the fin off and that's going to be real ball-ache. No matter which order you bolt that tail cover down it never fits the same way twice and that affects the engine cover and all the closing strips down the side that have to go on and off to get at the engine. But I digress.
The Ruskin folks did a great job of that. They got lucky with the Foot & Mouth money but if that hadn't been there I'm sure they would have done it some other way. Can't take that off them.
And - once we agree terms - the display will be permanent because even when we take her away the museum can tag along to promote themselves. She'll come out to be prepped for running, shown off to the world, taken back to her workshop to be inhibited and put to display standard then parked up in her wing until her next outing.

PS. The sobriquet 'Renegadenemo' was bestowed upon me by Andy Griffin many years ago when he invited me to join his Speedrecordgroup, a very early forum type thing. I hated it at first but I've lived with it for so long that it's grown on me so I'm keeping it.
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

Jett
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Jett » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:22 am

Thanks for your explanation, with all its detail.

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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Jett » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:58 am

Oh, and I should have added, I'm sure the folks in charge of the Ruskin will appreciate your appreciation of the Bluebird Wing.

This will all sort itself out, one way or another, and sooner rather than later, hopefully. One final comment, and that's me done for the time being. Reading through all this, and seeing where both sides are at present, I'm reminded (and have been many times before this, observing many other situations, small or large, like it) of the advice that the ruthless boxing promoter Don King once gave to one of his fighters, who was complaining about his purse, and what he ended up with, following a bout: "You don't get what you deserve, son- you get what you negotiate".

Ernie Lazenby
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:10 am

Bill. Following on from Jetts posts, Does the contract you wish the Ruskin to sign require the trustees to agree that the BBP undertakes all future maintenance work? if it does is there any requirement for payment for the work at any time subsequent to the handover.
Regarding the second agreement in 2006 how does that relate to the first. Is that one signed by you?.
It would be really helpful to understand at what point in time a signed agreement took place agreeing that the BBP would have some kind of ownership rights?
At one point in time did the Ruskin sign an agreement saying the trustees agreed to the running of the boat anywhere other than on Coniston? Perhaps that request is in the contract so far unsigned?

Has K7 been insured against total loss?

BTW Good this debate has become grown up. Very good of you Bill to spend some time settling things down. Its very much appreciated.
I have a handle I use elsewhere 'White Knight' that was bestowed on me years ago and I, like you yours, have grown to like it. I was going to register on this forum as White Knight but felt it more appropriate to use my real name so folk knew exactly who was being controversial/questioning.

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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by wbjohn » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:50 pm

So many questions Ernie and Jett regarding contracts signed or which have not even been drawn up. They will get discussed between the museum, trustees and BBP I'm sure, not the general public or people asking for hypothetical answers on open forums, which unfortunately would then be brought up in the future as "you said this posts with I have screen grabs".

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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Filtertron » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:41 pm

This has all been rather interesting to read from an outsider. I thought railway groups were political...!

It seems to me (as an outsider), that the BBP have laid all of their cards on the table for all to see. They want to talk, and have said so; yet there is no reply for whatever reason from the Coniston end. I don't think Coniston realise how lucky they are to have a living. breathing drawcard - put it this way; the 9/3 month split being proposed for displaying in the museum should be a no-brainer. For nine months of the year, the K7 is in the museum. For the remaining three, it's out being an ambassador for Coniston, and is being looked after by a crack engineering team who know every bolt and rivet on the boat, as they are the people who rebuilt it from a wreck.

To give some contrast, I visited Coniston, and Coniston Water a couple of years back. I knew what the Bluebird was, but was blissfully unaware that I was actually standing on the jetty that Donald Campbell took off from all those years ago. I was there to see the steam yacht, and hopefully grab a few photos (I did), and go for a sail (I didn't). I had no knowledge of the Rusken Museum at all. The only mention of Bluebird was the name of a cafe, which had a bluebird (the avian variety) as it's logo. No clue that it referred to the K7. I only made the connection a couple of days later when I picked up a book in the Hawkshead post office, which had a picture of the K7 speeding along on the cover. A quick flick through told me the crash was on Coniston Water, and the penny dropped that that was why it was called Bluebird Cafe. I wish I had have bought the book now too! I forgot about it until I stumbled across a video of the trials of the K7 at Bute, which has brought me here, hopefully to gain more knowledge on an interesting piece of engineering. It was through here that I found out about the existence of the Rusken Museum. Had I have known about it when I was in Coniston, I would have visited it for sure.

Think about that for a second - The Bluebird out on the water, and running at speed (which is what it was designed to do - 10MPH is simply ridiculous, and completely boring) has captured mine, and many others imaginations. It has enticed me to find out more, and I now know that the Rusken exists, which I didn't before. Keeping the Bluebird operational, and indeed operating at speed on water (at Coniston or elsewhere) is a huge promotional tool, and drawcard for Coniston.

One thing to remember is that this wouldn't have been possible without Bill Smith and his team. Without the BBP, the Bluebird would still be sitting at the bottom of Coniston Water; of no use to anyone, and mostly forgotten about outside of the immediate area. The Rusken made the comment that it wouldn't have displayed the wreck as recovered, so if it wasn't rebuilt; have think about where it might be now - probably stored under dusty tarpaulins in some council shed, right? Would Donald Campbell's body have been recovered (and very respectfully too, I might add), so he could finally be laid to rest, and give his family closure after all of those years? I have only ever seen the BBP do positive things. All this talk about doing what is 'right' by the Rusken; what about what is 'right' for the people who have brought Donald Campbell's Bluebird back to life, and given the man himself so much respect through their endeavours?

There doesn't need to be any litigation. All it requires is communication from both parties, and finding a happy medium for all concerned. Bill has already stated he, and the BBP are more than willing to do so. It seems fairly straight forward to me. Everyone can be a winner here.

What say you, Coniston?

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