Paranoia? People out to get us? I hardly think so. Alternative views are many, varied and generally respected. The megaphone only comes out when simple concepts are not being absorbed. We have engaged over a long time with the LDNPA, how do you think the byelaw got amended? And we had a meeting with them only a few weeks ago. I even rose to their defence this week when the Coniston committee, with whom we've also engaged for years and met with only a couple of weeks ago, committed the cardinal sin of press releases (because they haven't a clue what they're doing) in issuing a release without consulting those whom it may affect. The LDNPA has its hands tied until they get an application and so far there is no application. Nothing we can do but you have to ask what they've been doing to get ready for this for the past ten years.I don't doubt for one moment that those closely involved with the Bluebird Project have done what they have with the very best intentions, however I also sincerely believe that most of those really closely involved seem to have developed some sort of collective paranoia. The main symptom of which is believing that anyone with an alternative view to their own is "out to get them". This mindset appears to stop the BBP from engaging constructively with important third parties like The Coniston Bluebird Committee & the National Parks Authority. A similar attitude was very publicly displayed during the BBP's failed negotiations with the Heritage Lottery Fund. "Negotiations" that are conducted by megaphone & mainly seem to involve insults & derision are in my experience rarely if ever successful.
As for the HLF, that was a magnificent adventure. They didn't want to put us down because it would have been embarrassing for them as ours was perceived as such an important project but they were determined they would display a wreck and that wasn't happening. After the first failed application we discovered their decision was based on their 'experts' reports. Remember? Couldn't mend it without 'considerable loss of original fabric', which clearly showed they'd not read the detailed Conservation Management Plan produced by Chris Knapp - head of conservation at IWM Duxford - and that was extremely disrespectful. Or the famous 'BBP is poor value for money because no one under the age of forty would be interested'. They were mostly idiots so we exposed it every time they displayed it. No hope for the second application yet right to the death they wanted to display a wreck. The upside was a lot of beneficial change for applicants who followed later, would you believe they wrote to their 'experts' to say best go visit the object next time and be careful of what they say because someone might challenge their views!
If the Coniston folk don't want the inconvenience they should stand up and say so. If they want an event they should all pull together and create one. We built a working machine by building the most amazing and enduring bridges. I was presenting at Rolls-Royce's Derwent Building last night. And when it came to working on Bute all the right ingredients were there. Ingredients sadly lacking in Coniston. Does it not seem strange that when we work with professional people and organisations everyone gets on like a house on fire and things get done? See a pattern emerging?The BBP should appreciate that any "homecoming" will inevitably involve a great deal of inconvenience for the residents of Coniston, something that possibly the majority of whom aren't particularly keen on. That running K7 on Coniston is nothing like running her on a small patch of water on a remote island in Scotland, and to ensure a successful event a lot of egos need smoothing & bridges need to be built. Something that the BBP has consistently proven pretty much incapable of doing. The tawdry "Christmas light episode" this week was typical of the sniping & bullying carried out by members of the BBP. We all knew someone at school who would whack another kid round the head with a ruler & then tell you they were only joking!
And, as for Christmas lights, they wrote down in the public domain that they couldn't afford lights for the tree by the Campbell memorial so we sent them some. I don't remember them calling us and asking if we would sponsor said lights - seeing the pattern yet?
What unholy row? It's an opinion. Is Titanic's spiritual home in the north Atlantic or is it Belfast?The unholy row about K7's "Spiritual Home", which was started by Bill Smith only adds fuel to what is already a very intense fire.
It's not for the BBP to decide whether K7 runs on Coniston - we'll happily play the gig if the people over there put it together and we've already said there's no problem with displaying the boat in the museum when she's not out running, which will be most of the time. No intention for her to sit in the North East but it's not happening until terms are agreed and signed in blood so coming to the table to agree that is just one more thing we're waiting to get sorted. As for the carnival bidding nonsense, that isn't worthy of a reply.The controlling members of the BBP need to decide whether the boat they rebuilt is (as most followers of the project believed was the case) going to run for proving trials on Coniston & then for most of its life, be resident in the specially built wing of the Ruskin Museum on public exhibition, or as now appears to be the case live in solitary isolation in the North East occasionally becoming a travelling curiosity made to perform at carnivals & exhibitions to the highest bidder wherever they may be, like an elderly but impressive performing elephant.
Who has suggested any such thing? Of course they are eternally linked. Where did that idea come from?Personally I think there should be opportunities to run K7 other than on Coniston in the future, but to try & rewrite history & claim that K7 & Coniston are not eternally linked is simply deluded.
Negative is good if it's constructive but disrespectful if pitched without the necessary research and understanding of the facts.I have tried not to be overly negative in my comments above, but know that I am not the only person who feels that this needed saying.
And, as a small footnote, after we publicly sacked the HLF their North West team was quietly disbanded and their chief constructively dismissed. Yet I keep in touch with him to this day because on a personal level we got on very well and still do. Don't talk to me about building bridges!