54 Years Ago - On This Day...

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Engine 711
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54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Engine 711 »

54 years ago, today, the BBC News was reporting that Donald Campbell had crashed in his Bluebird jetboat, on Lake Coniston. There was no further detail.
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Engine 711
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Engine 711 »

One day later, on 5th January 1967, pictures of the Bluebird jet boat, K7, were all over all the morning newspapers, with articles speculating on what caused the crash. A floating log was a strong favourite.

Most people in the UK now had some idea what Bluebird K7 was and what it looked like - albeit only in black and white. Prior to this, I doubt many had any idea. I certainly did not. I knew about the Bluebird car - I had a Corgi version of it. But not the boat.

The BBC & ITV TV news last night had showed the now infamous footage of the last runs, for the first time. ITV's viewpoint I believe is now considered better than the BBC's.

The legend of Donald Campbell had begun.
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Renegadenemo
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Renegadenemo »

The legend of Donald Campbell had begun.
When we had the crazy idea to search for the wreck in the summer of 96 we were unsuccessful but undaunted and it occurred to a few of us that if we quietly hung about on the morning of the 4th of January the following year we might meet some people who could point us in the right direction. That didn't work either, only a handful of folk showed up quietly to pay their respects and we didn't know any of them. We were, however, invited to the Speed Record Club dinner that night quite by chance where many people taught us lots - mainly that the boat had sunk not only physically to the bottom of the lake but also into a sort of fairytale legend where it was regarded more as myth than mechanical reality. It would be another four years until we found the wreck looking very forlorn and crushed in the dark and another eighteen until we pushed and heaved her afloat on Loch Fad. It's been a fabulous adventure and a privilege and it's not over yet and as one respectable historian put it - we've showed our respect to Donald by slaving over his boat for fifteen years. We're all ready and waiting for the next chapter, there's still much to do so hopefully once we find ourselves post-Covid the path ahead will be clear and we can continue to pay our respects with our tools and enthusiasm.
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Malcolm Ops
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Malcolm Ops »

Renegadenemo wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:51 am
The legend of Donald Campbell had begun.
We were, however, invited to the Speed Record Club dinner that night quite by chance where many people taught us lots
I can recall the Geordie 'bloke' at that evening meal, but who else were with you?
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Renegadenemo
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Renegadenemo »

I can recall the Geordie 'bloke' at that evening meal, but who else were with you?
I was with one of the other divers from our crew back then but for the life of me I can't remember which one. We had a good night, though then Dave Tremayne gave us a high speed lift back to our digs in his Sapphire Cosworth.
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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Engine 711
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Engine 711 »

Engine 711 wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:38 am One day later, on 5th January 1967, pictures of the Bluebird jet boat, K7, were all over all the morning newspapers.....
Here are the front pages of the Express and the Mirror, from 5th Jan'67 -
Donald-Campbell-Bluebird-Crash-Daily-Express-Newspaper-Jan copy.jpg
Daily-Mirror-newspaper-5-January-1967-Donald-Campbell copy.jpg
donald-campbell-world-speed-record_360_2d84766a8c2571d87039af0044f765ba copy.jpg
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Richie
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Re: 54 Years Ago - On This Day...

Post by Richie »

A tragic day and the loss of two British Icons in the blink of an eye.


Maybe one day this mess will be resolved and K7 can go on display in the Museum whilst continuing to be the living breathing machine she is.

Donald's legacy needs to continue and be told to future generations along with the engineering prowess that is K7.
"You can screw a man down until he takes to drinking......take me to the fantastic place..."
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