Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Ernie Lazenby

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

Post by Ernie Lazenby »

Until the last few days I have not asked anything related to this thread or anything like it. Nor any comments on face book or twitter, ever. If that makes me a keyboard warrior thank you I accept the sword.
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by geoffmarsh »

On this subject I'm confident Bill will do whatever he thinks is right with respect to all relevent parties and the machine. Having been at Bute my view is keep it at the Ruskin, tour it and run it whenever possible because it's so inspiring. Just my opinion for what it's worth but I'll continue to make contributions to such a great cause.
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by ButeBird »

I've been involved to a small degree with the rebuilding & maintenance of several historic vessels & I have to say it has proved exceptionally difficult to find backers who understand the sadness of the static display.

Boats, planes & Bluebird alike, all come 'alive' when doing what they were built to do. You can get no concept of their sheer beauty & capriciousness nor can you appreciate the elegance of design refinements when their very essence has been muted. On static display, people will spend a few minutes gazing before wandering off. Here on Bute, we were privileged to witness her in all her glory - for several hours! We joyfully breathed in the heady mix of Avgas & cheered loudly as she made each run. I swear I saw a few damp eyes as well - & not just from the fumes!

I think it's vital to get her out & about as much as is feasible.
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by cumbria1 »

First of all congratulations to Bill and all the team for the magnificent achievements over the 17 years. I last saw Bluebird run on 27th December 1966 and although I could not make it to Bute, to see what occurred via the great running commentary and images by team was absolutely fantastic.

I for one would not have visited any museum, exhibition etc. to view the 'old girl' in the condition she was in when recovered.

Gina was probably right when she said 'no one else could have pulled it off'.

In my opinion if the tests on Bute and the unparalleled welcome, enthusiasm and help provided by the authorities, businesses and the general public there had not been so successful and a first class public relations success for both the team and The Isle of Bute, then I think a lot of the bad feeling that appears to be surfacing now from different directions would not be happening.

I would love to see Bluebird run on Coniston again even if it is only to complete the journey home. However I am beginning to have doubts in my mind as to the possibility of this ever happening.

It is beginning to be reminiscent of another legal argy bargy involving Bluebird although not directly. Remember the BBC film 'Across the Lake' a brilliant film starring Anthony Hopkins and many others covering the last days of the final attempt.

This film was shown once and then because of legal arguments etc. over who owned the rights the film sank into the mists of time never to be seen again! (apart from pirate copies)

No one surely wants the same fate to befall Bluebird if no agreement can be reached.

She’s been away for 51 years that’s long enough. Let’s show the young un’s what we were capable of way back then. There’s not much left to show now with most technology from that period grounded or scrapped.

I feel we should be celebrating this achievement not arguing over it.

I believe as Bill and the team have said that Bluebird now requires a complete strip down and rebuild to complete the job. This takes money and one problem is that if legal arguments start the businesses that sponsor a lot of the work will probably run a mile.

For the sake of Bluebird and I hope 'Donald' let her progress with style and dignity, not fall into the dim and distant past again!
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Renegadenemo »

Good to hear from you, Ernie, because I know you have your quiet spells so keep the old grey matter ticking over, eh.

Fair questions but so many times we've attempted to answer things while the situation is changing rapidly leaving rumours and conjecture that just won't go away. Suffice to say, the job is in hand and it will all come out in the wash but for the moment, Bluebird will be rebuilt and prepped for another outing next year so we can train the crew to operate on a full-length course. 150mph seems to be her happy speed for demo purposes so all we need is more water, more personnel and more training.
Who knows - the LDNPA might start using the A in their title (assuming they actually have any) to cut away the red tape and Coniston might order up a dozen portaloos and shut some roads. We'll see. But if not - anyone fancy Loch Eck or loch Awe? After that we'll be ready for Dumbelyung...
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

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

'It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.' W.C. Fields.
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Black Knight »

After seeing her in the flesh at Bute & seeing & hearing her, there is no way she should stop. Better than any Spitfire in the sky.

Keep her alive Bill & your team. Stirling work!!!!!
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Engine 711 »

Well said, @cumbria1.

In many things, it can help to define before doing something, what Success looks like. I would say that K7 working first time and getting straight up on her points, was certainly success - perhaps beyond the BBP teams wildest dreams...? The 66/67 experience did not suggest that - more likely was a rather sulky boat, which refused to plane, flamed out regularly and was generally a right pig - until late December. So, given what K7 did on Loch Fad, I can only consider it a success beyond expectations. Well done - again - to all.

Npow, as is sadly so often the case, the naysayers are out. Lots of parallels here - opinions diverging widely, lack of clarity - no agreement on anything it seems. Which is such a shame. But is often the case, when people are so driven or emotionally involved with something. Like Bill Shankly said, I believe - 'Football isn't a matter of life or death. It's more important than that....' Sometimes perhaps K7 is like that. It's simply too important, to some.

Personally, I'd love to see K7 run, regularly - and ideally on Coniston. K7 & Coniston need each other, surely (IMHO). The Ruskin have a K7 'Garage', built ready - but perhaps this doesn't now meet the perceived needs of the BBP.....? Perhaps the agreements with or bylaws at Coniston, do not now meet the new needs either.....?

As just an observer, its (still) not clear to me, what the true situation is, between the BBP and Coniston and/or the LDNPA. I do understand that the BBP need to keep their powder dry, for discussions with Coniston & the LDNPA - and saying too much on this forum (I must assumed that there are Coniston and LDNPA people on here, somewhere) could jeopardize these discussions.

So, I think we need to toast the undoubted success on Bute - and wait for the dust to settle (or the Loch Fad water to evaporate...), before drawing any conclusions - or demanding too much from a tired, but triumphant BBP team.

My fingers are crossed that a deal can eventually be made with Coniston & the LDNPA - and K7 will once again skim over Coniston Water.

(Since starting to write this , I note that Bill @renegadenemo has responded.... :D )
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Stevej »

To see bluebird rebuilt and back on the water was fantastic to watch, I couldn't make it up to the isle of bute to see it in person but signed up to Twitter ( something I never thought I'd do) just to see how it was going, As good as it would be to see it on display in the museum I think being able to watch and hear it on water in the future would be amazing, congratulations to everyone involved in the project for what you have achieved, I have only just signed up to the forum so look forward to future progress
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by Scots Pine »

Hi folks

1st post here so please be gentle😀

Managed to get over to Bute for the first Mon & Wed. So emotional. Had a lovely chat with Gina for about 20 mins on Monday afternoon.

My ears pricked up at the mention of Loch - Eck. Spent the first 20 years of my life there & know it like the back of my hand. My folks still live on the shores there after 50 years. I thought at the time it would be a perfect 'next step'. Good infrastructure, two or three suitable launch points & a relatively straight, narrow, sheltered 7 mile loch.

You might have done some preliminary research, but it is in the Loch Lomond National Park...
There is a SSSI that covers at least the northern shores.
It was (perhaps still is) the water supply for Dunoon and local area.
The midges are a total bastard in June / July / Aug.

All of these points are eminently overcomable...maybe apart from the midges 😋
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Re: Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird in museum home row

Post by rich1608 »

Scots Pine wrote: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:58 pm
The midges are a total bastard in June / July / Aug.

All of these points are eminently overcomable...maybe apart from the midges 😋
A splash of citronella oil in K7's tank will soon take care of that! :lol:

Did the boat make her famous 'comet's tail' pulsating spray on Loch Fad or didn't she go fast enough for that?