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31 October, 2005

Out Of This World

One for Marillion fans ('Out Of This World' inspired the hunt for and recovery of Bluebird K7):

Gina Campbell, daughter of Donald, who died attempting the world water speed record on Coniston Water in 1967, wants his jet-powered craft, Bluebird K7, to be fully restored to a pristine 'pre-run' state.  However, the Lottery Heritage Fund,  the only credible source of funding, is insisting that it remain in a partially-damaged 'post-run' condition, as the crash is the most important aspect of its history.  It's an interesting difference of opinion; personally, I agree with the funding body.

Tony Jones, of the HLF, said a full rebuild would lose the boat's history. He said: "We don't think people want to see a replica-like Bluebird they want to see the original that Donald Campbell had his triumphs and tragedy in."

I can appreciate Ms Campbell's unique attachment to the vessel in which her father lost his life, but her threatened response to public funding being withheld seems rather petulant:

"I can have her encased in concrete and put it back in the lake, or we put it on eBay and sell it to the highest bidder.

"It will not go on public display as it is, I will not allow it."

"I want her to look shiny, bright, engineering perfect."

I rather hope her bluff is called, and Bluebird is bought by someone who then performs the partial renovation, hopefully with HLF assistance.

Incidentally, some might like to visit the website of the Bluebird Project, which documents ongoing work. The 'Retro Diary' page provides a very... technical account of the recovery of Donald himself.

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