Bluebird Rebuilt


(Bill Morgan) #1

Ready for relaunch.
Saw her on Coniston Water when I was a kid.
Great renovation/rebuild effort, seems like only last month She took a ‘dive’, 51yrs since the tradgedy!


(Chris Kite) #2

(Bill Morgan) #3

Poignant Chris :thinking:


(Chris Kite) #4

High fatality rate for those prepared to try and break that record. Last time it was broken was 40 years ago.


(Bill Morgan) #5

Pretty unforgiving stuff Chris, water, at those speeds, as I’ve learned in a less dramatic way, water skiing, can be like hitting concrete.
Never mind travelling at over 300mph!


(Chris Kite) #6

I’ll cancel the water skiing lessons then😉


(Bill Morgan) #7

Oh no Chris, it’s great fun, but, be careful to fall backwards though, you will soon learn not to fall forwards, flat on your face, ouch! :expressionless:


(Peter Goble) #8

Gives me Willies, Bill, ‘tho that may not be the best way of putting it. I remember seeing that vessel and Campbell coming to grief (not live, but on the news) and it was horrifying then. Incidents like that, seen on TV, were something of a’ novelty’ in those days. Now they’re commonplace and here-today-gone-tomorrow, we’ve become almost desensitised to them, I reckon. :cry:


(Peter Goble) #9

“She took a dive…”

I always thought it looked more like she went nose-up, flipped and pancaked. Ghastly! :scream:

Not that I know b*gger-all about such crafts, but surely a design fault, and surely they aren’t going to risk a re-run?


(Bill Morgan) #10

She took a dive after she flipped Peter, don’t know if it was confirmed, whether she became airborne, ‘design fault’, or hit a log, ‘accident’.
They are expecting to run ‘Bluebird’, “at speed”, on Coniston Water.


(stella wood) #11

Our family was glued to the set…as I recall… the end came as a ghastly shock… I always thought it “took off” and that was the reason he crashed/died. I’ve not seen any filming since then… until today… and it does look as if the boat goes up into the air… whether it truly “took off”… mmm… not for me to say… RIP


(Bill Morgan) #12

The lake was quite ‘choppy’ on the day and there is a lot of driftwood on the lakes either of which could cause the boat to adopt a dangerous ‘nose up’ attitude, it was a sad end for a boyhood hero of mine, both him and His Dad, Malcom!


(Bill Morgan) #13

Rebuilt Bluebird tops 150mph, Quite amazing !
But no record attempts forecast.


(David Martin) #14

It’s not only fast boats.


(Bill Morgan) #15

Definitely came ‘unglued’ there :open_mouth:


(Peter Goble) #16

Saw a brief close-up of the bulk-head between ‘engine’.and cockpit, Bill, the flange reminded me of the sheet-steel pressings on my 1970s Land-Rover, only not so robust, thinner guage. Meccano-like, even. Not surprised it flew apart, really. But a daring enterprise in its time. Perhaps best not to test the rebuild and its pilot to destruction, eh?


(Mark Haywood) #17

My understanding is that Campbell had been waiting for days for a brief break in the January weather and that having made a record breaking first run, impatiently began his return run before the first run’s wash had completely subsided. He hit his own wash on the return journey which caused Bluebird to become airborne for several hundred metres.

The tragedy occurred not far from Ruskin’s jetty and it’s a striking coincidence that Ruskin, who bought Brantwood shortly after his first bout of madness, had jjust had his mother buried in a sky blue coffin. Upon moving to Brantwood and returning to sanity, he built a rowing boat called Jumping Jenny (still there); it too was painted pale blue and apparently he would row out into the middle of the lake and then lie down in the boat like his mother in her coffin.

Twenty years ago when I began researching the many co-incidental, but interesting parellels between Donald Campbell, John Ruskin and their shared love of the colour blue, I imagined Campbell interrred in Bluebird, but of course we subsequently learned the force of the collision had actually snapped his safety harness and his remains were discovered some 150, from the wreck.

Lastly, there was the debate as to which version of Bluebird the wreck should be restored too (the several versions differ considerably). Normally in restoration debates, the original is considered the most appropriate, but in this instance the restoration has been the most iconic or famous, even though it ended in disaster.