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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Donald Campbell and Blue Bird!

The Steam Gondola on Coniston Lake


The lovely new Bluebird cafe at Coniston 

Me with a memorial to Donald

Bronze statue of Donald at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston

The boat that Donald hoped to develop but died before he could do so

A small part of the damaged Bluebird that was recovered from Lake Coniston

They hope to one day display the rebuilt Bluebird here

By the river in Coniston


Me at the Memorial to Donald and the Bluebird Team
After reading Tonia Bern Campbell's  book about the fascinating but turbulent marriage she had to Donald Campbell ,the  Speed King of the 50s and 60s I became very keen to find out more and so dragged Peter off to Coniston .
This of Course is where he died in an attempt to take the water speed record to over the magic 300mph back in 1967 with terrible consequences.The famous Bluebird took off and flipped up and over and sank to the bottom of Coniston.
No Trace was found of Donald and he lay on the bottom of the lake until, finally, he and the remains of the boat were lifted from the deep and murky waters in 2001.
 He is buried in Coniston cemetery.
But it was the story behind the man that really fascinated me and I can only say he was one of lifes risk taking adventurers and I am sure a man who was always looking for that elusive something!
In the 1960s anything to do with Donald made headlines, he was a big star of the day but just like the press do with Richard Branson today they were quick to criticise and mock his attempts. However like his famous father Sir Malcolm Campbell  before ,him he tried to give Great Britain something to be proud off.
It makes for a great , if not poignant, day out as there are many places to visit associated with the Bluebird and you can always end up in the Sun Hotel or the Black Bull pub to warm up, both places were where Donald and the team spent many hours in!

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