Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7 Restored

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
23,174
Likes
19,887
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
#2
The mainstream retellings of the story of this fabulous project mostly omit that it was inspired by the fantastic Marillion song Out of this World, which was written about Donald Campbell:

Three hundred miles an hour on water
In your purpose-built machine
No one dared to call a boat
Screaming blue
Out of this world
Make history
This is your day
Blue Bird
At such speeds, things fly
What did she say?
I know the pain of too much tenderness
Wondering when or if you'll come back again
Wanting to live for you
And being banned from giving
But only love will turn you around
Only love will turn you around
Only love
Only love will turn you around
So we live you and I
Either side of the edge
And we run and we scream
With the dilated stare
Of obsession and dreaming
What the hell do we want
Is it only to go
Where nobody has gone
A better way than the herd
Sing a different song
Till you're running the ledge
To the gasp from the crowd
Spinning round in your head
Everything that she said.


Stunning song that has transcended its role as a mere tribute. Donald Campbell: British hero of the first rank.
 

Peripart

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
5,436
Likes
2,633
Points
219
#3
Donald Campbell's restored Bluebird K7 completing her First return journey in over 50 years in Loch Fad 08.08.2018

https://www.autoclassics.com/posts/news/donald-campbell-restored-bluebird-scotland

That's fantastic to see after all these years, but I'm puzzled by the word "restored". The boat was so mangled when it was recovered, that I can't imagine how much of the original is left. Isn't this more of a loving replica? Indeed, I'd possibly have preferred a replica, and that whatever was left of the original should be left as a tribute to Donald Campbell.

Maybe I'm nitpicking - this looks awesome either way.
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
23,174
Likes
19,887
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
#4
That's fantastic to see after all these years, but I'm puzzled by the word "restored". The boat was so mangled when it was recovered, that I can't imagine how much of the original is left. Isn't this more of a loving replica? Indeed, I'd possibly have preferred a replica, and that whatever was left of the original should be left as a tribute to Donald Campbell.

Maybe I'm nitpicking - this looks awesome either way.
No, amazingly they've salvaged a huge amount of the original--it's a labour of love that beggars belief. They've shaved down and reshaped the body and used 98% of what was raised. 75% of the final craft is original material, which is an amazing testament to the patience of the team.
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
23,009
Likes
25,261
Points
284
#5
According to a youtube link, there is also a separate replica 'floating' about out there .. I haven't watched that video though.
 

bagins_X

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
162
Likes
41
Points
59
#6
A full scale floating replica was built some years ago for a docudrama (ACROSS THE LAKE (A 1987 BBC TV movie)) it was on display at the Windermere Steamboat Museum (which has since closed)

Wm.
 
Last edited:

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
23,174
Likes
19,887
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
#7
I don't know enough to comment on these internal wrangles, but I would say that the restoration of this craft has been marvelous and the finished product is a thing of beauty:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-46386257

I look at it and it seems like the spitfire's aquatic cousin--the body lines and the iconic colour--it's just plain elegant.
 
Last edited:

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
23,174
Likes
19,887
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
#8
And just for reference, in case anybody has never seen it, here is the footage from the crash:


When it gets up to high speed you can't help but smile, but then...

And here's a discussion of the history of the Bluebird K7:

 
Top