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Donald Campbell’s record-breaking Bluebird will run again on Coniston Water

Donald Campbell’s record-breaking Bluebird will run again on Coniston Water

The record-breaking hydroplane Bluebird K7 will run again on Coniston Water, the Ruskin Museum has announced as the boat was unveiled in its new home.

Donald Campbell was attempting a new water speed record on Coniston Water on January 4 1967 when the vessel flipped into the air and disintegrated, killing him.

The wreckage, along with Campbell’s body with his race suit intact, was recovered in 2001 by engineer Bill Smith.

He restored the hydroplane with a team of volunteers at the Bluebird Project in North Shields.

On Saturday, the boat was collected by Ruskin Museum staff and driven 147 miles to Coniston, which Gina, Campbell’s daughter, described as his “spiritual home”.

On Sunday, David Barzilay, director of communications for the museum, said: “This morning, we are happy to announce that the boat will run again on Coniston at a time to be agreed in the future.”

Vice chairman of the Ruskin Museum Trustees Jeff Carroll said: “K7 only returned home last night, people need to see her in the museum wing that was built for her, and there is lots of work to do, but we have plans to run K7 now that we have her back.”

The Bluebird K7 was unveiled in its new home, the Bluebird wing of the Ruskin Museum, a short distance from where Campbell is buried in Coniston Churchyard.

An engineering team is in place for the next stage of the boat’s journey and the museum said it is in talks with potential partners who wish to help them manage the vessel’s ongoing legacy.

More than 1,000 people welcomed the boat as it arrived in Coniston on Saturday evening. A shire horse and a piper led the truck through the streets, and were joined by Ms Campbell and her partner, Brian Eastham.

Donald Campbell in the cockpit of his jet-powered hydroplane Bluebird in 1958
Donald Campbell in the cockpit of his jet-powered hydroplane Bluebird in 1958 (PA)

Ms Campbell said: “At last, I shall be able to fulfil my promise made to Coniston way back in 2001 that Bluebird would return to the village and people that my father held so dear to him.”

Campbell broke eight world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s.

In his fatal record attempt, the son of Sir Malcolm Campbell who himself held land and water speed records, was trying to reach 300mph on Coniston Water.

In August 2018, the reconstructed craft, fitted with a new jet engine, took to the water again on Loch Fad in Scotland where it hit speeds of around 150mph.