Donald Campbell’s rebuilt Bluebird K7 water speed record boat could be broken up once more if an ownership dispute cannot be settled. Coniston’s Ruskin Museum has formally requested the team which restored the wreck to return it, citing possible legal action that could result in the reconstructed machine being dismantled.
Some 34 years after Campbell’s fatal 1967 crash, the jet boat’s partial remains were lifted from the bed of Coniston Water by engineer Bill Smith, and were then given to the museum by a family trust led by the record breaker’s daughter Gina Campbell. In 2006 a volunteer team headed by Smith agreed with the museum and the family trust to restore the craft to operable condition at no cost to the museum and to return it for display. Meanwhile the museum raised over £750,000 to build a new wing for it. Opened in 2010, it has been awaiting its centrepiece ever since.
“If we have to dismantle it, we will remove our bits and give theirs back”