Bluebird K7

Yokel

LE
Just as an aside, Donald Campbell (or was it his father?) had helped develop some sort of beach testing device in wartime that the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties used during beach reece in the run up to the Normandy landings. Something to do with testing the firmness to see if it would support vehicles.
 
My bold.

Facebook FFS.

Who will think of Mr Whoppit?

A few years ago I read a very good book about Bluebird, ISTR Mr Whoppit was recovered from the water after the accident?

It's all a sad story, and not the first time something like this has happened. Shows how important it is to have proper agreements, often overlooked in the initial enthusiasm.
 
My understanding is that most of the restoration work was carried out with donations.

Smith is now saying he will remove all the bits he’s restored and hand the museum what was pulled off the lake bed in 2001. A pretty pointless and vindictive thing to do in my opinion.

If I’d donated to the project I certainly wouldn’t be happy with that outcome.

Indeed, I think if they're already going legal a quick injunction should stop anything like that.
 

Statistics

War Hero
I've been following the saga since the beginning, for sure there is two sides to every tale.....! For me...I thought it was superb seeing her run on Bute, and I'd love to see it run on Coniston. However, I can also see the other side.....surely a compromise can be found, it'd be a shitty trick for Bill to take off all the "new" and send back the "old" !
 

Ex_crab

Old-Salt
However it is a magnificent machine with great historical importance and it is a shame for it to live in a museum permanently. It should be run from time to time and I certainly agree that the more people who see it running, the better. Especially kids. What an inspirational thing for a kid with an interest in science / engineering.

+1.

There is a four wheeled parallel here. In 1927, JG Parry-Thomas crashed Babs, his 27 litre aero engined car on Pendine sands trying to break the land speed record which he had previously held at 171.02 mph. The popular rumour at the time was that the chain taking the drive from the gearbox to the rear axle had broken and in flailing about had decapitated Parry-Thomas causing Babs to roll. Soon after, the car was buried in the dunes at Pendine.

In 1967, having got permission to do so, the car was dug up and restored over a 16 year period. It spends most of it's time in a museum at Pendine but is occasionally taken out for a run including a blat down the beach were it crashed. I have seen it and firing it up is a sight to behold, all sorts of flame, sh1t and corruption coming from the stub exhausts. There are several record breaking machines, land and water, about the place and it's a shame that more of them can't be given a public run sometimes.

As an aside, Babs had previously been a Brooklands race car known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 4. The film makers knicked the name for the film and it wasn't until after the film was released that they found out that the name had come from an old WW1 Royal Flying Corps song, one line of which went "and the cheeks of her arse went chitty chitty bang bang", not very good for a kids film.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Interesting (but very long) thread about the Fairey Barracuda saga and the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

At least the Bluebird Project’s side of the story anyway.

Again, long story short…..

Bluebird Project is tasked with restoring a Fairey Barracuda from parts of various crashed ones (no surviving Barracudas exist).

They successfully restore the tail section to a very high standard before the plug is pulled for weird reasons.

FAA Museum cite contractual / insurance issues but reading between the lines something a bit more sinister is going on.

Everything is returned to the FAA Museum, with both parties no longer on speaking terms.

Some major components that were previously in the Bluebird Project’s custody (a wheel and the elevator) are found to be missing. Various fingers are pointed at both parties.

Interesting stuff.

 
Cannot take this guy Bill's efforts away over 20 years, but for me, when Bluebird arose from the depths there was something about him that put me right off him.
Probably the stupid hat & gormless grin.
1624565532900.png

I thought he showed disrespect to what he was doing, and the Campbell family much then as now.
To say he'd give away bits of it...just sums him up for me tbh.
No better a mindset, in my personal opinion, than a ancient tomb robber.
 
I follow some group on youtube who are restoring a Hawker typhoon . I haven't hot around to watching any yet but they posted something the other day where they are having to defend allegations against them by some other Hawker typhoon group !
It always seems to happen what ever it is.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Cannot take this guy Bill's efforts away over 20 years, but for me, when Bluebird arose from the depths there was something about him that put me right off him.
Probably the stupid hat & gormless grin.
View attachment 584038
I thought he showed disrespect to what he was doing, and the Campbell family much then as now.
To say he'd give away bits of it...just sums him up for me tbh.
No better a mindset, in my personal opinion, than a ancient tomb robber.
Yep, I’ve always found that pic a bit distasteful. Stupid hat and big grin aren’t exactly what I would call dignified when raising a machine that someone had died in. Especially in front of their family.

Fair enough he’s chuffed after months (years?) of work finding and raising the thing, but a little more dignity would’ve been expected.
 
When I watched across the lake
I was 6 again. ( I even remembered it when I briefly owned a powder blue series one and a half E type)
Mr Villa ( never Walter) used to visit my parents pub.

My elder brother had a clockwork steel Bluebird Mr Villa gave him.
 
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`
When I watched across the lake
I was 6 again. ( I even remembered it when I briefly owned a powder blue series one and a half E type)
Mr Villa ( never Walter) used to visit my parents pub.
m
My elder brother had a clockwork steel Bluberd Mr Villa gave him.
Ditto.
As it actually happened, my B-in-L was driving me back up to Glasgow in his 3ltr MGC GT from Shifnal. We were at Shap when it came over the Motorola radio...very crackly as I recall so he went somewhere to get better reception. I do recall we got coffee and Eccles cakes ...and sat for long time ( it seemed) and said nothing at all.
I'd be 15. Boyhood hero to me...perhaps where some of my dislike of this Bill bloke comes from.
 

lert

LE
+1.

There is a four wheeled parallel here. In 1927, JG Parry-Thomas crashed Babs, his 27 litre aero engined car on Pendine sands trying to break the land speed record which he had previously held at 171.02 mph. The popular rumour at the time was that the chain taking the drive from the gearbox to the rear axle had broken and in flailing about had decapitated Parry-Thomas causing Babs to roll. Soon after, the car was buried in the dunes at Pendine.

In 1967, having got permission to do so, the car was dug up and restored over a 16 year period. It spends most of it's time in a museum at Pendine but is occasionally taken out for a run including a blat down the beach were it crashed. I have seen it and firing it up is a sight to behold, all sorts of flame, sh1t and corruption coming from the stub exhausts. There are several record breaking machines, land and water, about the place and it's a shame that more of them can't be given a public run sometimes.

As an aside, Babs had previously been a Brooklands race car known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 4. The film makers knicked the name for the film and it wasn't until after the film was released that they found out that the name had come from an old WW1 Royal Flying Corps song, one line of which went "and the cheeks of her arse went chitty chitty bang bang", not very good for a kids film.
I don't know about the RFC ditty, but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written as a childrens book by Ian Fleming
BAN_S_02-scaled.jpg
 
I follow some group on youtube who are restoring a Hawker typhoon . I haven't hot around to watching any yet but they posted something the other day where they are having to defend allegations against them by some other Hawker typhoon group !
It always seems to happen what ever it is.

It does. I think the steam railway crowd have their fair share of bust-ups.
 
I don't know about the RFC ditty, but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written as a childrens book by Ian FlemingView attachment 584064
Ian Fleming got the inspiration for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from a series of racing cars built by a certain Count Zborowski at Higham Park in Kent. Zborowski was an early Brooklands competitor and also raced in Grand Prix. All had aero engines. The opening scenes to the film of early motor racing reference this.

Zborowski was an early patron of Lionel Martin’s car making business named after the hill climb course at Aston Clinton, Aston Martin. He also drove for the Sunbeam team alongside Sir Henry Seagrave, the first man to win a Grand Prix in a British car. He also drove at Indianapolis and died at 29 in a Mercedes GP car.

The first of Zborowski’s specials had a Zeppelin engine. One story is that it’s slow turning engine made a sound like chitty-chitty-bang-bang. Personally, I think it’s more likely than the RFC song. Fleming references the engine sound idea in book and it features in the film.

The first two Zborowski specials were called Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs. The third was known as The White Mercedes. Babs was based on the fourth of Zborowski’s specials, which was called the Higham Special.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The sad saga continues:


Lots of chatter on social media, but it appears Bluebird K7 is now being broken up. Everything that came off the bed of Lake Coniston will go to the Ruskin Museum and all the newly fabricated parts will remain the property of Bill Smith and the Bluebird Project.

Sad situation all round and not really the ending anyone wants to see.

I’d rather it stayed on the bottom of the lake than become some grim wreck that people can see in a museum.
 
I hope this will come back and bite Bill Smith's head off one day.
Like I said earlier in this thread, there was not a lot I liked about him back then, and even less so now.
I see it as wanton desecration, which is not a word I use lightly.
All over cock waving egocentric man-spreadings.
What a knut.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Videos and pics on the Bluebird Project’s Twitter page of it being dismantled rivet by rivet.

 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Mind you, it takes 2 sides to create intransigent outcomes.
I've not boned up on the legal stuff.
Appears to be both parties behaving like children. But on the face of it Bill Smith seems to be the most at fault and a bit of a nasty piece of work.
 

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