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Bluebird broken up

But this is not the end of the road.

By Megan
Bluebird broken up

Many on Bute and indeed around Cowal will be sad to hear that work to break up the restored Bluebird, which graced Loch Fad with her presence in 2018 reaching speeds of up to 150mph, has started.

But this is not the end of the road.

The news comes after restorer Bill Smith of the Bluebird Project and the Ruskin Museum, which was gifted the wreckage by Donald Campbell’s daughter, failed to reach an agreement about her future.

Mr Smith recovered the wreckage of the craft in 2001. Donald Campbell lost his life while attempting to break the water speed record in 1967 on Coniston Water.

Mr Smith told this paper on Tuesday: “We have been trying to get the trustees around the table for months to get an agreement in place but they have flatly refused.

“We started work to dismantle Bluebird at the weekend – and it’s been a very positive experience. It’s felt quite healthy to be using tools again and doing something which will have a positive outcome.

“We had an incredible experience on Bute and that’s all we want to do again, so we’ll give back the wreckage that I recovered to the museum and rebuild that part in our workshops. We built the front part, which was the hardest, so we can build the back part.

“The online community lapped up the build so this is another opportunity to do a boat build online. We have some new volunteers and they are mad keen to get going.

“Our point of view is that this is a new opportunity in many ways, it will be our boat completely and we can get it out on the water where it should be.”

He commented that many of the Trustees of the museum had ‘never set eyes on’ Bluebird and that demanding the restored boat back with no agreement in place showed ‘a lack of respect for our stakeholders, who have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in the project’.

“The museum’s attitude is for us to give them the boat for nothing.

“We were happy to compromise but one of our main aims was to bring it back to Bute and run it – and that’s what we’ll do.”

A new chapter starts.

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