Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Bluebird crashed on Coniston in 1967, killing Donald Campbell.
Construction is due to begin on a permanent home for Donald Campbell's record-breaking Bluebird.
The famous boat, in which Campbell died while trying to break his own speed record on Coniston Water, Cumbria, in 1967, is currently being restored.
More than £500,000 has been raised to extend Consiton's Ruskin Museum, where Bluebird will eventually go on display.
Building work begins next week and will be completed in October, but the boat will not be finished until autumn 2009.
It is hoped that £750,000 will eventually be raised for the purpose-built extension, where a fully-functional Bluebird will become the star exhibit.
The cash will also be spent on other improvements to the Ruskin's facilities and grounds.
Diver Bill Smith, who raised the boat from the lake in 2001, donated it to the museum on the 40th anniversary of Campbell's death.
His team of volunteers is currently restoring Bluebird at his North Tyneside workshop.
Mr Smith said: "We said from the start that we don't want this to be some dead museum piece.
"If we're doing things like putting a speed indicator in and installing a throttle, we might as well connect them up.
"The process is something new because we're using museum processes to build up a working vehicle. It's both engineering and conservation - we call it 'conserveering'."
The Ruskin museum already has a small exhibition dedicated to Donald Campbell, including Bluebird's tail fin and part of its Bristol Orpheus engine.
Once the restoration is completed, the team hopes to drive the boat on Coniston before it becomes a permanent exhibit.




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