Plan to take Bluebird to Coniston abandoned.
Byline: JACK ELSOM Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
The restored Bluebird K7, which crashed killing Donald Campbell, inset THE Bluebird K7 hydroplane will stay on Tyneside after plans to return it to the site of its world record-breaking speed run collapsed.
Although the craft 'retired' in 1967 following the death of pilot Donald Campbell, there were hopes it would float once again in its hometown of Coniston in the Lake District.
Restoration works to the Bluebird in North Shields have been ongoing since 2008 with the goal of a homecoming event in Cumbria this summer. But dreams have been shattered after organisers announced that the event would not be happening, blaming "unforeseen circumstances". The Bluebird Project, which is refurbishing the vessel on the Tyne, released a statement it had been sent by the Bluebird Event Working Group.
It said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances we will not be going ahead with the proposed dates for running Bluebird on Coniston Water in July 2019. However, we remain committed to celebrating Bluebird's return to Coniston."
Steve Tatlock, park management team leader at the Lake District National Park, said: "We are disappointed to hear the Bluebird Event Group will not be bringing Bluebird K7 back to Coniston Water this summer, however we remain committed to supporting the return of Bluebird at some point in the future.
"We will continue to work in partnership with Coniston Parish Council and the Bluebird K7 project team, offering advice and guidance, towards realising this ambition."
The Lake District National Park had recently been trying to get a permit for the event to allow Bluebird to break the 10mph speed restrictions on the water.
On hearing the news, many Coniston residents expressed their disappointment that the iconic hydroplane would not be returning to the village.
Judy Leese wrote on Facebook: "So disappointing - both for myself and for Coniston Sailing Club. Having been there when both the boat and Donald Campbell were found and taken ashore we were so excited to be part of this iconic celebration."
Ray Banks added: "I booked a week in Coniston on the strength of seeing Bluebird run again.
"My granddaughter was looking forward to seeing Bluebird in real life after hearing all the stories and seeing all the memorabilia in Coniston. I now feel somewhat disappointed."
Between 1955 and 1967, Bluebird broke seven world-records reaching speeds of 276mph.
However, the attempt for an eighth record ended in disaster when the longtime pilot Donald Campbell died after the plane hydroplane flipped over and smashed back down into the water.
But after more than 50 years on land, a restored Bluebird took to the water once again off the Scottish Isle of Bute last year.