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Bluebird Engine Started for the First Time Since 1967

29th January 2023

The North Shields Bluebird Project fired the engine of the feted and ill-fated hydroplane Bluebird K7 that set seven water speed records in the 1950s & 60s before it broke up on Coniston Water, killing its legendary pilot, Donald Campbell.  

The boat’s mangled and rusted hull was recovered from the bed of the lake by Bill Smith in 2001, and a dedicated North Shields-based team led by Smith have been restoring her ever since.

Despite a bitter quarrel between the project and the Ruskin Museum, who claim ownership of Bluebird, no such claim has been proven and no legal case has been initiated, as it appears ownership rights lapsed after Lloyd’s insurers paid out in the aftermath of the tragedy.

This means Bluebird should be staying in capable hands for the foreseeable future. What an achievement it will be to see her fully working and travelling at speed on the water once again!

More info here:


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