Return Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7 to the Ruskin Museum at Coniston

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Martin Stuart
Martin Stuart signed this petition

Please sign this petition to ensure that the restored Bluebird K7 is returned to her rightful owners, to be conserved and displayed at the Ruskin Museum in her spiritual home of Coniston, UK, alongside the lake where she most famously ran, and where Donald Campbell himself is buried.

Donald Campbell's iconic Bluebird K7 record-breaking jet-engined boat was recovered from Coniston Water in 2001, after laying on the lake bed for 34 years.

The remains of the boat were remarkably intact and were gifted by Donald Campbell's daughter, Gina, to the Ruskin Museum in Coniston - the village irrevocably associated with Campbell and Bluebird in most peoples' minds.

Funds were raised for an extension wing to house Bluebird at the museum, whilst the boat itself was passed to a company called Bluebird Project Ltd. for restoration, whose express purpose was stated as being "to restore, preserve and protect Bluebird K7". Many companies and individuals have donated money, time, equipment and expertise to Bluebird Project Ltd. on the understanding that this was their aim, and that the restored craft would be returned to Coniston for public display.

Despite a formal request from the museum, one of the Bluebird Project's Directors, Bill Smith, is refusing to hand back the craft, on the basis of a contract for operations and maintenance of the boat that BBP unilaterally drafted in 2013 but which was NEVER SIGNED.

Smith has stated publically that unless the Museum complies with his demands, that "...it's correct that we'll dismantle K7 if necessary. If the museum repudiates the 2013 agreement we'll just remove all our parts and give theirs back".

He has previously claimed that 90% of the recovered wreck, which was largely intact from the cockpit backwards, has been re-used in the restoration, so separating the restored and replaced work from original material would irrevocably destroy this important historic artifact.

The only way to preserve Bluebird K7 from this act of wanton. petulant vandalism is to ensure that she is returned to her rightful owners, the Ruskin Museum, without further delay or dispute.

We ask that you sign this petition to make Smith aware that there are those who view Bluebird K7 as an important and valued historic artifact, not his personal toy to be held to ransom against the threat of destruction.