Cumbria

Bluebird's proposed 2019 Coniston return called off

Bluebird running on Loch Fad in August 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Onlookers cheered as Bluebird was fired up on Loch Fad

Donald Campbell's record-breaking Bluebird will not be returning to the Lake District this summer, it has been announced.

The craft crashed on Coniston Water in 1967, killing pilot Campbell.

The Bluebird Event Working Group had planned for the rebuilt hydroplane to run on the lake between 19 and 28 July.

However, the group has now said it will not go ahead with the proposed dates "due to unforeseen circumstances". It has declined to comment further.

The separate Bluebird Project Team, set up to restore the craft, said it and the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) had tried to seek clarification from the group but had "met with no response whatsoever".

"Several attempts" had been made to speak to the group but "without result", the project team said.

The working group was required to submit a public event plan to the LDNPA.

But a LDNPA spokeswoman said: "Whilst we have been in ongoing discussions and have continued to offer support, we can confirm that we have not received a complete application."

The authority said it "remained committed to supporting the return of Bluebird at some point in the future".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The craft was raised from Coniston Water by Bill Smith and his team in 2001

Bluebird made its return to water last August on Loch Fad, on Scotland's Isle of Bute, after being pieced back together by a team of volunteers in the North East of England.

Bill Smith, the engineer who has led the rebuild effort as part of the Bluebird Project, said he had been unable to get further detail about why the plan had been dropped.

He added: "I know a lot of people will be disappointed and I'm sorry they're disappointed.

"There have always been a few options for the location [of Bluebird's next run] and we need to finalise something."

A return to Loch Fad is among the possibilities, Mr Smith said.

Bluebird somersaulted on 4 January 1967 during an attempt by Campbell to break his own water speed record.

He was killed when the craft hit the lake.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites