Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

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Bluebird's original Bloctube HP Fuel control box; what to do?

Rebuild
53
93%
Conserve
4
7%
 
Total votes: 57

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sheppane
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by sheppane » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:27 am

Put it back where it belongs in working order to be used again.

DMC was never too sentimental about any of his Boats or Cars... They were a means to an end to be used as he saw fit, for a purpose.
Remember the K4 hull, left at Coniston on the slip for 9+months after the crash, eventually taken away to Coley's and then burnt many years later. Not too much romance there, although I'm sure it hurt to see his fathers boat end up like that.
K7 was continually modified throughout her life, with no thought to preserving her heritage - again, a means to an end. Remember K7 in 66/7 was in many respects a new boat... just as his fathers 35 car was derived from all those that had gone before, right back to 1927... destroying history in the process of each rebuild.

DMC was nothing if not practical. He would see the answer to this question as a practical problem... with a practical solution...

Neil
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/

Terminator
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Terminator » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:01 pm

Hi Bill I have an Email that Paul has asked me to copy and paste on the forum regarding his thoughts on whether to Conserve or rebuild? I will also cast his vote as requested if that is OK with yourself? Although Paul and I have had lengthy debate these past two evenings I take my hat of to him for sticking to his original " Gut Feeling" in the workshop when you first presented the dilemma to us all present.

Posting below posted on behalf of Mr. Paul "Scoop" Hannaford otherwise known as Mr. Red Socks :D

"As I am not on the Forum (shame on me!) I cannot directly add my vote on the
straw poll on whether to conserve or rebuild the Bloctube HPC. Bill asked me
directly the same question on one of my rare forays into the workshop on the 7th
November, so I have asked Novie if he could add my vote and convey my opinion on
the Forum?

Already posted are good and reasoned arguments on both sides but my gut feel
when Bill asked me the question in the workshop was that this particular
component should be conserved in the position that Donald left it in on 4th
January 1967.

Of all the things that happened that morning, this was the one action that he
intended and that we can still measure. All the other material Bill has in his
workshop were in their respective conditions as a result of a series of events
out of The Donald's control. Every twisted piece of metal was not of his doing.
Putting the HP Cock in that position was.

Bill does not have the dashboard, but if he did, all the readings on those dials
would just have been recording the performance of the craft. The only dials that
were recovered were the small dials on the starboard flank at the base of the
engine cover, but again these were just readings of the operation of the craft
and/or levels of compressed air/lubricants etc. They just reflected what Donald
was doing in the cockpit, just as the timekeepers watches were just a means of
measuring the speed he was going. He didn't physically put those dials in that
position.

Bill has the throttle pedal but it is not in the position that Donald left it
and we know the water brake was in the down position, but we don't know if that
was put there by Donald or whether it got there as a result of the impact. All
the pumps can be made to work again, the fuel system rebuilt, the steering
linkages straightened and made operational again. The HPC is the one remaining
piece of what made the boat move that has direct evidence of his actions and
decision making on 4th January. Donald put the HPC in that position that morning
and I think that leaving it as it is would be a powerful and poignant reminder
of one of the great man's final actions.

Whilst I fully and wholeheartedly support the full rebuild of the craft to
working order and incorporating every possible reusable component into the
rebuilt craft, I feel that a concession should be made in this instance of the
one tangible component that can be directly attributed to the final actions of
Donald Malcolm Campbell CBE, on 4th January 1967.

Therefore, I would like to add my vote to conserve the Bloctube HPC.

Regards to all

Paul Hannaford
The Bluebird Project"

Posted by Novie on Paul's behalf.

"I'll Be Back"
"Never ride faster than your Angel can fly"

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bluebirdsback
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by bluebirdsback » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am

Got to agree with you Mike, Although i can see the point of the sentimentalists in all this, we did set out to get every original part back to the way before the boat set out in 67.not after the set off. After deciding not to resign the floors to the loof bin and succesfuly restoring them we are now looking at other panels to save which is not now beyond our remit. We have proved the H.L.F wrong beyond belief on the loss of original fabric so it would be wrong not to use original parts we know fine well will work with a couple of hours fettling. We could even replicate the exact bloctube lever in its position to put alongside the photographic evidence of where Donald pushed it that day. Put the original back on the boat and a fabricated copy in the glass case. After all most museums are stuffed with mock ups anyway.
The moment you make something idiot proof a new breed of idiots will come along and prove you wrong

Terminator
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Terminator » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:30 am

Thanks for the previous posting Paul I value your opinion old boy :) . However my own personal Opinion on the matter is to Rebuild the original and make it fully operational as it once was on the morning of the 4th January 1967. This is a rare occasion indeed that Paul and I have been split over the decision to move the lever in question. Why rebuild and not conserve it? The aims of the project have always been to rebuild K7 using as much original fabric as possible. If we do not use the original H.P.C we go against the ethics we have adopted from day one! "Reality Dictates" that the H.P.C is a fully serviceable component and can operate once again as it was intend. To go against these ethics are we not all be it to a small degree giving ground's to the H.L.F by losing a very important serviceable part of K7's original fabric? And for what? to display it in some dusty cabinet! I have to agree most strongly with Neils, Malcolm 's,Mike ,and Robs observations in their relative postings. This is not intended to discount anybody else s thoughts its just I've known and respected these people for years.We almost have a "complete original system" as Mike stated so why spend loads of time making a totally new none original H.P.C? Donald was certainly practical as Neil also states. Can we be 100% sure without question that the Lever was still in the position Donald Malcolm Campbell C.B.E had placed it in? And could it not have been as a direct result of the crash and the G's pulled? Not to mention the impact of hitting the water very hard indeed could it have been this that placed the lever in it's final position?? Most Certainly Gina's thoughts on the matter should also be known Bill I think personally speaking. The lever should once again be doing the job for which it was intended and will once again every now and then return to the position Donald allegedly placed it?

So rebuild it is my decision.

Come on Sally no sitting on the fence allowed go cast your vote Girl. :D
"Never ride faster than your Angel can fly"

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Renegadenemo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:02 am

Fascinating stuff, I feel it's important to point out that this is not about proving the HLF wrong - they did that to themselves many years ago. This is our project - and by that I mean everyone who ever takes an interest - not theirs. They can go perform rude acts on a rolling pastry these days, so far as I'm concerned. Keep the feedback coming, the more we have the better equipped we'll be to make the final call.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

lsrdatabase

Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by lsrdatabase » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:06 am

I feel that a concession should be made in this instance of the
one tangible component that can be directly attributed to the final actions of
Donald Malcolm Campbell CBE, on 4th January 1967.

Therefore, I would like to add my vote to conserve the Bloctube HPC.

Paul Hannaford
Hi All,
I thought for a moment that Novie was posting on behalf of the CORP, but having realised my mistake, may I pass on the CORPS vote. I spoke to him yesterday and he was most insistant that he wished the lever to be left as is, and a new one made.

Regards to all, Fred


"I'm just the pest, that won't go away!"

alslad
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by alslad » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:09 am

I still firmly believe it should go back on the boat as part of a living 'exhibit' (if that's the right word to use) paying a lasting tribute to Donald's work and his life.

Obviously, this is a significant item, but what is wrong with creating a display surrounding the renovation - surely Ruskin can put a photographic or interactive display up about it (hell, why not even take some holgraphic images of it pre-restoration and have one of those 3D 360 degree holgraph things in the glass case?).

Like Bill, I wasn't around in January '67, and this could make me less emotionally responsive to the significance of leaving it where the Donald put it, but this 40 something man is feeling as giddy as a schoolboy to see as much of the original icon of my childhood back in working order as near to 100% original as she could be.

Darren
Treat life's problems like your dog would... if you can't eat it or sh*g it, just pee on it and walk away

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Renegadenemo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:14 am

That would bug the life out of me... a ragged, old piece of scrap in an otherwise beautiful and fully functional machine. Mind you, that's purely a personal thing and I'd get over it, but no one would be able to see it anyway down there in the cockpit.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

Davidss
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Davidss » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:09 pm

A lot of contributions in a short time indicates the strength of feeling.
Even so, Bill is canvassing for more opinions. Here is mine, as an outsider.

To me, the contributions polarise into two groups. The existence of these two viewpoints were brought home to me in another thread, I think it is 'Other Speed Record Breakers are available', or similar.
In no order of priority, one camp has the strongest interest in Donald Campbell, and by association, the vehicles he used.
Another camp has the strongest interest in Record Breaking itself - mans endeavor to go even faster - and by association the vehicles used and the people who drove them or caused their creation.
Another camp has the strongest interest in the vehicle, and by association, the people who drove them or caused their creation.
In the context of this thread, camp one goes for preserving the control 'as last set by Donald Campbell'.
Camps two and three are less wedded to that idea, and are more likely to go for 'restore it into working order, and re-use it'.

I can say I don't fit comfortably in any of those groups.
Over the years I've realised that I'm not 'that' interested in Record Breaking itself.
I'm more interested in the vehicles, although this is tempered by the fact I'm never going to be personally involved.
I also recall being humbled by reading an article highlighting the amount and speed of the data that Andy Green had to take on board, analyse, and make the correct response to. Training and experience, both of which I lack, play their part in a successful outcome, but even so it's a high level of human achievement, and worthy of respect (but not adoration).

With Respect To K7, it's 'The Bluebird Project' that has gathered my respect.
Let me make that point clear, it may be a fine distinction to some, but I separate K7, Donald Campbell, and The Bluebird Project, into three separate items, of which it's the Project I have most interest in.

I haven't always been an enthusiast. I recall seeing news item about the accident, and vaguely recall seeing news items about the recovery of K7 from the Lake, but it was only of passing interest. I'm not sure why, a few months ago, I followed a link to the site. I did then sit down and read the Archive then the Diary. I've since supported the Project slightly, by buying items I needed anyway, but paying that little extra by buying them from the shop.
Perhaps my priority is set because I can relate, ever so slightly, to the work being done. I have even adopted some of the techniques into my own work. I continue to read the Forum, and this has served to emphasise my separate viewpoint, compared to a lot of contributors.
Will I be at Coniston for the re-launch? Possibly not, I'll leave the day to those who have been involved over the years, they have earned it.

Given my 'practical' approach I tend towards reusing the control valve, but it's a 55/45 decision.
I could accept a result swinging to 'preserve and display as it is', if, and it's a big IF, the preserved and displayed valve was given an appropriate caption.
Wrong would be
'This is the Control Valve removed from K7 during the restoration. Although capable of being refurbished and re-used it has been saved as it was in respect of Donald Campbell, who put it fully on as he set off for his last trip'.
This is wrong because it leaves the reason for the display until last - the priority is wrong.

Correct would be something like
'This control is set to full on because Donald Campbell set it there. This is how it was removed from K7 when it was recovered from the Lake. It has been saved and displayed in the 'as found' condition out of respect to Donald Campbell.
The operational valve in K7 is a replica, you will note it's green colouring to show it's not original'.

Regards to all showing the daily commitment, and doing the hard work.

David.

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bluebirdsback
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by bluebirdsback » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:06 am

Another way to look at it is in years to come when we are all on the wrong side off the grass, kicking up the daisies the big blue boat will be languishing in the museum possibly with the original lever in a glass box collecting dust. We are not doing this rebuild just for us but also for generations to come. I can imagine people in the year 2070 looking at our boat then looking at the H.P.C in its glass case, saying if this was an attempt to make the Bluebird as original as possible why didnt they use that bit. I am sure they would be more impressed if they saw a copy in the case and the original restored to full working order on the boat doing the job it was meant for. And after all the position of the lever now is highly unlikely to be where it was placed by Donald before impact.
The moment you make something idiot proof a new breed of idiots will come along and prove you wrong

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