Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

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

Total votes: 57


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!"

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Mike Bull
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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Mike Bull » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:52 am

This has turned into an utterly fascinating thread, and a superb piece of reasoned debate from all viewpoints- this is what forums are all about! Plus it's surprised me too- I'd have bet the left nut of every lad on the team that Novie would have been pro-conservation, so that's me proved wrong and all the lads limping then! :lol:

We're pretty much all casting a definitive vote here on one side or the other and I do retain my own firm view on the matter, but, I guess one compromise idea could be to have a new control box in the boat for when she's out doing her thing, and the original, still set to 'Donald ON', in it's rightful place in the cockpit when she's sat in the museum. An immaculate cockpit, but with one poignant reminder in there. Just a thought?

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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.

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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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...

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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Mike Bull » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:29 am

Oh indeed Bill; you of all people know what I'm like for things like that bugging me, but I was just bringing a compromise idea to the table. I don't really mean it! :lol:

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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.


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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Mike Bull » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:43 pm

A fascinating post there David, thank you. It brings to mind something that I often feel myself- that there are very distinct camps when it comes to all things Campbell/K7/etc etc.

Personally, my main interest is in the machine itself. I totally respect Donald Campbell, and enjoy reading his story- the boat far more so than the car- but I don't outright worship the man the way some enthusiasts do. I certainly don't walk around referring to him as 'Donald', which personally I find cringe-worthy; he was Donald to his own crews, not any of us. And as I'm forever jokingly telling our dear Novie, 'Donald hated green- you don't have to!'. But again, I totally respect the man and his achievements nonetheless, (Donald that is, not Novie! :lol: ) and I DO factor Donald himself into the equation when I consider the control box.

One point not yet made is that the lever in question is missing it's knob- so the bit Donald actually touched has gone. And as others have touched on, I doubt very much whether the lever is EXACTLY where Donald left it, either. In fact, given how the box is currently skewed, it can't be. To me, that makes this whole debate moot anyway!

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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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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by sal the diver » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:38 am

Come on Sally no sitting on the fence allowed go cast your vote Girl. :D

ok you win, the fence cant hold me up any longer!

ps. go and see if you can start your fire engine! lol
who me???

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Re: Opinion Poll- Rebuild or Conserve?

Post by Terminator » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:18 am

Hi Mike
I'm not quite sure what goes on with the old clap omitter above registering the votes? As stated I placed Paul's vote and submitted his thoughts so where has his vote gone? Could it be you are not counting their votes as they are not members of this forum? Bill did ask for as many people opinions on this matter including ask your Granny but personally mine has long since expired in some far away country and very unlikely to give an opinion or be and active member of the project as Paul is although not an active member of the Forum !!! Why therefore is there still only one vote to conserve to date?? And I see the Corps opinion was obtained and although placed does not seem to have altered the single vote placed by Fred?

Plus I will attempt to try an explain my decision to rebuild and re use which seems to have greatly surprised you. I feel the reason that Paul and I are in different camps over this is because ( and this is by no means disrespectful to Paul or Stuarts attendances in the North east ) I frequently come up and work on the boat as often as funds and time allows. Its only 120 Miles each way but a hell of a lot further from Taunton!!! I have come to terms with Bills I'm not going to be solemn, sad or miserable or whatever over this. And I felt as did many at the time the boat should have been left but reality dictated that it was time with the advancement of Diving technologies to raise the craft and no better an honourable man exists to get the job done than the loud mouthed Geordie Boy from the North East :)
Enough on that old chestnut ( that's the raising not Bill by the way ). It's History now.

Anyway working on K7 and seeing many components brought back to life after sitting on the lake bed for 34yrs Plus another 4/5yrs or so awaiting support that never came!! This hands on over many weekends I feel this to be the difference between mine and Paul's decisions at this point in time. Stuart was also for conserving the lever when Bill asked the question in the workshop if i recall correctly? I feel it is for this reason that Paul,Stuart hold a different opinion. This does not mean that I have lost any of my respect for the Donald and his craft. Oh an whilst we are on the subject of the Donald etc! The "sentimentalists" among us have a passion and respect all be it slightly more light hearted theses days as Bill has rubbed off on us both to some degree. You can have your little teasing s etc in the workshop with the Green thing etc but as for "Cringe-worthy" when we use the term "Donald" some of us have been around for a long time Mike following this subject matter and paying our respects each year. I have worked my ass off over many years on many fronts keeping the man and his achievements alive at my own time and expense and never profited or sought personal recognition for doing so' a longtime before this project even started and will be doing so long after it has come to its successful conclusion! Sorry Mike but there comes a time when little quips start to wear thin mate on a subject that means so much to both Paul and myself personally ! I know we all have a joke in the workshop to keep us all going mate but lets not go overboard old chap. An ever so slightly offended Novie. See you soon, I Promise not the face :lol:

No need to worry a personal joke between me and Mike folk's.

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

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