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Re: Quicksilver

Post by sutol » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:49 am

I do apologise if it is felt that I have not read the previous posts and or to be seen rubbishing anyone. I posted because I felt that comments made about Ken Norris were unwarranted and not needed for Nigel to defend the length his project has taken to come to fruition.

I stand by my comments. If I am to be moderated so be it.

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:46 pm

It is a great pity that Mike has had to come in to moderate. We should be moderating ourselves on a civilised website such as this. Hysterical criticism does nothing to clarify the facts of the matter.

What happens, when someone attacks in the way that "sutol" has attacked me, is that the other people who are reading this thread are denied the opportunity to learn anything new and reassess their ideas.

"Sutol" quotes John Ackroyd off-pat - failing to remember that the only reason we are debating this sorry matter in the first place is that John Ackroyd chose to go into the public domain with nasty and inaccurate comments about my relationship with Ken Norris in his book, Jet Blast.

It seems that it is fair game for people to have a go at me in public - and even in book form - as long as I keep my trap shut and meekly accept it.

I said nothing about all this business for years. I kept my own counsel. I was discrete and fair and diplomatic. But someone else chose to make this matter public property, and then others have pounced on what was said and accepted it as fact and transmitted it far and wide.

That was not me.

I should be given some credit for that - not pilloried.

Let put the record straight on one thing, if we do nothing else ...

Contrary to what "sutol" says, Ken Norris did not put any money into what he and I were doing together with Quicksilver. So any idea that I stayed with Ken for Ken's financial input is just plain inaccurate.

Ken and I were 50-50 joint shareholders in the company we formed - Quicksilver (WSR) Ltd. - to manage certain aspects of the project, but it was never part of the deal that Ken had to input any funding. It was enough for me that Ken contribute his expertise. It was me who provided the funding, and members of my family, and then latterly some private investors and sponsors and members of our supporters' club. And we were letting those people down by not delivering a design concept.

I will restate the fact: Ken Norris was not a financial backer in any of the dealings we had together.

What Ken did do is pay John Ackroyd out of his own pocket to work directly with him on the boat design at a stage in the project when it was already too late (early 2001). I had no knowledge of this at the time it was going on. It only went on for a few weeks, and as soon as I got wind of it, I immediately rang Ken and went down to Bournemouth to see him to tell him not to waste any of his own money.

"Sutol" is so fixated with the idea that I am out to damage Ken's reputation that it has not occurred to him that the main reason I stayed with Ken Norris for 12 years was out of loyalty to Ken. The Quicksilver project meant a huge amount to Ken and he was devoting thousands of hours of effort to it. It was important to him after what happened to Donald. We didn't want to cut him off from that. It meant a huge amount to me, too. I had invested everything I had in it, both financially and emotionally.

But, in the end, it became clear that there wasn't going to be a Quicksilver project for very much longer unless I made the break.

Contrary to what "sutol" says, the "kudos" of the Norris name at that point was non-existent. I saw sponsors one after the other become disillusioned and frustrated by Ken's indecision, and it pained me very much - and others around who cared about Ken - to see him effectively destroying his own reputation before our very eyes with people who had thought they were dealing with a god.

There were some excruciating moments.

We - those of us who saw it - wanted to keep all this to ourselves, but certain people did not let us, and only by their goading of me over many years was the point reached where I had no option but to finally speak out as I have done - not only in my defence, but in the defence of all the people who supported me in my decision to leave Ken at the time, some of whom were very close to Ken indeed.

No-one, as far as I am aware, is out to destroy Ken's reputation. We all hold him in a place of special esteem. He was an amazing person, and I carry the good things I learned from him with me every day. Many of the design ideas we have in the boat are Ken's - including the four-pointer configuration.

I have no idea where "dave" got the idea that Quicksilver has changed into a three-pointer. But, then again, I have not been reading the newspapers on the Planet Zog.

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:13 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Mike. 8-)

My own feeling is that I will take a few days away from the site to let things settle down. I don't intend to slug it out with all-comers.

These web forums can easily become a theatre for tit-for-tat "debate" - and that really isn't debate at all.

The only people likely to be offended by what I say are those who fear the truth will interfere with their starry-eyed views about things.

Rob's comment - well-intentioned, I'm sure - that Quicksilver's reputation could be damaged by this kind of public debate, misses the point that Quicksilver's reputation was already being damaged by the misinformation that is being on some occasions deliberately pedalled to cause mischief.

My feeling is, therefore, that putting the record straight in the way that I am is only the lesser of two evils.

But that doesn't make it entirely right.

I would have been far more comfortable letting it lie in the first place, but some people obviously didn't want that.
Last edited by quicksilver-wsr on Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by sutol » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:58 pm

I have no wish to slug it out with anyone. I have reviewed my contribution and I cannot see for the life of me where I was slagging anyone off. I just wanted to post a comment on comments posted on Ken Norris that I felt had no merit. Surely that is not offensive is it?

It is regrettable that Nigel has fallen out with John Ackroyd over comments made in Jet Blast. I know neither individual so I do not know the truth but unlike Ken Norris, Ackroyd is around to be taken to task if his comments are inaccurate or not true. Thanks to Nigel for clarification on the financial contribution from Norris. I suppose it is which way is up? One could take a view if Norris way paying Ackroyd out of his own pocket to work on QS Project he was making a financial contribution.

As I say I have no wish to offend, insult or upset anyone but surely one can comment with a different view. Perhaps it is better all round if I do not.

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:48 pm

sutol wrote:I just wanted to post a comment on comments posted on Ken Norris that I felt had no merit. Surely that is not offensive is it?

It is regrettable that Nigel has fallen out with John Ackroyd over comments made in Jet Blast.

I suppose it is which way is up? One could take a view if Norris way paying Ackroyd out of his own pocket to work on QS Project he was making a financial contribution.
1. "Sutol", my comments had merit because I was defending my decision to leave Ken Norris - a decision which others have used as a stick to beat me with.

If I don't explain to people how I consumed 16 years of my life working on Ken Norris-inspired boat concepts that had no future - that's 12 full years alongside Ken (1989-2000) then four further years (2001-2004) trying to advance the reverse four-pointer on my tod thereafter - then people won't understand why I made the break and why the reverse four-pointer was eventually abandoned to make room for the current boat.

You can't write-off those 16 years and say that it had nothing to do with the long delays to the Quicksilver project! That was the delay! And so we had to start again, virtually from scratch in 2005, and since then our progress has been more normal, and maybe on a par with the BloodhoundSSC project - but achieved on a fraction of the budget.

2. I did not fall out with John Ackroyd. I bumped into him at an event at the NEC in 2006 and he was friendly and didn't say a dickie-bird. I was totally surprised when I read his book and saw what he had written about me. The only theory I can come up with why he was displeased with me is that it did him out of a job when I told Ken it was too late to alter my decision to leave and that he was wasting his money employing Ackroyd on any further boat design work.

Ackroyd says in his book that I never offered a word of explanation to Ken. This is bunkum. As soon as I heard (from John Getty, who knew Ackroyd through their mutual involvement in Per Lindstrand's ballooning projects) that Ken was employing Ackroyd directly, I rang Ken at once and was down in Bournemouth within 24 hours. I explained the position in full to both Ken and to John Ackroyd. That position was that I had had enough and was pressing on now with other people.

The statement in Jet Blast that the first he and Ken knew about this was reading about it afterwards in Fast Facts is beneath contempt.

Ackroyd, furthermore, states that I did not apologise to Ken. Let's be clear. I had no need to apologise.

But I did say that I was sorry that I had to leave.

In his book, Ackroyd - by inference - points an accusing finger at Glynne Bowsher for undertaking design work on Quicksilver. He had no right to do that. Many people had worked tirelessly on the Quicksilver project over the years - the list is long. All their efforts could so easily have been wasted had it not been for the kindness of John Getty and Glynne in getting us a spaceframe designed and built in record time, thereby turning the project onto a healthy tack.

Ken told me afterwards that he did not agree with my decision but that he would support me in any way that he could to advance the reverse four-pointer project. I did not take him up on his offer, as I was by then totally disillusioned with my partnership with Ken and had no further wish to extend it.

Ken and I remained on friendly talking terms for the few remaining years before his death in 2005. He rang me to talk about things and sometimes I rang him.

3. What Ken did with his own money was nothing to do with me. His dealings with John Ackroyd in the early part of 2001 are a mystery to me. I did not know Ackroyd was working for Ken then and no-one else in the Quicksilver team did either.

Ken spending his money, off his own bat, in a belated effort to turn the tide was nothing to do with me or Quicksilver (WSR) Ltd. It is sad that he did that, but it is also indicative of the odd way that he was going about things by then. When people get old they are allowed to do eccentric things. I do not hold that against him at all.

My own feeling is that, probably, Ken was pushing to make up lost ground because K7 was about to come back to the surface and he really wanted to have something else on the stocks when that happened. Some time before my departure, he told me about what was going on up at Coniston and he showed me a piece of the spaceframe wreckage that had been brought up.

If you find any of these facts distressing, then I apologise. These facts are also distressing to me, but it is what happened, whether you like it or not.
Last edited by quicksilver-wsr on Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:34 pm

Mike Bull wrote:But Nigel, I shall defer to you on that one.
Well, at least I have added some new information - so at least we aren't going around in circles.

There is new information there that the naysayers can put in their pipes and have a good smoke.

I said I was going to have a break from the site. I didn't manage to do that.

If people keep slinging brickbats, I'll keep slinging them back!

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by Renegadenemo » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:34 pm

Yeah, Nigel. Stick with it. If you don't give in you can't lose, remember? And if I say Ken was a ditherer it's because (in my humble opinion) he was. I'm not bad-mouthing him because, though I didn't know him very long, I admired him greatly but he liked to dither and I told him so. So what?
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

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by klingon » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:46 am

History is just that-history!-to use a Donaldism-Go build the bloody boat! ;)
"I hate two faced people-don't know which face to punch first!"

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Re: Quicksilver

Post by quicksilver-wsr » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:07 pm

Sage advice indeed, "klingon" ...

And, if you remember, that is precisely what I was doing when "dave" piped-up with ...
dave wrote:The Quicksilver project has been "on the go" for much too long (well over 10 years) Bluebird was built and floated on the water in approx 18 months, now there is commitment.

All in all I think that Nigel has lost the plot, and is making a business out of continuous change. With no intention, of ever completing the task, which he launched.
He may be hoping for what little backers are left to pull out and there is his exit card.
I hadn't written on this - my own thread - for three months (since 26th May), save for one quick response to Mike Bull's enquiry, letting him know I was still around, just very busy working on the Quicksilver project.

I was minding my own business. It is "dave" who, out of the blue, decided to pipe-up with his history lesson and open up another round of groundless accusations against me - by cowards who won't pick up the phone and talk to me in person.

I'm sure your remark was well-meant, "klingon", but if someone was attacking you in public - and with falsehoods, to boot - I would fully expect you to defend your position.

And that is all I am doing.

Oh, to be left in peace to get on with it! ... Not a chance ... :(


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Re: Quicksilver

Post by f1steveuk » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:09 pm

I've not gone back and read the thread, can't be arsed, and as has been said, writing on forums can lead to all sorts of misunderstood remarks, offence, argument or feeling insulted/insulting others, as not everyone can write what they feel, in a concise, understandable manner.

What I shall say is this, I met Ken as a twelve year old school boy (1972), and it was he who introduced me to Leo Villa. I stayed in touch with him to varying degrees until I was told of his death while I was at home, in France. I might not see him for six months, I might see him everyday for six weeks. He would 'phone out of the blue, he would write and send sketches and ideas. He was in many ways the father I never really knew, and I was keenly aware of his detioration in health and mental capacity as the years wore on. Certain events took a very very large toll on the man I knew, be it 9/11 and it's financial implications or the car crashes/gardening accidents. I worked for him, I worked with him, he was a true gentleman who kept council, was determined and in his healthier days and absolute genius. I am not convinced some that are discussing him knew how the effects of his "problems" altered him, yet towards the end he would often snap out of it and be the Ken I knew many years ago, sharp as a pin and lightening quick, in thought and deed. I don't say this through rose tinted spectacles, but I'd rather he wasn't discussed, he isn't here to answer, and those that knew/met him already know what he was like, in good and bad times. Me? I'm just so pleased I knew him in both and counted him as a friend. So discuss Quicksilver, purely for what it is, an engineering excersise, please.
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

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