(this is a partial re-post of a thread from the 'old' BBP Forum)
There has been a statement from the Ruskin Museum, which can be found here:
Its been said that the Ruskin have asked that K& be effectively 'parted out' - so they have their parts back.....?
IMO, it would be very sad - bordering on the criminal - if this were to be done.
This simply Must Not Happen.
On the ’other’ forums of Twitter and the dreaded Facebook, there is constant mention of ‘the truth will out’ and ‘everything is not as it seems’, or simila, implying some great facts that are about to emerge. I’m not close to any of the detail, so is this just jesting or does anyone actually know what is about to come out into the public domain? thanks
Thanks, Bill - for the valuable & informative insights in you post above. Had to Google for BBMF - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, but otherwise all good...!
There seems to be a consistent theme here, sadly. Of valid efforts by the BBP and other acronyms (!), trying very hard - but being rebuffed or ignored by the RM & its Trustees. There responses lack any sort of logic. I cannot work out what they really want. Just all of K7 back to them - and then for the BBP to disappear...? Seems so.
Then there are the Campbells. CFHT - Campbell Family Heritage Trust...? I recall that way back, they couldn't agree amongst themselves if K7 should have been lifted (having been found) or raised. And the same with the remains of DMC. But - K& was raised - and DMC's remains were found. Surely there is a debt owed there....? I cannot see how Gina can change sides, as she seems to have, after all that's been done, for her.....?
None of this makes sense. Only the BBP do that.
The "Proving Trial" of K7. This was clearly set out in the Coniston Water Bye Laws dated 2010. Permission could be given by the Park Authority to exceed the 10mph speed limit to conduct the "Proving Trial of K7", The LDNPA defined the craft (K7) and the various parts of the 'Proving Trial'.
The latest Coniston Water Bye Laws (dated 2020) have no need to separately describe the K7 Proving Trial, because there is a process for anyone to apply to operate their powered craft above 10mph, should they apply soon enough.
Not sure how you include a quote on this forum but Skidwalt made an interesting point earlier.
" I'm sure there has been things said from both sides which have not helped the situation but lets move forward and make things right."
More than fair despite us having been subjected to some serious and deliberate attempts to damage our reputation and I'll quote an example - not to have a go but to illustrate a point.
Word was put about in public that we'd been offered 90 days running and turned it down. The picture painted was that we'd been made a perfectly reasonable offer but we dismissed it instantly for whatever reason then never re-engaged. The context was deliberately removed to portray us in a bad light but we have since put the context back, that being that we were offered 'up to' 90 days but subject to approval by the RM's committee if we gave a year's notice, amongst other things. Their draft arrived on the 15th September 2019.
"The Owner shall provide the Restorer with access to the Restored Property on the following conditions:- 18.104.22.168 for up to 90 (ninety) days per calendar year including removing the Restored Property from the Museum subject to approval of the Steering Committee 22.214.171.124 a minimum of one years’ notice is required to remove the Restored Property from the Museum."
That in itself was a showstopper (by the way, they only became 'The Owner' if we signed up) but it's not the main reason we turned it down. The main reason was because it made no provision whatsoever for running on Coniston Water. Our reply on the 17th.
"We note that your draft makes no provision for the proving trial yet it was agreed in 2013 that any transfer of our property would take place after the trial. With this in mind we've discussed your draft amongst the team and after due consideration and reflection we feel it is in our best interests to continue with you as equal joint owners of K7 for the foreseeable future whilst working towards the proving trial on Coniston Water."
They just weren't going to get stuck in to get the boat back on their lake so we politely declined their offer and, yes, it was within 24 hours.
But then the storytelling got even worse because if you believe the line spun by the RM, not only did we dismiss their most generous offer out of hand we then refused to re-engage.
But what they also conveniently leave out is that on the very next day, the 17th, several members of the BBP team and a few of the RM trustees had a great day out with the BBMF to see how iconic vehicles can be both operated and displayed then, having done that, Peter Roper-Hall, who organised the BBMF trip via his long, professional association with both them and the Red Arrows, (ever wonder how we got to meet Stew Campbell?) made it his business to have another stab at the contractual questions but got no response. It wasn't BBP that refused to re-engage.
See a bit of a pattern emerging? The RM repeatedly issues half-truths in an effort to portray BBP in a bad light, garner public support and damage our reputation but you know what - it doesn't mean a thing, it does nothing to progress the bigger picture, it's all hot air so we just set the record straight occasionally, as I'm sure you'll agree we're entitled to do, and keep trying to make some progress here.
None of the above would cause any of the BBP team to hesitate for a second to get around that table to thrash out a future that would benefit everyone. We don't say, ooh, they called us nasty names so we're not going to play with them. We're just not wired that way. It doesn't do anyone any good so, yes, things have been said from both sides but so what?
Is that a valid excuse for not being professional?
My opinion is that any negotiations for an agreement should be between the RM and BBP only. The Campbell Family Heritage Trust need to take a big step back and allow the stakeholders to sort things out between themselves. The stakeholders being the BBP and RM. The CFHT legally don't own any part of the boat, so they shouldn't be involved in any capacity. Perhaps then a solution might be found that works for both entities. My 2p.
This seems like a crazy way to go on to be honest for Ruskin. I'm sure the Ruskin museum wants K7 in the "bluebird wing" of course they do !
No one in this is stupid enough to not realise how much of a cash cow K7 is for tourism, Hell, I would be the first one outside the door to see her in her completed form. It would be a massive draw for the area. But and It's a big but....this machine needs to be showcased as well, and not just on Coniston water as they claim they want to run it, But all over the world to inspire engineers everywhere.
Donald Campbell took K7 all over the country and the world. He may have spent more time in Coniston breaking records than anywhere else and people of Coniston may well think of it as DMC and K7's spiritual home but the truth is it has worldwide appeal. The directors / board of the Ruskin Museum need to speak to the BBP, ignore all of the hype from supporters of both sides of the project and just sort out a deal which works for everyone and one day soon hopefully we will all have the chance to see the big blue boat do what its supposed to do and show people why Britain used to be the world leader in technology. Hopefully a happy conclusion will be achieved by all. Breaking up a lifetimes work is not the answer,
No one wants to see a wreck and this is not a 5 minute rebuild if it were taken apart. Gina Campbell wants her fathers legacy and memory to live on. and it will, in K7. But seen by the many, not seen by the few. Lets get this sorted out. I'm sure there has been things said from both sides which have not helped the situation but lets move forward and make things right.
A genuine DMC and K7 fan
I just cant see the RM being reasonable now or in the future. Just make sure any contract is 100%, Thanks for the enhanced details.
Thanks for the 'big' update - with the version from BBP side of things. Its good to have it out in the open - which is something that the RM seem to want to avoid. Now why would that be...? Perhaps because they have been disingenuous... With quite a few half-truths being told. Hmm.... "... hung, drawn and quartered in the court of public opinion.." - sounds about right. And - unless they can turn this around in a reasonable manner (so no breaking up of K7 - and a clear agreement on the BBP having access to and for the running of K7), then perhaps that's what they deserve....? Ball in their Court, I think,.
I will look forward to more, in a few weeks.... !!
Indeed... The trust owns the wreck of Bluebird - not the entire, rebuilt machine yet they spent the longest time attempting to mislead the public into thinking they did while we took flak for saying otherwise yet there it is. I'd say we're due an apology for that one.
So what's happened this time is that the museum issued a somewhat disingenuous statement saying they were embarking on a 'process' to get their boat back whilst understanding for a very long time that they are only part owners and urged the public, yet again, to get behind them whilst not understanding for a very long time that they lost the public vote years ago. Then they issued a press release saying they weren't available for further comment, which annoyed the news media because a proper journalist will always seek out and write about both sides of any story and in this case they couldn't do their jobs. I always say to the crew, if you read something in the news and you hate half of it then it's likely good journalism.
But what they did behind closed doors was send a letter, the short version of which goes something like,
We would like you to give us our half of K7 and we would like yours too, 'unconditionally', and if you do that we'll say nice things about you in our museum but if you won't give us your half too then we want you to take it all to pieces and give us our half and, by the way, you mustn't tell anyone we said this because we'll be hung, drawn and quartered in the court of public opinion.
I mean... really? What kind of a carrot is that to dangle? We'll say nice things about you in our museum? As if we're in the least bit interested. We've been telling our own story all these years along with Sky and the BBC - we have this! More worrying, assuming it was a serious suggestion, is that it shows a total lack of understanding of the BBP and the people involved.
Nor were we gong to do this behind closed doors - when did we ever do that? Don't you think you have a right to know what's going on? BBP has always kept everyone informed, even when it's all been going wrong, so here we are. Next came an equally disingenuous statement from the RM backpedalling away from the suggestion that legalities were afoot. Well, sorry, a letter of claim is the first step in pre-action protocol, which is the outermost fringe of civil litigation so no getting out of that!
So where are we now?
Simple enough... the whole thing was so wishy-washy and ambiguous that we simply replied asking for explicit instruction. No, they will not be getting our parts of the boat 'unconditionally' so they have but two choices. They either sit around a table with us and agree a compromise or they order K7 broken up. It really is as simple as that.
We asked for an answer by the end of the month but the RM's lawyers requested an extra two weeks, which is perfectly normal and reasonable and which we granted as a matter of course.
We assume, therefore, that in a few weeks we'll know whether we're tidying the workshop and washing the cups ahead of a visit or buying nice sharp drills (you need super sharp drills for taking rivets out) but we assume that whatever they choose it will be in accordance with the relevant charity rules.
And that, folks, in a nutshell, is where we are...
These words have appeared in the annual report from the Trustees of the Coniston Institute and Ruskin Museum up to 2016 - "The Trust owns the wreck of the Bluebird".