As the news is out we'd best say something.
When we returned from Bute in 2018 we had dates to run on Coniston Water for the following year. We had a boat that, though unfinished in many ways, certainly worked, and we had a very polished team to go with it. 2019 should have been a triumph but instead it was cancelled by the group responsible for arranging the Coniston side of things.
We suggested a return to Bute that year to keep the momentum while we continued to work on the boat but the museum didn't want to know.
The agreement was always that we would build a fully working boat and as we realised that audacious plan it was further agreed that we would take care of the machine and our team would display it on water going forwards into the future.
Sadly, as of the end of 2018, it became clear that the Ruskin Museum had no intention of keeping its side of the bargain despite our every effort to agree a compromise and last year they took the wholly unnecessary step of issuing court proceedings. A phone call and a meeting would have sufficed.
However, we viewed this as a good thing because lawyers are very good at taking the passion out of everything and boiling it down to simple principles and as the benefits of a working relationship between the parties were blindingly obvious to all but a few we had high hopes that with high legal minds at work we could forge that new relationship.
Indeed, we honestly believed that such a process was moving forward until a flurry of activity on social media in mid January laid bare the fact that the museum had no intention of engaging with that either and so we had to ask ourselves some serious questions.
We could have easily burned through another year but to what end? Without the will to compromise and form a new working relationship we would have an uphill slog to complete even the smallest of tasks and we had to ask whether we wanted to put ourselves through it. In the end, and after much reflection the answer was no.
So now that beautiful machine that will currently start at the push of a button and could run on water tomorrow will have her innards removed and be waved off to whatever fate awaits her while the BBP family have another project ready to come into the workshop where history was made.
No doubt a few will see this as a victory of some sort but as hollow victories go you would have to look a long way to find a better example and the reality is that it is a loss for everyone involved and those watching from afar.
We are sorry to all of those people who would have loved to have seen the BBP team run K7 on the water these past few years and especially to those older folks who now never will.