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RM Letter 24th January
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
JfromJAGs
Nov 15, 2021
@Geoff Love >>> There are a lot of people on this forum that believe Bill Smith and the Bluebird project has a right of involvement moving forward, but I can't see where the legal obligation for that comes from.<<< I don't know the legal situation in the UK in detail, but in Germany, where I live, verbal agreements or handshake contracts are also valid. With written contracts, it is of course much easier to understand who is obligated to do what or what rights a party has acquired, but they are not mandatory for the basic conclusion of a contract. Verbal agreements are therefore just as binding as written contracts - even if it is much more difficult to define the exact content of the agreement. Of course, I don't know what exactly was verbally agreed upon between the parties CFHT, RM, and Bill Smith during the years 2000 to 2006, but it is reasonable to assume that Bill's statement "the volunteers and I will take care of K7" is mutually agreed upon in the understanding that the care to preserve K7 does not end when K7 is displayed in the Ruskin Museum. I think you have to look at this from the perspective that the original BlueBird Project was a collaboration of three equal parties to restore, preserve, and exhibit K7. That's also what the statements of the persons in the Magneto video indicate, as well as what's under "A Timeline" on the RM home page. As I see it, a) CFHT and RM can't just kick Bill and his volunteers out of this alliance, and b) CFHT remains part of the alliance as well, even though they formally transferred ownership of K7's remains to the Ruskin Museum in 2006. Or how else do you explain why the CFHT was at the table in the conversation? >>> Bill has the most to lose from this. Bill continues to suggest that The Ruskin need to come to him with an offer. ... Either way Bill becomes a small footnote in the history of the project. <<< I see this differently, in several ways. 1) Bill and the volunteers made a proposal to the RM back in 2013 to transfer ownership of the added new parts to the RM in exchange for continuing to maintain K7 and operate K7 during demonstration runs. If the RM does not agree to this proposal, then it is now up to them to make a counter proposal. In the spirit of the idea of an alliance of the 3 parties, the proposal to simply hand over the completly restored K7 unconditionally cannot be considered a reasonable counter-proposal. So the ball is now in RM's (and CFHT's) court. 2) It would certainly hurt Bill and the other volunteers to have to dismantle K7. BTW, I do not see handing over K7 in its entirety as a possible outcome of a court order. In case of a court order I think it's more likely that K7 will remain in Northumberland forever, because the Triple Alliance never fixed a date for completion of the restoration - so the promised restoration is still underway. If it does come to a court ordered dismantling of K7, then I'm sure Bill could build a replica of K7 with the team of volunteers sooner than anyone else would even be able to come up with a plan to rebuild the original remains of K7. As I understand it, the restoration of K7 also took so much time because there were no drawings of the condition of K7 in 1966/67: these had to be painstakingly worked out first. Ok, you can make the missing parts as a non-functional mock-up that somehow looks like K7, but what a step backwards that would be? I hope this is not the plan! So either there will be a sponsor who will invest a lot of money - an I really mean a lot - to pay for a restoration of K7 somewhere in a professional rebuild workshop (if there are any), it will be a bad mock-up or it will take another 10-15 years until K7 can be launched again. But who will then still be interrested in K7? To be honest, I personally don't think this will ever happen should K7 be cut appart. So in the end everyone loses in this case - and I mean the Campbell family, the RM and the general public a lot more than Bill. 3) Well, aren't we all just tiny footnotes in history? I'm pretty sure neither Bill nor any of the volunteers worked on K7 to be a footnote in her history. They did it for fun and out of love or respect for K7 as a historical icon. In the end I think the position of Bill and the volunteers is much better than what's been told by the lawyer of the RM. If this case goes to court, then the likeliness of seeing a well restored K7 in the Ruskin Museum within a foreseeable future is much, much lower than if the CFHT and the RM would come up with a reasonabe suggestion of how to work together with Bill and the volunteers again. My feelings are that this is just prohibited by personal resentments.
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
JfromJAGs
Nov 06, 2021
I watched the video last night and some days ago I came across the PDF of the Deep of Gift on the RM websitze - and now things become a lot more clear me. First of all my hats off to Geoff and Neil to make this meeting happen - well done. It was also a very good idea let everyone explain the situation from their view. That was all very comprehensible and sounded reasonable to me. Until that lawyer in the video tried to make it sound simple. But he is overlooking something significantly and that's probably the reason why he is a laywer and not a judge. I will explain. Someone in the video said the "Blue Bird Project" was initially a trilateral alliance between: a) the Campbell family - as the legal heirs of the remaining parts and the heritage of K7 b) the Ruskin Museum and the people of Coniston - as the institution which was assigned to host K7 for public view c) Bill Smith and friends - as the ones who raised K7 and finally volunteered to rebuild K7 This alliance makes perfectly sense and I think it needs all 3 of them, they just made one big mistake: they never set up a written contract between all 3 of them, a contract which notes down who is going to do or provide what and what each party will gain in rights doing so. Unfortunately this was all either a verbal agreements - or to some extend most likely not even discussed. If I understand the story correctly then the only written contract that was ever signed in the whole process was this Deed of Gift in 2006, as the RM required ownership of K7 to to apply for subsidies. BUT, 1. The Deed of Gift was only a contract between a) and b). Party c) was mentioned in the contract, but was not supposed to sign and thus didn't. So whatever is written in the Deed of Gift concerning the role of party c) is not binding for party c). To make things binding for party c) there must be a written contract which directly involves party c)! 2. Even if we assume the Deed of Gift would be binding for party c), then the wording is "party c) will rebuild K7 at no cost to party b)". Ok, this is exactly how the rebuild was done so far - all costs (money) of the restoration were raised or borne by party c). But the big missunderstanding of the parties a) and b) (and their lawyer) is: "at no cost" doesn't mean "without gaining any rights". It must have been clear to everyone involved that if party c) does the restoration work free of charge and even covers all cost involved, than party c) gains the right to be involved in future decissions about the subject - here K7. Conclusion: The whole situation is not as simple and clear as the lawyer in the video tried to make it look. If things go to court then it's not clear what the outcome will be - well, maybe except that everyone involved will lose. Again, if this goes to court, then all parties involved will lose - including us supporters and fans of the K7 and its history. Solution: What has been missed 20 years ago must be done now: parties a), b) and c) must sit down and agree to a written contract which notes down all rights and duties of each party. I mean, what so difficult about it? Neither the Campball family nor Bill and his team want to own K7 - everyone involved says the owner of the fully restored K7 shall be the Ruskin Museum. As said above by many others, the only thing the Campball family and the Ruskin Museum needs to agree to is that Bill and his team will maintain K7 for as long as they can (and want to) do it. Heck, why should anyone other than the team who rebuild K7 maintain it in the future? Again, the contract and the decission that Bill and his team will maintain K7, is the key. For how long K7 needs to be maintained per year and if K7 is allowed to be absent to run or be displayed anywhere else than on Coniston Waters is a secondary decission - a decission which should be covered by the contract too, but just in a way how this will be decided, e.g. each party thas the right to take out K7 for so many days per year. E.g. ideally all 3 parties agree to display K7 at the Goodwood Festival, then attend and have fun together.
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