Forum Comments

RM Letter 24th January
In General Discussions
Cerberus
May 04, 2022
I have observed with interest the continuing chronicles of K7. I simply find it astounding and unbelievable how it is possible the RM can essentially have everything and then nothing. · There was an agreement in 2013, albeit not signed (which is not a requirement in English law if there is proof there was an agreement) that allowed the BBP to run and maintain the boat but also saw them donate their parts to the RM. In essence the RM would have owned K7 in its entirety. · Then there was an attempt to reach a new agreement in 2019. At this point the RM had to accept they were joint owners. In that agreement the RM added a clause about only having K7 run if their steering committee permitted. Unsurprisingly BBP rejected that part of the deal but from the evidence I’ve seen were more than happy with the remainder of it. I suspect the RM didn’t want to remove that clause as it was a very sneaky way to gain control, hence why they have since refused any further negotiations. · In 2020 Ms Campbell ‘demanded’ the return of the boat. That catastrophically backfired. · Since then, there has been several open letters published by the RM to demand the boat back which detail how they cannot possibly work with the BBP and how they will not mediate. It would seem that the Trustees of the RM were in the best possible position with all the bargaining power and have now got nothing except the Bluebird wing. Even that seems to be filling up with the detritus of DC’s life and some of that tenuous at best. It is the reverse of a business agreement. They had all the cards and have simply gambled/given them away. In the commercial and business world this would be a drastic misstep and would invite the raising of 1 or more P45s. The question remains, are the current trustees working in the best interests of the RM or is this personal? If so, they need replaced. The decisions taken have, for want of a better term been ‘commercial suicide’. The whole situation reminds me of the 1990s when the unchecked risks of an over ambitious, risk-taking and driven individual brought down a bank. They say pride comes before a fall…
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Dec 04, 2021
It would seem, thank you to the RM’s latest offering, the Campbell’s are indeed the puppeteers in this saga. I assume that the trustees, past and present, were quite happy for Ms Campbell to negotiate on their behalf and offer deals to the BBP. I concur with the statement made by BBP earlier today that it is a very risky strategy, especially if she offered something the RM were unable to honour. What is of concern, if these ‘conversations’ weren’t true, is that the RM as a publicly funded museum has not in fact distanced themselves from someone who is prepared to go onto social media and flaunt such lies. Instead, the RM has stated their relationship remains as strong as ever. A particularly unprofessional and curious act. One aspect of their letter I particularly liked was: ‘Your constant reference to the much-vaunted 2013 draft Deed of Gift is at best misleading. Whilst we acknowledge this was submitted and discussed, no agreement was reached with the Trustee board, and it was never signed as a Deed’ A very naive view. It doesn’t have to be signed. There was an agreement which the BBP has proved. Additionally, the RM have indeed pointed out there was the spirit to create an agreement and the 2019 negotiations confirm they wanted to enter into a contract. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the RM should this debacle ever end up in a courtroom. It is rather amusing, however, that the RM find the reference to the 2013 agreement as ‘misleading’ but are quite prepared to flaunt the DoG from the CFHT and mislead the public that the BBP are party to that. They really are playing with fire. I do wonder about these late-night rambling from the RM. I am sceptical that 9 trustees have all agreed on the contents of the letters they have publicly posted. I do wonder if it is indeed all 9 or perhaps just 1 so late on a Friday night?
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Nov 23, 2021
I read with interest Gina's comments on FB. However, the most interesting statement was the "the museum would always be on the back foot". Therein lies the problem. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity to work with the people who know K7 best and openly admitting it is beyond the RM capabilities (which Gina stated) they have turned it into a power struggle, backed by the CFHT. They have yet to name their partners but seeing as there is only 1 team that knows K7 well, I am doubtful they will have the expertise needed. A glance back at old diary entries show the breadth of knowledge BBP has as they’ve worked on her for 20 plus years. You cannot buy experience. I’m also quite sure transparency is essential when running a charity so perhaps they should reveal these partners if not to reassure the public that K7 would be in safe hands should it have to come to pieces. Gina discussed 'a divorce' as there are 3 parties in this affair.... legally there are 2. The RM and the BBP. The RM know fine well they cannot go to court for several reasons. Firstly, they refuse to mediate and any lawyer in the land will tell you that will go against them in court. Secondly, they know fine well the BBP own the new parts and if they don’t it would simply have been to get a court order and it would be in the RM. Thirdly, the offer to mediate is on the table and if they choose court over mediation, they could be in breach of Charity Commission laws/directives. Finally, they also know the BBP is not legally obligated to the DoG. The RM have yet to answer why they and BBP can’t be joint owners, but I speculate that the CFHT have more to do with that. It would seem, having read the RM’s open letter, that despite the fact the BBP have offered their parts back, the latest angle for them is to imply the BBP are deliberately withholding parts. In fact, the BBP is willing to put K7 on display in the museum, but it is the RM’s failing to meet their obligations to BBP as to why K7 remains where she is. I suggest they carefully go through previous posts/correspondence to verify facts. I do find the ‘let a judge decide’ statements a little naive. It takes a very long time to get in front of a judge it is not simply walk into a court and tell the judge your grievances and all the problems are sorted. There are many costly hoops to jump through before any court hearing. You need a strong stomach and very deep pockets. It continues to be a very sad state of affairs but there is some hope as I saw on Twitter BS is quite prepared to step back and let others negotiate. I would also suggest the RM does the same. Mr Carroll dwells on the past which quite frankly is unhelpful and unprofessional.
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Nov 19, 2021
And so, the RM has once again regurgitated the same old mantra… I am not going to dwell on this as it clearly shows the situation has not moved forward, but there were one or two points that I find intriguing. The Bluebird project has filed accounts and paid its taxes and owns outright a substantial quantity of the finished article,(which the Museum would dispute) which it intends to donate to the museum with the caveat that K7 never leaves the museum or is ever used for any commercial purpose.” This is an interesting one, because what they have overlooked is the fact they had a deal, the 2013 agreement that would have seen the BBP donate the parts to the RM, but according to Mr Carroll that was invalid…. They for want for use of a better term ‘really shot themselves in the foot there’. Had they agreed to that then they’d have K7. Of course, there is the other side too because if they got the parts and could not use them for commercial gain then certain Campbell family members would definitely not be able to kart K7 around to line their own pockets! It is important, however, that we reiterate that the Deed of Gift from the Campbell Family Heritage Trust.. I am not going to say much about this but clearly no one has sat the Trustees down and explained that the BBP are not part of that agreement. It is between the RM and CFHT, despite it citing Mr Smith it does not make him or BBP a party to it. Maybe someone ought to draw a simple diagram for them because the lack of understanding on their part now is undermining their whole campaign. It appears to us that there are some protagonists on the periphery of the argument who are trying to assert their opinions on the discussion, but who have no direct involvement I trust the above refers to not only BBP people who are interfering but that umbrella also covers the CFHT. After all they donated the parts to the Museum and have no legal rights. However of course the CFHT could be holding the museum over a barrel as if they can’t fulfill the DoG they get the parts back… how convenient. I fear the RM has forgotten that this issue has to do with everyone not just the BBP and themselves. The RM is a publicly funded charity and are answerable to the public therefore the public has a right to contribute. It also seems they are blatantly dismissing the public’s opinion for their own ends. I leave you with this very apt quote… "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Nov 02, 2021
Well, that was an interesting morning at the RAC Club…. I was intrigued to hear first-hand both sides of the argument about Bluebird. Present were Mr D Wales, Mr G Carroll (from the Ruskin Museum), Mr Neil Shepherd (esteemed author on everything Campbell) and Mr Smith (BBP). As far as I can ascertain nothing new was said but I will sum up the thrust of the meeting. As predicted the DoG was raised. I am not sure why they seek to rely on this as it appears they are well aware that the BBP are not party to it but nevertheless Mr Carroll continues to use this as his weapon of choice. In all fairness I don’t think Mr Wales or Mr Carroll understand that no matter how much they shout about the DoG it has nothing to do with the BBP and is an agreement between The Campbells and The RM. It was apparently drawn up by the BBP lawyers but that seems of little consequence as it could have been drawn up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he would not be party to it either. I would suggest that both Mr Wales and Mr Carroll clarify their understanding of it with higher minds than theirs as their constant wibble about it is tiresome and has got them nowhere either today or in the past. Surely if it was binding to the BBP the RM’s lawyers would have made more of it. Interestingly there was a lawyer present, and it was my understanding he was there with Mr Wales and Mr Carroll. He did attempt to argue people had donated on the understanding that K7 was going into the museum. This argument was swiftly put to bed by Mr Smith who explained BBP raised their own money through the sales of various pieces of merchandise to buy material for sponsons etc and they quite rightly owned those parts. He also rectified that it was not a ‘claim’ (as the lawyer put it) but in fact they did own those parts. I trust this point had already been addressed previously through correspondence with lawyers from both sides. The lawyer went quiet on this matter. Interestingly, what I was unaware of was that on the RM’s Wikipedia page it states BBP owns some of the boat and that article had been in the public domain for at least for 10 years. Mr Carroll went very quiet. It was also raised that many of the donations by industry were made on the understanding it would be run by the BBP – my question is what happens if the BBP aren’t involved? I assume they are within their right to request their donations back and does that include donated aluminium, engines and even paint? If so, what exactly will b? Overall though the tone of the meeting was set by Mr Wales and Mr Carroll. I am not getting into who said what but they both decided to embark on a personal tirade about their treatment at the hands of the BBP. This came across as most unprofessional. I would also like to remind Mr Wales of remarks that were overheard by various parties from him on the steps of the RAC club about Mr Smith a while ago. I think a little less alcohol and more discretion would be prudent. People in glass houses… Mr Smith made a valid point and stated that in many walks of life we are forced to work with people we don’t like and would not choose to collaborate with, but this is about the greater good and the bigger picture. The public wants to see the K7 we have already run by the BBP and housed at the museum. As professionals it is their job to ensure that this occurs as they are both answerable to the public. The crux of the whole meeting though was the surfeit of unprofessionalism by Mr Wales and Mr Carroll. Mr Smith remained stoic, calm, professional and factual throughout. I simply left feeling that maybe it is time that better more professional people worked on behalf of the RM because from today’s outburst I have very grave concerns. I understood that this meeting was to be made public for those who unfortunately couldn’t attend. I look forward to hearing other’s thoughts on today’s meeting once they have heard the recording.
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Sep 21, 2021
There are several things that bother me about this strange/bizarre situation 1. In their open letter the RM claim they can’t work with BBP. Can’t? or Won’t? In a professional capacity there are many people we work alongside that we merely tolerate, may have crossed words with or arguments, or just don’t like in order to get the job done. The bottom line is it is about professionalism, putting aside personal issues and working for the greater good and common aim. The RM and their spokesperson do not seem to do this. If it has indeed got personal, then perhaps it is time to step back and let people who can remain professional and negotiate take control. 2. If they were sole owners of the boat, why do they have to ‘ask’ for it to be returned. Get a court order and it would be theirs, a slam dunk. This brings me onto something else they keep on about the DoG yet that is between the CFHT and the RM not the BBP. No amount of shouting this as ‘the agreement’ will change that. However, it has been said if you say something enough you can start to believe that or maybe it is as simple as they do not understand the legalities, in which case they need to speak to their lawyers. 3. The RM said they offered the BBP a deal which they rejected. So that is it is it? In business, deals are rejected, rehashed, changed etc all the time and it can take many months before a final draft is reached. It seems the BBP rejected the deal as it stood and so the RM didn’t offer to negotiate any further, and that was that. There it is again unprofessionalism. This then comes back to my original ‘theory’ of who exactly is pulling the strings here. I think overall the sad fact of the situation is if the museum gets it bits of wreckage back, they’ll need a vast pot of money to restore it and if they are relying on public donations then I think they will fall well short of their mark. A glance at the BBP own accounts does not even touch the amount that they’ll require. Relying on the public to give what they have already is an unsound business plan. Then of course industry has donated once and are unlikely to do so again and based on the professionalism of the RM I’m not holding out much hope. Likewise, if Mr Eastham is involved judging by his infantile comments on this forum, they really are fighting a losing battle. Mind you in all of this, the entertaining hypocrisy Gina provides in her TV interviews regarding dignity and respect is quite something. Remember she was playing golf in Florida (East coast of USA) when her father’s boat was lifted, and his body was discovered. At least Tonia made it from California (West coast of USA) a far greater distance. Gina needs to think very carefully about her actions and what she has said and done in the past both privately and publicly before she opens her mouth… she is digging a very deep hole for herself.
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K7 To Be Dismantled - ???
In General Discussions
Cerberus
Sep 18, 2021
I wrote the following a while back... A Theory: The CHFT and the RM watched as the BBP ran a successful mission on Bute. This was clearly a lovely cash cow seen by members of the CFHT and so the desperate need to get it back into the RM. So back in 2018/2019 a certain member of the Campbell family wanted the DoG changed and to get the boat back in the museum. It ultimately cost the RM £45,000 in legal fees. Member/s of the Campbell family bailed the RM out as an anonymous donation. But as with many things the CFHT do there was a catch. Once the boat was back in the museum, they could then have access to it and cart if off to Beaulieu, boat shows etc. This would help line their pockets and the RM’s. The RM did not wish to acknowledge the BBP owned the new parts (which they’ve known for some time which published emails confirm this) and quite rightly won’t hand the completed boat over to them without a contract. They are still labouring under the misguided notion the BBP are part of the DoG. The RM are well aware that any contract would likely contain conditions that the boat can only be moved etc by the BBP and they cannot loan the BBP’s property to third parties i.e. the Campbells. This mean the RM is stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can’t have the completed boat and if they do the CFHT are out of the loop. I fear in light of what the RM requested yesterday I feel my theory is playing out. I do believe the Campbell's are at the back of this and the 'new engineering partners' will no doubt be associated with the Campbell Family.
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