Donald Campbell and The last Race

bluebird_cn-7_glossy_paintwork_national_motor_museum_dc50BLUBIRD K7

To start at the beginning we have to look closely at Donald as a boy. The son of a mighty race ace and daredevil renowned in the form of Sir Malcolm Campbell winner of land and water world cups. A real speed king who had little time for his rejected son. For Donald worshiped him was not enough for this fame seeking father to love him. It was a feeling that would last even after Sir Malcolm Campbells death.

Donald was born on the 23rd March 1921 Canbury House Kingston upon Thames Surrey England. He lived in the shadow of his great victorious father. His desire was never to race as he believed he was no good at anything. He left school with less than average skills and sought a job in a factory. He was then to meet again his fathers able promoter and mechanic and friend in Leo Villa. Over time Villa was able to talk Donald into racing. It took time but here we are in Australia with Bluebird car winning the world championship.Donald at the wheel. His first comment was “Do you think the old man would be happy with me now.”

Over time Donald built up a track and water speed record as good as anything his father had managed. He was now land and water race winner in the same year. A speed king Ace who had been rejected by call up for war as health problems stopped him going into forces. Rejected by his father and now world champion with only the wish, to please his dead fathers memory.

He told of doing it all for England. It was true but under it all he felt a failure all his life. We think his father may even have beat him for being weak. Only no proof as Donald never spoke only to ask and annoy all he pestered ,”Will my father be happy with me?”

The day I saw Bluebird k7 power down Windermere water at such speed with a back view from where I stood massive water fountains like fish tail as the boat flew from sight. The roar of that Bristol Orpheus Gnat Fighter engine was deafening all ears around the lake end. It was really practice as Bluebird was moored in Norman Buckleys boat house in the shore line of lake and his Langdale Chase Hotel.
Buckley was a boat racer himself and the two hit it off. Campbell stayed at another hotel as Chase was always fully booked. I also know that he was short of funds at that time. Norman Buckley was one of the richest men around and so he introduced Donald to electrical engineering friends who ran a business in Kendal some 8 miles away. Here it was agreed that they would work on up dating Bluebirds wiring harness.

In records I did find that Donald was not left Blue bird in his fathers will.No he had to buy it off his fathers estate? I can quite see Donalds rejection now.

About six days prior to the death race on Coniston Water Donald had confided in a friend that that he was about to go through a nervous breakdown. That friend told him not to race or drive but to check in with hospital.

The day of that fateful race Donald had drawn the death card in play of cards. He was always a very superstitious man and had a premonition he was about to die. Here he should have said no. But public and TV had all arrived early. He put on his brave face buckled up and hoped for the best. I do not think for one moment that he had a death wish. He had come all the way up and was still and even now today the only man ever to hold both land and water speed races titles in the same year. He had nothing to prove but racing was now in his blood. He smiled, climbed in and powered Bluebird K7 down the lake for try one. He recorded 297 mph Southbound. One thing he saw was the bow lift away from the water. Bluebird K7 he now realized was going beyond her ability in design. If that nose lifted more than 3 degrees up the craft would simply take off from the lake. He made the turn round fast as he knew that wake he had to break before it became too high. Time was all he needed and with engine warm he gave her full power back down the lake to the one mile marker and hope going through he would break his own record. Campbell always gave a running commentary over the radio to his team on shore.

His last words before Bluebird hit 328mph and lifted out of the water.

” Full nose up.pitching a bit down here. Coming through our own wash,er! getting straightened up now on track in rather closer to Peel Island …And we are tramping like mad,over. I cant see much and the waters very bad indeed. … Im galloping over that top and she is giving a hell of a bloody row in here….. I cant see anything , Ive got the bows out … Im going .UHHH!”

At this moment the craft had raised far out from the lake and backwards into a somersault and crashed down into what would be a concrete hard surface of water at that speed. At that exact moment Bluebirds perspex wind shield cuts Donalds head right off his shoulders he is dead before the craft sank.

It was a tragic end to a great and noble gentleman who gave his all that day. The simple truth is Bluebird K7 was not made to cope with 300 miles per hour. She could not take the power of flat out with the skill of such a driver he brought even more out of her than was ever expected. Death wish no it was win win and win again.

He had almost cried over John Cobbs death in Crusader on Lochness just a short time before. Now all mourned Donald who would not be found for another 36 years.
That day of race 5th January 1967 the 46 year old Campbell was lost. In 2001 was brought back up from the cold deep  waters. Donald-Campbell-with-Bluebird-Lake-Eyre-1963After a wide search for Bluebirds wreckage .In the deep gloom of an almost bottomless lake divers located the main fuselage of K7 but the nose cone end had not been located nor Campbells head. His helmet had been found still buckled proving he had been decapitated on impact. His blue overalls bearing the Union Jack flag found in bits around the headless skeleton that on DNA tests in Barrow in Furness Hospital matched with Daughter Gina and Donalds sister. 98 % fact recorded it was the remains of Donald Campbell.

He was buried in Coniston Village, Hawkshead Road cemetery, Cumbria UK.

Campbell had once told his sister that if anything happened Skipper and boat must stay together. He may still have that wish as nose cone and head will never be found in that cold dark waters of a Viking Lake in the land of mountains and legends he has joined the story of the area folk law. Along with Eric the Red and Kings Arthur and Dunmail who was the once and future King of legend. Roman fortress and Viking Halls, stone circles from before time was invented and now Donald Campbell is part of that story too.
He had not given up hope until Bluebird K7 killed him as it hit the concrete hard water he survived for just  seconds after impact as the screen broke off and all was over. He had a quick ending and one hopes above he can stand up to the father who rejected him as weak with more titles to prove who really was the better man.
I hope you remember his name and stand with me to protect his memory as he was a real gentleman in life and a legend forever. He was not weak as his over powering father had predicted he was just unloved. Even so he made a champion who has my respect

 

Yours always my friends my readers and thank you for joining me again. Sorry it is not   mystery now but at least his earthly bones are at rest from the deep.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2018

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The Mystery of Cleopatra Tomb.

Mark Antony                                             Cleopatra

pjKehLvtsSdchwWxgG4CVGwx  Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Egypt. She was of Greek blood through her Great the grandfather General Ptolemy who had been granted Egypt by Alexander the Great. Cleopatra was a ruler with her brother but he had rebelled and so Cleopatra pleaded from help from the Roman Juio Caesar. Julio or Julius as we call him today ran a battle against young Ptolemy and the boy was drown by accident. Cleopatra was now head girl. She spoke nine languages and accounts of her such as that of Plutarch who wrote the life of Antony tells us that her actual beauty was not so remarkable that none could be compared with her.The character that attended all she said and did was something bewitching.

In this account I write I deal with not her rule ,though that in itself was excellent as she loved her people and had far vision. She spoke in their tongue though dealt in Greek. She studied finance and ruled in fair way. I deal with what really happened after that battle with Octavian in the seas off Actium Greece.

Setting the scene we see Julius return home to Rome having fathered a boy child with Cleopatra. He was called Ciserian and was breach born.His name therefore forever attached to the method of birth.

Mark Antony was Julius Caesars friend and was sent to talk sense into paying of taxes to Rome by Egypt. As Antony sailed into see her Cleopatra sailed to great him in barge where she was a Goddess and her guards all dressed as servants to her .The sail of this barge had been soaked in heavenly perfumes made by Cleopatra to drift into Antonys face before he ever saw her. It was a ploy that worked and so Antony with excited blood met with his future wife. Not that it was planed to work out that way.

Julius was dead his will decreed young Octavian would be Caesar and so when Antony replied he was in love and married to the none payer of taxes he had been sent to arrest all hell broke out.Octavian knew well that Antony was the greatest army General in Rome. So he could not win on land.He chose the sea knowing Antonys hate of sea battles.

Antony had no choice and went with the smaller Egyptian fleet against the might of Rome. Cleopatra did not as legend states join Antony but prepared for his safe return.

We know that Octavian won and Antony had fled to his new wifes side. Octavian at his heels Antony said his farewell and fell on his sword dead. Cleopatra cried but at the gates of the Nile Octavian had arrived with all Roman army at his side. She considered for a while than drank poisons. She did not use the snake as history says as the ASP poison can take all day to kill its victim. She had to finish it fast.

Her faithful servants moved her body whilst Octavian was burning Mark Antonys corpse in true Roman cremation style.

What happened to the body of Cleopatra is the mystery. Octavian searched but found nothing. He had seen her dead but where was she now?

Egypt was now under Roman rule.Octavian Emperor and had changed his name to Augustus Caesar.  He had Roman rule in Egypt and in celebration of his victory he paraded the effigies of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra on an ox cart tied in chains to the horror of all who viewed.

We leave that time as we now must be here today. For two thousand years her tomb had been untouched. We know that Professor Zahi Hawas  of the Museum of Egypt research department has theory that Cleopatra was burred in the Temple of Toposins Magna some 30 miles outside of Alexandre. As yet no real proof is found.

Cleopatra was of the Pholemaic Dynasty that had ruled Egypt for 300 years. She had a perfume factory and used lead based eye decoration not as fashion but to ward off the sand particle invasion that come in sand storms. Her eye lids  would suffer cracks so she invented the famous look for medical reasons. We know that she had illnesses as her whole family dealt in incest sex. She was really incest soup in fact. Married to both of her brothers was only half of that story.  She was 28 when she died. The last of the Pharaoh of Egypt is still a mystery as in deed she was in life. Somewhere around the Nile river Cleopatra must be hidden to rise as a goddess out of the sands of time. One day she will be found by men such as Mister Haswas and his team.

Antony was born in Rome on the 14th January in the year 83BC. He died on 1st August 30BC Egypt. He is either , as legend is burried with his wife Cleopatra or as what is more likely he drifted as dust in ash by cremation. I go for the later as it may account how the maid servants shifted Cleopatra body away from the palace.

It pays to watch Zahi Haswas research as funds have just arrived to assist his dig to find the tomb of Cleopatra in the ruins of an ancient temple cellar.

Thank you once more for your time reading it is my humble pleasure to be your guide into our mysterious past.

Yours faithfully, as always Sir Kevin.

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Copyright Kevin Parr Bt

Was it suicide,accident or murder that ended poor Amys life.

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Amy Robsart  original
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Amy from art painting 1800s
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Robert Dudley
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William Cecil

The death of a fine noble 28 year old woman, in 1560 it made history of a case. The wife of Robert Dudley first Duke of Northumberland  was found dead in her house at base of a stair.We have no idea where this stair was located or how many steps it had as nothing of Cumnor Place near Oxford now remains of it today. It has been passed around so many times as to her real fate and we  have a clear view to see if we but open our minds to logic not maybe that leads to fairy tales. Continue reading “Was it suicide,accident or murder that ended poor Amys life.”

The A6 road murder mystery

JAMES HANRATTY                                            PETER ALPHONS

In the afternoon of a dull August day in the year of 1961 a strange event took place just outside of London in Bedfordshire  countryside. A scientist was shot dead in the head.His young mistress raped and shot 5 times but survived to give witness details that may have hanged the wrong man.

Continue reading “The A6 road murder mystery”

King Edward 11 and the case of the empty tomb

We must look at the facts around the death of this sad King. We can and will look closely at all things related in our search for what really happened to the ex King who handed his crown to his able son and vanished off that stage we view.

Enough said let us go forth together yet again. You see this story is a mystery too. We seem to be drawn into a good riddle more easily than most subjects. Me too. So here we are at stage set. Barclay Castle an ancient family seat in England.

Here, after our subject for today we find him playing chess with Lord Barclay his host. History claims Barclay was indeed his jailer but nothing can be further from the truth. Continue reading “King Edward 11 and the case of the empty tomb”