Lancashire

Bluebird K7: Memorial to Samlesbury Engineering

Donald Campbell with the Bluebird K7
Image caption Donald Campbell set seven world records

A service has taken place marking 60 years since the completion of the Bluebird K7 in which Donald Campbell set seven world water speed records.

The craft was built at Samlesbury Engineering, which was situated next to Samlesbury Hall, Preston.

Organiser Steve Whalley said the Bluebird K7 produced there was "space-age technology" at the time.

Mr Campbell's daughter Gina planted an oak tree and a plaque was unveiled at the former engineering site.

He died in 1967, aged 46, on Coniston Water, Cumbria, while trying to increase the world water speed record to more than 300mph (480km/h).

He was trying to break his own record of 276mph (429.87 km/h) when the boat vaulted from the lake's surface. It somersaulted repeatedly before crashing and sinking.

Mr Whalley said it was important Samlesbury Engineering, which closed in 1960 and is now a golf driving range, was given the recognition it deserved.

He said: "It is a common misconception the Bluebird K7 was built at the nearby British Aerospace but it was built at Samlesbury Engineering.

"They produced the most advanced piece of engineering for breaking records at that time."

He added: "Today, machines are built to break one world record but that broke seven and was believed to be doing 326mph when it crashed."

The wreck of Mr Campbell's boat was recovered by divers from the bottom of Coniston Water in 2001.

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