Eddie puts Bluebird in picture!


MORE than 30 photographs taken by Warrington photographer Eddie Whitham are being used in a new book telling the story of the fateful last Water Speed Record attempt made by Donald Campbell in 1967.
The book features an illustrated diary format; beginning with Campbell’s formative plans in May 1966, the preparations and modifications to Bluebird K7, the initial trials and mechanical setbacks, the unsuccessful speed trials of mid December 1966, and the runs over the Christmas holidays that gave Campbell hope that success was not far away. The ensuing disaster was not inevitable – Campbell and his team were the most successful in the record breaking business – aiming for a ninth world speed record to add to their earlier successes.
Author Neil Sheppard descrives Eddie’s pictures, taken shortly before Campbell’s fateful record attempt as “briliant.”
The book describes how frustrations built up for Campbell, and how he went from optimism that he would achieve a new record, of over 300 mph within a matter of weeks, to the point where he became more and more beleaguered as time went on and the weather closed in, to the point – when it seemed victory was assured – fate intervened.
It contains a comprehensive analysis of the crash, bringing new evidence into the public domain for the first time.The story details events as they occurred, throughout the nine week attempt and uncovers the many trials and tribulations faced by Campbell and his team leading up to 4 January 1967, ending in disaster, when Campbell lost his life, complete with eye-witness testimony.
Donald Campbell’s daughter, Gina Campbell has endorsed the book and contributed the forward.
Lavishly illustrated with over 300 photographs, in colour and monochrome, many from previously unseen private collections and published for the first time.
The diary format allows the illustrations to chronicle events as they are described on the page, giving context to the images and lending the book a documentary quality.
Neil Sheppard has had an interest in the life of Donald Campbell for over 35 years, having been brought up in the Lake District, scene of Campbell’s many record breaking exploits. He is described by Gina Campbell as ‘the learned one’ when it come to her father’s life story. He is the historical advisor to The Bluebird Project, who are restoring Bluebird K7 and The Ruskin Museum where the boat will be displayed.
This Rather Stony Path Donald Campbell The Last Record Attempt will be available from all good bookshops from April,, or from Marston Book Services, tel: 01235 465577.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. Saw this in your latest magazine Gary – superb – beautiful photos. I remember turning up for the Coniston 14 mile running road race early one year. I was a couple of hours early so I popped into a shop. I bought a copy of Gina Campbell’s book and sat in the pub to kill time. It was a great read and I nealy missed the start of the race because I was so engrossed. Why not have a competition with the book as a first prize?

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