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A Passion for Speed

A series of new paintings by Alistair Little

At Panter and Hall 11th – 27th of January 2012

A new exhibition by young British artist Alistair Little in collaboration with Donald Wales celebrating the achievements of Donald’s grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell, his uncle Donald Campbell and the Bluebird legacy.

Sir Malcolm Campbell's attempt to push the boundaries of speed records on land and water are the stuff off school boy legend.

The remarkable and tragic film footage of his son Donald's final fatal attempt to break the water speed record on Coniston Water has reached iconic status in the nation's psyche.

More recently Donald Wales has been chasing and breaking speed records of his own and it was at his suggestion that Alistair embarked on this new series of works inspired by the achievements of his uncle Donald Campbell. In his collaboration with Donald Wales, Alistair has the opportunity to apply that unique narrative style to one of the great stories of motor powered speed in the twentieth century.

The resulting oil paintings and prints are a tremendous testament to Alistair’s talent as a painter and his enthusiasm and admiration for his subject.

Please click here to view the paintings


On Wednesday the 4th January 1967, Donald Campbell was on the second of two runs needed to cement his eighth World Water Speed Record, when his jet hydroplane, Bluebird K7, inexplicably took off from the surface of Coniston Water at some 300 mph.

Bluebird climbed into the air and completed a full summersault, before finally impacting the water in an enormous cloud of spray. Campbell, the greatest speed record breaker of them all, was killed instantly.

This book is about the last year of his life and that final record attempt. With his achievements as a record- breaker, unrivalled in the national consciousness of the time and sealed in perpetuity by the manner of his death, Campbell became a legend whose like we may never see again.

This is the illustrated story of the last water speed record attempt made by Donald Campbell in 1966/7. Featuring a diary beginning with his first plans in June 1966, the preparations and modifications to Bluebird K7, the trials and setbacks at Coniston, the unsuccessful speed runs made in December 1966, and the runs over the Christmas holidays, the story is told right through to the attempt on 4 January, where Campbell lost his life. Disaster was not inevitable, but the team were aiming for an eighth speed record to add to their earlier successes. The book details the minutiae of the events as they occurred, and illustrates how frustrations regarding the attempt built up over time, to the extent that Campbell went from being optimistic that the record would be achieved within a matter of days, to the point where he become more and more beleaguered as the weeks rolled on, and finally, where he seemed to be about to pull victory from the jaws of defeat, only for circumstances to intervene which resulted in his death.

Donald Campbell was the last of the great swashbuckling British speed record breakers, and in the eyes of many, the best there ever was. His death, in the legendary Bluebird K7, on a cold January day in 1967 was as shocking as it was public.

In this fully illustrated account of The Final Record Attempt, the author and his collaborators examine each detail of the events leading up to the tragedy and its aftermath. Using new material, much of which has not been available in the public domain before, they carry out a comprehensive scientific & engineering analysis of the accident and its causes.

This story tribute to a true 20th century sporting icon.

The Author

Neil Sheppard M.Sc (Fin) is a Structured Investment Product specialist living in London.

Neil is an acknowledged expert on Donald Campbell and has acted as historical consultant to The Bluebird Project and The Ruskin Museum.

He has contributed to a number of TV documentaries, magazine and newspaper articles, and has had a fascination with the life and works of Donald Campbell, for over 30 years.

Product details
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: The History Press Ltd; 1st edition (1 April 2011)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0752459732
ISBN-13: 978-0752459738


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