Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird restored for new run at Bewl Water

By Alan Smith

Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K3 hydroplane powerboat is set to take to the water again.

The craft will be put through its paces once again at Bewl Water reservoir in Lamberhurst on Tuesday, September 26.

In the 1930s, Sir Malcolm set three world water-speed records in the 23-foot long vehicle, two at Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian border in September 1937, and the third at Lake Hallwyl in Switzerland in August 1938, where he reached 130.91mph.

Karl Foulkes-Halbard in the world-record breaking craft Bluebird K3, once owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell

Sir Malcolm had already achieved global fame by setting the land speed record of 301mph in Bluebird at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 1935, before turning his attention to water speeds.

Bluebird K3 is currently part of the Foulkes Halbard Collection housed at Filching Manor Motor Museum near Eastbourne, where it has undergone an extensive restoration ahead of her water run at Bewl.

Bluebird K3 was built by Saunders Roe on the Isle of Wight.

Karl Foulkes-Halbard tries his restored Bluebird K3, once owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell Location:

It was acquired by the Foulkes Halbard family in 1988, but the wooden hull and decking of the boat were in very poor condition.

Karl Foulkes-Halbard has spent nearly 27 years restoring the vehicle, which has already achieved 40mph on water in test runs.

Sir Malcolm, who was born in Chislehurst, died of a stroke in 1948 aged 63.

His son, Donald Campbell, continued in his father’s footsteps, setting many more land and water speed records, but was killed while piloting Bluebird K7 in an attempt to break 300mph on water at Coniston Water. The craft somersaulted and sank.

The public are welcome to watch the Bluebird K3’s latest tests which are scheduled to begin at 11am, weather permitting.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More