Sunday, 29 August 2010

Catching Up With Coniston Water

Listening to the low murmur of voices on and around Coniston Water, all of them talking about Donald Campbell’s fatal here crash in January 1967, you suddenly realize that the Bluebird is still back-flipping its way across the lake, sending out ripples that can be felt even this far into the future, when both speedboat and body have been retrieved from the lake and consigned to their respective resting places. A phantom architecture comes into being here that links JG Ballard with Arthur Ransome and John Ruskin, both of whom are linked with buildings on the opposite shore from the empty and fenced-in Bluebird Café.

Pictured above: The Bluebird Café, closed for renovations; the stretch of water where the crash took place; a memorial to Donald Campbell CBE.

Featured below: footage of the crash posted on YouTube (try watching the clip with the sound off for the most lasting effect)

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