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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Bluebird victory for Campbell widow
Donald Campbell
Donald Campbell: Reached 276mph in Bluebird
The widow of Donald Campbell has claimed victory in a six-month legal dispute over ownership of the boat in which he died - Bluebird K7.

A former business associate of Campbell, Paul Foulkes-Halbard, had claimed he had acquired ownership of the boat through the course of business dealings.

A consent order lodged at the High Court in London on Friday declared Tonia Bern-Campbell and the executors of Campbell's will as the rightful owners.

Mr Foulkes-Halbard confirmed he had relinquished his claim to the boat.

The Bluebird was on a record-breaking attempt

He owns Filching Manor Motor Museum in Polegate, East Sussex, which displays some 7,000 items of Campbell memorabilia.

Mrs Bern-Campbell will transfer the boat to the Campbell Heritage Trust, set up to mark her husband's achievements and those of his father.

His father, the late Sir Malcolm Campbell, died in 1949 and had himself held the land and water speed record at different times.

It is the family's intention that the boat will be displayed at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston, Cumbria, which will now have to be extended to accommodate it.

Campbell's remains were found in May this year, 34 years after his water speed record attempt on Coniston Water ended in tragedy.

DNA tests showed the remains, found in a racing suit near where the boat was discovered two months before, were those of Campbell.

'Emotional dispute'

Mr Campbell's body is due to be buried at St Andrew's Church, Coniston, on 12 September.

The 1.5 tonne wreckage was first sighted last December after a four-year search.

The 46-year-old had been trying to break his own water speed record of 276 mph on 4 January, 1967, when the nose of the boat lifted and the craft somersaulted repeatedly.

His remains were discovered by the same diving team which recovered the vessel.

Rowena Herdman-Smith, the Campbell family's solicitor, said: "This dispute was an emotional one for the Campbell family.

"After all, it related to the vessel in which Donald Campbell made his name but also came to his untimely death."

See also:

16 Aug 01 | UK
Campbell's funeral date set
10 Aug 01 | UK
Body in lake is Campbell
29 May 01 | UK
DNA tests on Bluebird body
08 Mar 01 | UK
Divers salvage the Bluebird
04 Feb 01 | UK
Divers find Bluebird wreck
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