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Saturday, 8 September, 2001, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Last voyage for Campbell
Donald Campbell died trying to break the water speed record
The late Donald Campbell will make a final trip around the lake where he died attempting to set a new water speed record.

His coffin will be loaded on to a small boat and carried around Coniston Water before his funeral next week.

Campbell will be buried at St Andrew's Church in Coniston Water on Wednesday more than 34 years after he died at the age of 46 in his Bluebird K7.

Donald was a larger than life character and very charismatic and that is what we will be remembering

Don Wales
Nephew and godson
After his last voyage, the coffin will be placed on a horse-drawn carriage and driven through the village of Coniston.

The 1300BST funeral service is due to be broadcast to hundreds of villagers and mourners outside the church.

A second service will run simultaneously on the banks near to where he lost control of the speedboat on 4 January 1967.

There will also be a fly-past by a group of RAF Tornadoes.

'Life celebration'

His widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell, and his sister, 77-year-old Jean Wales, will attend.

Campbell's nephew and godson, Don Wales, who himself currently holds the UK land speed record for an electric car, said Campbell's daughter, Gina, had spent months organising the funeral.

"Donald was a larger than life character and very charismatic and that is what we will be remembering next week," he said.

"It will be a very respectful affair, hopefully, but not sombre.

"It is going to be a celebration of the life and achievements of a very brave man.

The Bluebird was on a record-breaking attempt

"He will have one last ride on the lake before he is laid to rest, I'm sure he would have liked that."

Campbell's remains were discovered in May this year, two months after the Bluebird was finally lifted out of the water.

The 1.5 tonne wreckage was first sighted last December after a four-year search and the recovery was filmed by the BBC.

Campbell, son of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who himself held land and water speed records at different times, had been trying to break his own water speed record of 276 mph, when the nose of the boat lifted and the craft somersaulted repeatedly.

On Friday, the family celebrated a legal victory which named Campbell's widow and executors as the rightful owners of the ill-fated Bluebird.

Claim relinquished

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

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

The craft will become one of the highlights of The Donington Collection, at the famous race circuit, for up to a year, before being moved to a purpose-built extension at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.

Mr Wales added: "My family has spent tens of thousands of pounds fighting this claim and we are extremely pleased to have been successful.

"For six months we have had to counter everything this man has said. This victory has come at exactly the right time before the funeral."

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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