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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Final tribute to water speed king
Mourners lined the route of the funeral procession
Hundreds of people have gathered on the edge of Coniston Water in the Lake District to pay their last respects to Donald Campbell.

Mourners and well-wishers flocked to the Cumbrian lake where Campbell died while trying to break the water speed record in January 1967.

His body was taken on a final emotional voyage around the lake accompanied by close family and friends.

A funeral service was then held at St Andrew's Church in Coniston where he was laid to rest.

Donald Campbell
Donald Campbell's body was recovered in August
Campbell's coffin left a jetty at Pier Cottage in the Lake District for the final journey at about 1200 BST on Wednesday.

His 51-year-old daughter Gina joined mourners at the edge of the water.

Dressed in a pink suit and clutching two blue and yellow roses, she stood in the rain and watched as her father's body was taken around the lake.

The boat, with a Red Ensign at half-mast, travelled from the jetty and paused briefly at the site where Campbell's speedboat first flipped over.

Horse-drawn carriage

To the strains of bagpipes, it then turned round and slowly made the 200-yard journey to the site where the Bluebird was recovered.

The boat stopped for a few seconds in silence before beginning the journey back to shore.

Courage is a word we sometimes use too easily. Real courage is a rare commodity

Anthony (Robbie) Robinson, Bluebird team
Campbell's coffin was carried from the boat and taken a short distance to a horse-drawn carriage.

The procession then went to St Andrew's Church in Coniston for the funeral led by Rev Mark East.

Gina and Mrs Bern-Campbell, 64, sat in the front row for the service which included the hymns Who Would True Valour See and Out of this World.

Thanks were said for the full life led by Donald Campbell and the golden memories he left behind.

'Pioneering spirit'

Mr East said: "We thank you for his courage, pioneering spirit, generosity and love for his family, and friends and the many other memories that are special to us."

A tribute was paid to the speedboat ace by his close friend and time keeper Anthony (Robbie) Robinson who spoke of Campbell's "courage" and "determination".

Donald Campbell's headstone
A bluebird adornes Campbell's simple headstone
"Courage is a word we sometimes use too easily. Real courage is a rare commodity.

"I'm aware from personal experience that some of us in his team had become a little blase about record breaking.

"This was just another attempt.

"It is only with hindsight that we can really appreciate just how much courage it must have taken each time he climbed into the cockpit of the Bluebird boat or car."

Mr Robinson added: "So today we finally lay to rest the skipper by the lake

'Eternal happiness'

"I believe that he will have found that other 'bluebird'. That 'bluebird' of eternal happiness that inspired two generations of racing legends.

"No man deserves it more."

The coffin was taken from the church for burial to the tune of Unforgettable by Nat King Cole.

The Bluebird was on a record-breaking attempt
Campbell was trying to break his own water speed record of 276mph in when his craft lifted and somersaulted before plunging 150-feet into the lake.

Divers found the wreckage of the Bluebird in December last year after a painstaking four-year search.

It was raised in March and revealed some of Donald Campbell's belongings, including a teddy bear mascot and a life-jacket.

Two months later Campbell's remains were discovered still clothed in his blue racing suit.

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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