ISSUE 13, April 2005

The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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He well remembers Donald Campbell’s initiation. ‘An excellent candidate’ recounts Sir Kenneth. ‘Donald was undoubtedly a little nervous and I could feel a light tremble in his arm as I led him round the Lodge room. He was, however, an excellent Mason, attended regularly and acted as a gentleman in every way’ concludes Sir Kenneth. Donald was Passed and Raised in April and May of the same year. His enthusiasm for the Craft is reflected in his exaltation into the Grand Master’s Chapter No. 1 on 6 July 1954. Donald, like his father, never took office in Lodge. He appears to have enjoyed the fraternity, and his attendance at Lodge, and was also present at the bicentennial celebrations of the Grand Master’s Lodge No 1 at the Mansion House in 1957.
    Following his successful water speed record in November 1955 on Lake Mead in Nevada, Donald decided to emulate his father’s success and attempt the world land speed record. He began to build the new Bluebird with a view to achieving 400 mph, and on 17 July 1964 the astonishing speed of 403.10mph was set at the dry Lake Eyre in South Australia – a new world record.
    Within six months, in December 1964, he broke the world water speed record, reaching 276.3mph on Lake Dumbleyung in Australia. Donald Campbell remains the only person in history to have held both water and land speed records in the same year.
    On 4 January 1967, on Coniston Water in Cumbria, where he had crashed his first boat in 1951, Donald Campbell was to meet his death. In redesigning the Bluebird K7 in order to achieve a speed in excess of 300 mph, Donald and his engineers may have overestimated the physical capacity of the boat. The disaster occurred at over 300 mph and Donald was killed, effectively attempting to break his own world record.
    His remains and the wreck of Bluebird K7 were not recovered until 2001. A service of Remembrance and burial took place at St Andrew's Church, Coniston Village, on 12 September 2001.
    The Campbells will forever remain great British heroes. As befits the quality of character of any man of consequence, they too will have embraced aspects of Freemasonry enhancing the spirit of their many achievements.

Credits and bibliography
Aspell, Timothy: Secretary, Old Uppinghamian Lodge No. 4227
Bettles, Fiona: Marketing Manager, Uppingham School
Cambbell, Lady Dorothy Malcolm Campbell: The Man as I Knew Him, London, 1951
Encyclopædia Britannica: Campbell Sir Malcolm, 2005
Fairclough, Ian: Secretary, Grand Master’s Lodge No. 1
Simmons, Clayton E: Deputy District Grand Master, District 16, Grand Lodge of Florida
Villa, Leo & Gray, Tony: The Record Breakers – Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell Land and Water Speed Kings of the 20th Century, London, 1969
Wilson, Gordon: Scribe E, Grand Master’s Chapter No. 1

Sir Donald Campbell races at 250km per hour in his Bluebird on Lake Ullswater in 1955
© Getty Images

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