THE “homecoming” of Donald Campbell’s jet-powered boat Bluebird to Coniston has been postponed due to the “logistics” involved, say the event’s organisers.

Cllr Tracy Coward, of the Bluebird Event Working Group, said “more time” was needed to prepare complex arrangements such as traffic management and public safety.

“I really want to stress we do want to see Bluebird return to Coniston,” said Cllr Coward, who chairs Coniston Parish Council.

“We definitely feel Coniston is the spiritual home of Bluebird and we want to ensure when it does return it’s a fantastic experience for everybody.”

The parish council is a key partner in the working group set up to organise the festival for Bluebird’s return, alongside the Lake District National Park Authority, the Ruskin Museum and village businesses.

“I can’t give any speculative dates for the future,” added Cllr Coward, “but I would certainly hope we can welcome Bluebird back to Coniston soon.”

Bill Smith, who led the Bluebird restoration project after recovering the wreckage from the lake bed in March 2001, said the event organisers had had plenty of time to get organised, and the planning was “entirely up to them”.

“We told them this 10 years ago: they’ve got a massive job on their hands and need to get moving,” the Bluebird Project leader told the Gazette.

“We are like a troupe of Shakespearean actors or a rock band - we don’t build our own stage, we have enough to do to operate a two-and-a-half ton jet boat safely without worrying where the portable toilets go.”

Mr Smith said the Isle of Bute had turned out to be “a fantastic little temporary home” for Bluebird in August 2018 when it achieved an "effortless" 150mph during tests on Loch Fad, with Ted Walsh driving.

“This is just my own personal thoughts but I'm not really on board with this spiritual home thing,” he told the Gazette, citing Australia as the location for Campbell's "all-out endeavour" to set new land and water speed records in the same calendar year, 1964 - an unequalled "double".

Mr Smith added: “That said, a great many people are and they want to see it run on Coniston.

“I’m very pragmatic about the machine; what it needs is water. You’re going to get a long way down my kit list and safety list before you get to the word ‘scenery’. It would be fantastic to play the Coniston gig but it’s their [the working group’s] event.”

Mr Smith said Campbell's daughter, Gina, "very much" wanted to see her father's boat go on tour, as it had done when he was alive.

He said it was hoped Bluebird would eventually go on display at Coniston's Ruskin Museum for nine months each year, leaving three months free for running the restored hydroplane.

The wreckage was hauled from the lake bed 34 years after Campbell died attempting to break his own world water speed record, on January 4, 1967. He was 45.