A SELF-confessed speed fiend has been picked to man the resurrected Coniston Bluebird when it next takes to the water.

Boat enthusiast Ted Walsh, of Cartmel, has helped champion the famous hydroplane’s restoration for 15 years and said driving it would be “an honour”.

Previous driver Donald Campbell was killed when the Bluebird K7 crashed on Coniston Water while attempting to break the water speed record in January 1967.

Boat enthusiasts campaigned to bring the craft out of the water and a team of divers spent four years searching for the wreckage.

The shattered frame with its aluminium tailfin, still blue and emblazoned with the Union Flag, was finally resurrected in March, 2001.

It is currently being restored before being put on public display at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.

Mr Walsh, who is also chairman of Cartmel Parish Council, has developed a keen interest in range rover speed trials and power boat racing.

He currently races a Formula One catamaran, and is chasing a personal best of 150 miles per hour.

“I like to push equipment a little further than it is intended but that is a lot safer to do today than it was in the sixties,” he added.

“It’s a huge honour to be picked for the hot seat.

"People have a great level of reverence for Donald Campbell – he’s a legend – and it’s taken a staggering amount of dedication and time to save his design.”

Final touches to the Bluebird are still under way in North Shields, where the craft has been stored since it was raised from the bottom of the lake.

Engineers say about 98 per cent of the original materials have been saved or melted down and welded back on to the boat in other forms.

Engineers are hoping the 400 kilogram craft will manage to get up to 150 miles an hour if the Lake District National Park Authority gives them permission to use Coniston for speed trials in early 2012.

It is believed the event would attract more than a thousand people to South Lakeland.