Vintage vehicles and a new racing car are on show at the Theatre Royal throughout today. The cars and boats are all from the Campbell family’s famous Bluebird range, which is celebrating a century of motor tinkering.
If the theatre seems like an odd place to showboat boats, there is a reason. Sir Malcolm Campbell began the unusual family hobby 100 years ago, after watching a play called Blue Bird at the Theatre Royal. He used the name for a series of high-powered vehicles, many of which helped him and his scions break the land- and water-speed records. His son Donald carried on the family tradition, but lost his life on Coniston Water in 1967, when his Bluebird K7 flipped and disintegrated at 300 mph.
Today, you can see six vehicles from the family
stable garage, including the original Bluebird from 1912 and the spanking new Bluebird Formula E racing car. Get to Haymarket for 2pm, and you can hear a talk from Sir Malcolm’s grandchildren Don Wales and Gina Campbell, themselves prize-winning drivers.
The Bluebird Centenary Celebration takes place outside the Theatre Royal Haymarket today (12 June), 8am-10.30pm. The talk is at 2pm. Everything is free.