Tonia Bern Campbell’s Ashes Laid To Rest In Coniston
Gina Campbell and her partner Brian Eastham at the graveside as the service is conducted by the Reverend Brian Streeter
The ashes of Tonia Bern-Campbell have been interred in the grave of her husband speed record breaker Donald Campbell CBE, in a moving ceremony at the Parish cemetery in Coniston 55 years to the day that Donald was killed attempting to raise his world water speed record.
Donald Campbell’s daughter, Gina, her partner Brian friends, and officials of the Ruskin Museum in Coniston which houses the Bluebird wing, gathered in the cemetery for a service on Tuesday January 4th which was conducted by the Reverend Brian Streeter, Parish priest in Coniston.
Gina Campbell chats with the owner of the Land rover Eric Hadwin as Brian Eastham inspects the vehicle
Tonia died in Palm Springs, America in June last year aged 93 and it had been her wish that her ashes be buried beside her husband.
Tonia was an accomplished singer and actress who met Donald Campbell while performing at the Savoy Hotel in London.
After the short service at the graveyard, the Campbell family and guests visited the Ruskin Museum to see the latest Campbell exhibit, a Land Rover built in 1959 by the company, as part of a sponsorship for Donald Campbell’s world land speed record attempt in Utah in the United States in 1960.
Gina Campbell said:
“This is a generous loan from the Hadwin Family, of an iconic and historic piece of ‘Great’ British engineering, with a huge fan base of followers. So very apt that it should have been used, and is now housed, where it will be, in due course. alongside another iconic historical piece of ‘Great’ British engineering, Bluebird K7.”
The Land Rover was acquired by the Hadwin family not long after Donald Campbell’s untimely death in 1967 from the Campbell estate. It was used as a breakdown vehicle for many years until it became redundant in the late 1970’s.
After many years of disuse, the vehicle has been totally restored and is now on loan to the museum.
Deputy Chairman of the Museum Trustees Jeff Carroll said:
"This long-term loan is a very welcome addition to the Bluebird display, it helps to broaden the story the Museum is able to tell about the Campbell speed dynasty, with absolute provenance.
“We are extremely grateful to the Hadwin family for their offer of the vehicle which has been lovingly restored to a high standard.
“It should appeal to both Campbell and Land Rover fans alike and we look forward to the day when it can be seen alongside Bluebird K7 in the Bluebird Wing. This is, we believe a sister vehicle to the one used at Utah, Lake Eyre and at the 1966/7 Coniston record campaign, that vehicle we understand having been scrapped a number of years ago."