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Author Topic: Government Pipeline & Storage System (G.P.S.S.)  (Read 9679 times)
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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #75 on: June 09, 2015, 07:32:20 AM »

I wonder how long it is going to take to change all the markers to CLH-PS?

Tim
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cliveh
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« Reply #76 on: July 09, 2015, 15:42:27 PM »

Looks like GPSS gets a mention this evening in 'Britain Beneath Your Feet' on BBC2 at 7.30:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b061v75n


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Longpockets
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« Reply #77 on: January 25, 2016, 21:26:39 PM »


I am sure T of A is aware of this one, I spotted it today on my way home waiting to do a U turn on the Northbound A23 after leaving Redhill.

It is at the side of the Northbound carriageway of the A23 opposite Dean Lane Merstham. It is visible on Google Street view.

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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #78 on: January 26, 2016, 16:45:58 PM »

Thank you Longpockets.  Yes I am aware of it, it is on the Thames to Grain (now Grain to Thames) pipeline.  During an inspection of the route of the pipeline and the general state of pipeline markers I remember a colleague of mine and being on the other side of the road and trying and failing to cross the A23 to have a look at the markers.  The pipeline near there was diverted in the 1960s to allow for the M23 to continue on northwards but the M23 was never extended.

regards

Tim
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Longpockets
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« Reply #79 on: January 26, 2016, 19:12:27 PM »


I am not surprised you failed on foot, it is bad enough trying to cross the traffic flow in car let alone on foot.

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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #80 on: April 27, 2017, 14:02:49 PM »

I was looking at the wiki entry for the GPSS now the CLH-PS.  It has been updated but I do not know where the author got their information from but it is completely wrong.

'Pre-WW2 planning
As part of the planning and preparations for World War II, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) realised that the ability to distribute aviation fuel to the RAF's aircraft and petrol to its ground support vehicles was essential to sustaining any battle, in which superiority would be gained mainly in the air. In 1936, authorisation was given to build a top secret pipeline between the two major west-coast oil importation ports, the Port of Liverpool and its Stanlow Refinery, to Avonmouth Docks near Bristol. Completed and operational from 1938, it ran directly between the two ports to allow existing road and railway-based distribution facilities to operate, irrespective of the port in which the oil or fuel was landed.'

No source is given for this information. 

No pipelines were built before the war and the North South Pipeline was not the first pipeline to be built but the second after the Avon Thames Pipeline and work on it started in November 1941 and was completed in June 1942.  I would also note that the MoD did not exist before the war. 

Once I get a published copy of my book in my hands I do intend to go in and correct the entries for both the GPSS and for PLUTO.

Tim
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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #81 on: June 05, 2017, 10:05:33 AM »

I picked up this piece of historical garbage from a site called Historic UK

‘Are you astonished by the excessive length of time and extortionate costs that even relatively small scale civil engineering projects seem to attract in today’s world? Then be prepared to take your hat off and congratulate the wartime engineers that dreamt up the colossal scheme that we still rely on to get us all off on our holidays.
Ever wondered where the aviation fuel comes from to power all those jet aircraft that take off each day from Heathrow and Gatwick Airports? After all, if it was trucked in by tankers the M4 and M25 motorways would soon be brought to a standstill… even more often than they already are! This then leads to the little known story behind the Government Pipelines and Storage System (GPSS), although strictly speaking its existence is still a state secret!’

It ceased to be a ‘state secret’ after the end of the Cold War. 

‘As part of their planning for the possibility of a war with Germany in 1936, the MOD recognised that the country’s very survival could be dependent upon air superiority. The need to keep the RAF’s aircraft flying was to be given top priority, and so a plan was approved to link the oil refineries at England’s two major west coast seaports.
Joining together Liverpool’s Stanlow Refinery with Bristol’s Avonmouth Docks via a secret underground pipeline would ensure fuel distribution could be maintained irrespective of which port the oil was actually landed. The whole project was completed and operational by 1938.’

The North South (N/S) Pipeline between the Mersey and Avonmouth was built not to link refineries but to link the oil import facilities and was not constructed until 1942.  MoD did not exist in 1936.

‘Following the declaration of war in September 1939, the vulnerability of existing road and rail distribution networks to airstrikes by enemy bombers was quickly recognised. The planners immediately set into motion the next phase of their grand plan… a secret underground network of pipes to deliver aviation fuel from the western seaports to the key RAF airfields in the Midlands, south and east of England. Oh… and just to make the task a little more challenging, to avoid detection by enemy reconnaissance aircraft, construction of the pipeline could only be carried out at night.’

No GPSS pipelines were built before 1941 and when they were constructed they were not built only at night!

Over the months ahead this underground network expanded to reach RAF bases in Berkshire, Essex, Kent, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, supplying the vital fuel needed to power the Spitfires and Hurricanes that would slowly gain victory in the Battle of Britain over the summer of 1940.

The first pipeline, the Avon Thames (A/T) was not constructed until 1941 and so had no effect on the battle of Britain although the new storage depots did. All deliveries to the airfields at this time was by road tanker.  Pipelines did not reach Essex, Kent, Lincolnshire and Norfolk until 1943 at the earliest.

‘When the Americans joined the war against Nazi Germany in December 1941, this 1,000 mile long pipeline network was increased to supply the hastily constructed USAF airfields. The fight was now entering its next phase, with British and American bombers carrying out raids together over Germany and occupied Europe.’

The GPSS ringmain was not completed until 1943 and the pipelines into East Anglia were constructed after that.

‘In August 1944, the network was expanded even further when Operation Pluto (Pipe-Lines Under The Ocean) was completed, providing the Allied armies that had landed in occupied France on D-Day, 6th June, with the fuel for their tanks and other armoured vehicles. This 70 mile long underwater extension stretched from Shanklin Chine on the Isle of Wight across the English Channel to Cherbourg in Normandy.
And as the Allied troops advanced further into Europe so the pipelines extended with them, eventually reaching the banks of the Rhine River.’

There were two sets of PLUTO pipelines one from the IoW to Cherbourg code named BAMBI and one from Dungeness to Boulogne code named DUMBO. BAMBI was in fact a near total failure being months late and the lines failed after only 10 days of operation. The battle of Normandy was won without a drop of fuel flowing through the cross channel pipelines.

‘In the decades following the war the pipeline was increased even further in order to carry fuel to the new civilian airports that were beginning to appear, creating a network that now spans approximately 1,500 miles. And although still a state secret, the GPSS was sold to a Spanish company in 2015 and renamed the CLH Pipeline System.’

The main reason after the war that the network was increased was to meet the needs of the 'Cold War'.  This included the construction of vast salt cavities, new import facilities, and pipelines to airfields. The system has contracted considerably following the end of the Cold War as a result of defense cut backs.  It was not a ‘state secret’ at the time of its sale to CLH.
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John
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« Reply #82 on: June 05, 2017, 13:51:13 PM »

Quote
..this 1,000 mile long pipeline network was increased to supply the hastily constructed USAF airfields.

Another piece of poorly researched nonsense - the United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) didn't exist in WWII, it came into being in September 1947. Of course, the author meant U.S.A.A.F. - United States Army Air Forces..

He probably thought that the G.P.S.S. supplied the R.F.C. as well..  Grin
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PNK
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« Reply #83 on: June 05, 2017, 19:39:49 PM »

It must be said that even well researched work can be fooled by contemporary documents. I have come across minutes, memos and narratives in TNA files that are contradicted documents in other files. This is especially true of the contemporary memo writer who has assumed something.

However that doesn't excuse the blatant errors in the pipeline piece.

I have noticed that some eBay sellers include a few key words to sell their aviation related wares: "Spitfire", "Lancaster", "Battle of Britain" and of course "Dambusters" not seen D-Day so far, but then again which D-Day are they referring to as there must have been hundreds since every operation had a D-Day and an H-Hour Smiley

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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2017, 09:03:45 AM »

Another mistake I did not comment on was the reference to MoD in 1936, which did not exist until 1963.

What I found most amusing though was the idea that the pipelines were only constructed at night.  I strongly suspect that the author had no ideas of the problem of constructing a pipeline at night.  In terms of interfering with our transport system rail and road bridges would provide far more tempting targets than a pipeline covered with 1.2 to 1.5 metres of soil and only being 8 or 10 inches in diameter. 

Tim
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Tim of Aclea
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« Reply #85 on: July 06, 2017, 08:43:52 AM »

I did email Historic UK about their post on the GPSS and did, after a while, get response that they had changed it in lines with my comments.

Tim
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