How to Check if There's a "Secret" WWII Oil Pipeline Running Past Your House

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scattergun internet fact distributor Tom Scott has been looking through Wikipedia for interesting things to make videos about again, this time chancing upon the existence of a "secret" fuel pipeline that crosses the country to fuel his internet fame.

Tom's Pipe, as it shall henceforth be known, is not new or really that secret, seeing as it's been there since the time of the second world war and was recently privatised and look! there he is standing next to a bit of it that's sticking out in plain sight.

First known as the Government Pipelines and Storage System and later renamed as the CLH Pipeline System, it was a wartime method of channeling fuel between ports in Liverpool and Bristol, one that was expanded east and south to become a national pipeline system to supply airfields when war finally broke out and many men died so Tom Scott could one day make videos for simpletons.

Here's Tom, reading the Wikipedia entry out in his enthusiastic and engaging manner, so even children might understand and be drawn in by his reassuring hand gestures:

If you have an aversion to watching Tom Scott reading things out, the facts are it's 1,600 miles long, and most of it was sold to Spanish company Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos earlier this year. It's still supplying MoD bases with their special aeroplane petrol to this day.

Several maps of the system exist, with one of the clearest put together by Platts in 2014 in the wake of the privatisation announcement. It's about as secret as clouds these days. [YouTube]