New Light on
Operation PLUTO’s wartime story
With all stocks of its two earlier editions long since sold out, Shanklin Chine has published an updated, enlarged third edition of its popular wartime history PLUTO: Pipe-Line Under the Ocean.
Written by Isle of Wight author-historian Adrian Searle, the book tells the extraordinary story of the pipe-line devised in the utmost secrecy during the Second World War as the means to, literally, fuel the Allied advance from the Normandy beaches after the D-Day landings in June 1944 – before the capture of French ports could safely allow conventional delivery of petrol by sea. Initially laid above the seabed of the English Channel to Cherbourg from the operation’s Isle of Wight BAMBI terminal in Sandown Bay, PLUTO was later moved to the DUMBO terminal on the Dungeness peninsula in Kent for the much shorter route to Boulogne across the Pas de Calais.
In England both terminals were linked to a feeder pipe-line network running from the tanker ports of the Mersey and Bristol Channel, from where the fuel was dispatched. In the case of BAMBI this necessitated the laying of a cross-Solent pipe-line (SOLO) to the Isle of Wight’s north coast near Thorness – the remains can still be seen – from where the fuel was pumped across the Island to a large receiving reservoir (TOTO) in Hungerberry Copse and then fed by gravity through Shanklin Chine to the shoreline pumping station extending the full width of the bay. Clearly identified, the still evident feeder pipe in the Chine is today a key part of its heritage. On the European continent, as the Allies advanced eastwards from Normandy, PLUTO was effectively extended by specially-built British and US pipe-line systems all the way into Germany. Operation PLUTO, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Dwight D. Eisenhower, later commented, was ‘second in daring only to the artificial (Mulberry) harbours’ in the planning for D-Day.
First published in 1995, revised as a second edition in 2004 and subsequently reprinted to satisfy continuing demand, the new edition has this year seen the PLUTO book further extended by eight pages. ‘This has allowed the inclusion of newly discovered historical material together with updates on the preservation projects principally undertaken – or still in progress – on the Island, right up to the hotly-debated restoration of the PLUTO power-house at Sandown,’ said the author. Now running to 136 pages, profusely illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams, and locally produced on the Island by Crossprint, the third edition of PLUTO: Pipe-Line Under the Ocean, retails at £9.99. For information on obtaining copies contact Shanklin Chine on (01983) 866432.
Music in the Chine- a special birthday celebration!
Help celebrate Shanklin Chine’s 200th birthday and the Isle of Wight Earl Mountbatten Hospice’s 35th birthday with this special musical event…helping to raise funds for the Hospice in the process.
The Earl Mountbatten Community Choir with over 50 members and special guests will be performing beautiful songs and melodies in the stunning setting of Shanklin Chine from 5pm into the evening, with the magical illuminations as a backdrop as dusk falls.
Standard admission prices (Adults £4.50/children £2.80) apply, with 50% of money taken on the gate being donated to the Hospice. Purchase tickets on the gate as normal to enjoy this lovely experience…with refreshments and food available from the Shanklin Chine Tea Room all evening.
The Fishermans Cottage pub below the Chine on Shanklin beach are taking advanced bookings for supper on the evening, just call 01983 863882 to make your reservation.
A full list of other performers joining the choir will be available shortly.
For more information call Shanklin Chine on 01983 866432 or the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on 01983 217300
2017 Photographic winner for anniversary photo competition:
Congratulations to Bethany Lodge from Southampton who captured the Chine in a very unique way. Brian Bradbury chief judge said ” We had so many great entries and it really took time to look through them all! This particular photo really stood out for me, it was very clever use of light and reflection, well done to everyone who took part”.
Winning photo by Bethany Lodge
Island scores an international first
Cutting edge environmental technology has just been field tested successfully on the Isle of Wight for the first time in the World.
The Environment Agency has used a new ‘micro pump water quality monitor’ in Shanklin Chine to monitor for sources of pollution entering Shanklin Beach. The monitor has been in the chine for 6 weeks, continuously sending live high resolution data back to the Environment Agency. It collects data on all the indicators of pollution in the stream to give us a better idea of what pollution levels are, and where they could be coming from. And the piece of kit is completely solar powered.
In 2016 Shanklin Beach was classed as having ‘good’ bathing water quality which was an improvement on the previous year’s result. It was the lower 2015 result that led the Environment Agency to investigate Shanklin to try and work out what could have caused the decline.
Sam Orchard, environmental monitoring officer for the Environment Agency said: “If bathing waters are classified as ‘poor’, beach signage has to be displayed advising against bathing, which we all want to avoid.
“There are some simple steps everyone can take to protect our beautiful swimming beaches like Shanklin; for instance, make sure your drains at home are connected properly, and only flush pee, paper and poo down the loo!
“We have been working in partnership with Southern Water on the #BeautyOfTheBeach campaign to celebrate our coastline and share other ideas on what people can do to keep their beaches beautiful”.
This was illustrated by Isle of Wight children in the ‘love letter to my beach’ competition for Valentine’s Day earlier this year. Amber, aged 7, won the competition for Shanklin: “I love you because your sand is soft and warm on my feet. I love playing in your pools when the tide goes out. Your beach huts are pretty and you make me feel happy. I will care for you by always taking my litter home with me”.
NEW: Enjoy a day & evening visit with our new return tickets in Lumière season. Return visit valid within 7 days.