A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took a short holiday on the Isle of Wight.  While we were there we visited Shanklin Chine.  Incidentally I looked up the work chine dictionary.com and it told me that a chine was “a ravine formed in rock by the action of running water.”.  There are a number of chines on the Isle of Wight which are now tourist attractions. Anyway, back to the plot, we visited Shanklin Chine and had a very pleasant couple of hours.  While there we learnt about P.L.U.T.O.(Pipeline Under the Ocean).

Image of a short lenght of 6' pipe marked with the characters "P.L.U.T.O."So towards the end of the second world war while the Allies were planning their Normandy Landings the very real issue of providing the fuel for an army that was hoping to cross Europe came to the fore.   Sending tankers full of fuel would require lots of tankers plus port facilities for loading and unloading them.  So the idea of a number of pipelines from the southern counties of England was conceived.

Carrying fuel in pipes under the sea was something that, at that stage, had not been done before.  Consequently a massive investment of time, energy and equipment was needed to make this happen.  Brilliant engineers and scientists worked on issues like how to make the pipes and how once you have a pipe fifty miles long you carry it and then how do you put it in position.  Not only was there the need to provide the pipeline under the sea but the pipeline needed to be supplied as well so a network of pipes allowed the fuel to be pumped from all over England.  All in all a massive infrastructure project that between August 1944 and May 1945 reportedly supplied 172 million gallons of fuel to the Allied Forces in Europe.

So why a blog reminiscing about a six inch diameter pipe used over 70 years ago? In a word “Infrastructure”.  Whatever business we undertake, whatever project we undertake we need tools and infrastructure to make it work.  Skimp on this and you will pay the price, invest wisely and the project or business will reap the benefits.  A number of years ago some friends and I provided a small lighting rig for concerts from local bands.  At one point we had some money to invest!  Our temptation as people who provided lighting was to buy some more lanterns or special effects.  However, after much thought we spent a lot of money on cables, boring old cables.  The results were amazing. We could now place our lanterns in so many more places around the venues and we could put ourselves in the best place to control them.  The result was a much better show for everybody.

So all I ask is that as you think about your business or a project do give due consideration to the infrastructure and tools that will enable you to achieve your objectives successfully.


For info on P.L.U.T.O I looked at http://d-dayrevisited.co.uk/planning/operation-pluto.html