Hempsted GPSS Oil Depot - Gloucester - October 2020

Finding any proper recorded history on this GPSS Depot site is very hard. Even now after a few days of research it’s still somewhat vague. Secret ex-MOD site blah blah blah.

The Oil Depot in Gloucester was once part of the old GPSS (Government Pipelines and Storage System) line. A top secret network of oil and fuel pipes that ran across vast section of England connecting to airports and key strategic sites. This site existed since at least 1945, and is probably part of the very original series of GPSS depot sites.

The planning for the GPSS line began pre-WW2 and grew in size as WW2 approached. In 1938 the capacity of the system of depot tanks grew from 90,000 tons to 800,000 tons. The actual pipelines that connected the series of depots didn’t start being constructed till 1941.

During WW2 many of the more exposed storage depot’s were bombed and destroyed. The pipeline was extended to different parts of the country as the war continued into the early 40s. After WW2 the GPSS line was mostly mothballed. The pipeline began being used for commercial use in the 1950s for things like aviation. However when the Cold war started they began to fall back into use for strategic military purposes and as some of the network was recommissioned.

The end of the cold war lead to the GPSS pipeline no longer being an ‘Official secret’. Over the following years sections of it were either decommissioned or privatised. In 2012 the UK government officially announced plans to sell off the GPSS network. After this it was renamed to the CLH Pipeline network. 

Nowadays the CHL line is known for suppling nearly all major airports with fuel.

The depot in Gloucester seems to be one of the old sites that got decommissioned and has fallen into dereliction. Information on this specific site is scarce, although I believe the site was in use as late as 2010. There are 4 large tanks which were once connected to the network with a intake for new oil further down the Gloucester canal. 

Since it’s decommission several applications for re-developing the land have been put in, but the complications with the CHS line running under the site, and of course the question of what to do with 4 massive steel tanks, so it never got anywhere. Work was happening on the site in 2014, but the body that look after the CHL line quickly put a stop to that.

Finding any proper recorded history on this GPSS Depot site is very hard. Even now after a few days of research it’s still somewhat vague. Something something secret ex-MOD site.

The Oil Depot in Gloucester was once part of the old GPSS (Government Pipelines and Storage System) line. A top secret network of oil and fuel pipes that ran across vast section of England connecting to airports and key strategic sites. This site existed since at least 1945, and is probably part of the very original series of GPSS oil depot sites.

The planning for the GPSS line began pre-WW2 and grew in size as WW2 approached. In 1938 the capacity of the system of depot tanks grew from 90,000 tons to 800,000 tons. The actual pipelines that connected the series of depots didn’t start being constructed till 1941.

During WW2 many of the more exposed storage depot’s were bombed and destroyed. The pipeline was extended to different parts of the country as the war continued into the early 40s. After WW2 the GPSS line was mostly mothballed. The pipeline began being used for commercial use in the 1950s for things like aviation. However when the Cold war started they began to fall back into use for strategic military purposes and as some of the network was recommissioned.

The end of the cold war lead to the GPSS pipeline no longer being an ‘Official secret’. Over the following years sections of it were either decommissioned or privatised. In 2012 the UK government officially announced plans to sell off the GPSS network. After this it was renamed to the CLH Pipeline network.

Nowadays the CHL line is known for suppling nearly all major airports with fuel.

The depot in Gloucester seems to be one of the old sites that got decommissioned and has fallen into dereliction. Information on this specific site is scarce, although I believe the site was in use as late as 2010. There are 4 large cylindrical buried tanks which were once connected to the network with a intake for new oil further down the Gloucester canal.

Since it’s decommission several applications for re-developing the land have been put in, but the complications with the CHL line running under the site, and of course the question of what to do with 4 massive steel tanks, so it never got anywhere. Work was happening on the site in 2014, but the body that look after the CHL line quickly put a stop to that to prevent risk of damage to the oil pipeline.

At some point after 2015, Hobbs oil/Ford Fuels built a fuel depot right next door and now use the CHL line to provide fuel/oil to local businesses in the South West.

The planning for the GPSS line began pre-WW2 and grew in size as WW2 approached. In 1938 the capacity of the system grew from 90,000 tons to 800,000 tons. The actual pipelines that connected the series of depots didn’t start being constructed till 1941.

During WW2 many of the more exposed storage depot’s were bombed and destroyed. The pipeline was extended to different parts of the country as the war continued into the early 40s.

After WW2 the GPSS line was mostly mothballed. The pipeline began being used for commercial use in the 1950s, for things like aviation. However when the Cold war started they began to fall back into use as a strategic military as some of the network was recommissioned.

The end of the cold war lead to the GPSS pipeline no longer being an ‘Official secret’. Over the following years sections of it were either decommissioned or privatised.

In 2012 the UK government officially announced plans to sell off the GPSS network. After this it was renamed to the CLH Pipeline network.

The depot in Gloucester seems to be one of the old sites that got decommissioned and has fallen into dereliction. Information on this specific site is scarce. There are 4 large tanks which were once connected to the network with a intake for new oil further down the gloucester  canal. 

Several applications for re-developing the land have been put in over the years, but the complications with the CHS line running under the site, and the problem of what to do with 4 massive steel tanks, it never got anywhere.

At some point after 2015, Hobbs oil/Ford Fuels built a fuel depot right next door and now use the CHL line to provide fuel/oil to local businesses in the South West.