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Little Known Dorset Companies: An Occasional Series: #12 Threadbone Aquatic Technologies Ltd (TAT)



Threadbone Aquatic Research Centre, Great Heaving

Threadbone Aquatic Technologies Ltd - part of the hugely successful Threadbone Corporation conglomerate which occupies much of the province of Great Heaving in the County of Dorset - has, hidden away amongst its award-wining offices and suites, a modest little building which to the casual eye looks rather like the headquarters of a very ordinary multi-national company or perhaps the global administrative centre of a medium sized Middle Eastern country. Dwarfed by its many neighbours, it is in fact the Eco-design of the Year (2016) award-winning Research Centre of TAT - the main administrative offices of which are located in a much grander building some two miles away on the opposite side of the campus. "We like to keep administration and research well separated" says Head of Administration and Research Dr Admin Probe. "I, of course, wear two hats, but never at the same time - one's a rather dapper trilby and the other an altogether more formal homburg. I administer in the one and research in the other. To avoid cross-contamination, they even live in separate cupboards when not in use!"


The involvement of Threadbone Aquatic Technologies in underwater exploration and scientific research dates back to a period before the company was actually in existence when Professor Brian Thrupiece, having already exhausted what were once thought to be the "infinite" possibilities of space (See Professor Brian Thrupiece and the Space Race) turned his fertile mind to the "almost limitless" (sic) opportunities available for exploiting the potential of the mineral rich ocean and sea beds. In 1968, with the help of Swedish marine biologist and TV populariser Hanson Lottie's Ass, he proposed and designed a revolutionary baking-soda-propelled machine (TURD 1) capable of operating at hitherto unimagined depths. He tested it for the first in the Lyme Regis Municipal Paddling Pool and later, with increasing confidence and with the help of longtime friend, near relative and aquatic championess Frannie Blanckers-Thrupiece, offshore near Bridport. It was a near total success, the trials being marred only by "an unexpected ingress of seawater from all of the seals every time we reached a depth of seven feet". Undeterred and describing several near drownings as "the usual and expected teething troubles", the Professor went on to design and operate an improved vehicle designated "Number 2" in acknowledgement of its heavier duty function and bulky girth. Thereafter the calls of international diplomacy, culinary bio-ethical research, writing, painting and horizontal jogging robbed the Professor of opportunities to further extend his subaquatic researches.


As is so often the case - nay the leitmotiv - of Thrupiece-derived and Thrupiece-inspired technological innovation, following Professor Thrupiece's partial withdrawal from the project, the reins were manfully taken up on his behalf by Mrs Amanda J Threadbone who - anxious to let no economic opportunity go unexploited - mfounded Threadbone Aquatic Technologies in 1998, placing it on a strong commercial footing by appointing herself CEO and recruiting the finest minds available within the county's borders. "My inspiration", she freely admits, "was the innovative puppet series Sting Ray. Quite apart from my admiration for its behind-the-scenes genius directors, Pamela Anderson and his wife Sylvanian Families, I had a sneaking crush of Commander Shore - so much energy from a man confined to a hover chair. His example certainly helped when, some years later, I had to bear the burdens of an incapacitated Mr Threadbone and before Enrique came to give both him and me an affectionate hand. But I digress .... Professor Thrupiece had shown the way and we were determined to follow the path he had set out".

TAT employs more than 400 people and is so successful that it now pays tax through Lichtenstein, the Dutch Antilles and Turks and Caicos Islands, though not all three in the same tax year - obviously.


So what exciting developments are in the pipeline for the company which is clearly going deep in order to rise high? Two Products are currently at an advanced stage of development:

The Threadbone Underwater Roaming Device (TURD III):

Also known as "The Floater" (after previous prototypes sank!), TURD III is a development of the original Thrupiece vehicle, it has all silicone seals, cauterized rubber rings, emergency inflation tanks (1.5% above base rate) and is designed to operate at depths of between 18 and 20 feet for up to 12 minutes (favourable conditions prevailing). Its design is inspired in part by Titan's Terrorfish in the above mentioned TV series, though it is both "more ergonomic and more roomy and contains mo funny voice device".

Threadbone Wearable Aquatic Technology (TWAT I):

An all enveloping "diving suit" designed to keep the wearer "moderately dry, moderately warm, moderately dextrous and moderately amused" at depths of up to 36 inches. "Well" Mrs Threadbone adds, "you say diving suit, but its SO much more than a diving suit ... Enrique modelled one only last week and the impression was sensational. I could hardly keep my excitement to myself".

TURD III: The latest State-of-the-art device from Threadbone Aquatic Technologies

The latest state-of-the-art subaquatic device from Threadbone Aquatic Technologies.

[TOP]: Artists impression (fanciful) of an encounter between Professor Thrupiece (in TURD I) and a mermaid [BOTTOM RIGHT]: TURD III is capable of speeds of 0.0000000000567 knots and often ties itself into them; whilst TWAT I [BOTTOM LEFT]: is wearable and often makes the wearer look and feel like one.

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