The Torrey Canyon disaster was the largest shipwreck to that date and resulted in large sections of the British and French coastlines being polluted by crude oil.
It was 1967. They didn’t know what to do with the oil so they put a lot of what washed up on the island of Guernsey into a disused quarry. They are just starting a bio-remediation project now.
and I found the following other interesting pieces including some pics in the Guardian story…