The ToolPost Unit 7,
Hawksworth Southmead Industrial Park
A) Travelling from London or Bristol on the motorway M4.
1a. From London you will be heading West: from Bristol, head East. About halfway between these two cities, you need to take junction 13, where the A34 crosses the M4. The junction will be signposted to Newbury (which lies in a southerly direction) and Oxford (in the northerly direction). The junction is controlled by traffic lights and you need to turn onto the A34, heading North in the direction of Oxford. From the M4 junction it is about 20km to the junction of the A34 with the A4130.
2a. Leave A34 at the A4130, signposted for Didcot, Milton, Chilton, Harwell etc. Keep to the right on the slip road and travel all the way around the roundabout to the last exit which is the A4130 towards Didcot and the power station.
Skip to (3), below.
B) Travelling from the Midlands or North via. M40, A43 or A34.
1b. North of Oxford, the M40 crosses the A34/A41, close to Bicester, at junction 9. It is to this junction that you should head, turning onto the A34 and heading southwards towards Oxford. The A34 skirts Oxford and is of motorway standard throughout, though subject to very heavy traffic, especially at peak times. After passing Oxford you will next approach, and pass, Abingdon. After passing Abingdon, if you look leftwards (roughly south-east) you will see Didcot Power Station, a very forceful landmark!
2b. Leave A34 at the next junction, the A4130, signposted for Didcot, Milton, Chilton, Harwell etc. Initially keep to the right on the slip road, then take the centre lane (DO NOT use the left lane - there be dragons of humungous proportions.). The roundabout at the foot of the slip road is traffic light controlled. Take the second exit which is the A4130 towards Didcot and the power station. There is also a BP filling station, a hotel (currently Travel Inn) & restaurant and even a MacDonalds - perish the thought - at this junction, accessed from the Didcot road (A4130). Skip to (3), below. Both the foregoing routes are now on common ground:-
3. Continue along the A4130 towards Didcot for about 2 miles with the power station and railway line on your left, until you come to another roundabout. At this ROUNDABOUT, turn LEFT towards the power station, and immediately cross a railway bridge. This road should still be signposted as the A4130.
4. In about 300 yards you arrive at another ROUNDABOUT which you want to go STRAIGHT ACROSS (still following A4130). This is actually the third exit from the roundabout.
5. In around a further 300 yards you reach another ROUNDABOUT, where you need to turn RIGHT into "Hawksworth" (Christian Salvesen warehouse on corner - beware heavy trucks from Tesco distribution depot!).
6. In about 100 yards, the road turns sharp left then sharp right. Pass Volvo Truck & Bus depot on left. You should now see three rows of industrial units on your left, with brick ground floor and slate grey-painted steel upper storey. These units are set perpendicular to Hawksworth. Ignore the first drive into the units with TVH Hydraulics on corner, pass the second rank of units and then turn LEFT into the drive running between the second and third rows of units.
If you are travelling by train, here are a map and shortcut walking directions from Didcot Parkway station, which lies on the main West country line from Paddington and on the OWW line from the West Midlands via Oxford.
Walking from Didcot Parkway train station?
1) Exit the booking hall at the station and turn right (towards Bristol and the West). Walk through the small car park immediately adjacent to the station, heading towards the footbridge which crosses over the railway line on the Bristol side of the station.
2) Take the footbridge to cross over the railway into the main station car park. Continue walking Westwards through the car park to the main entrance at the far end of the park.
3) Emerging from the main car park entrance onto Basil Hill Road, turn right. Almost immediately you again cross a railway bridge, this time the road bridge over the Oxford-Bristol link line.
4) A couple of hundred yards from the railway bridge there is a Bridle Path on the right hand side. This is paved but (I believe) un-named and leads through a wooded area towards the Sewage Works. (There’s a warehouse building on your right as you pass along the bridle road.)
5) Continue down the bridle road to the gates of the Sewage Works and note that straight ahead the bridle road becomes a narrower path, though still paved. Continue along this path until the road opens out as you enter the industrial estate.
6) The road alongside which the path now runs is “Collett”, part of the Southmead Industrial Park. Continue walking forward along Collett until you reach the first road on the left, called “Hawksworth”.
7) Turn left into Hawksworth, passing Radley Windows factory on the left corner, and continue for around 300 yards until you reach the slate blue-grey industrial units on the right. There should be a sandwich board on the left hand pavement bearing the name “The ToolPost” with an arrow pointing to the right, towards the shop.
8) Turn right up the drive between the premises of “Gamidor” and “Ideal Flooring”. We are in the building adjoining Ideal Flooring, Unit 7.