Plant and Tool Hire for Trade and DIY For all your hiring needs call us on 01235 814000

A History of Didcot Plant

Didcot Plant buildings and yard

Originally formed in 1967, the current era for Didcot Plant started in March 1992 when Fred Tarrant and his company, Axworthy, bought the firm.

Didcot Plant had been in the doldrums for a couple of years and Fred Tarrant embarked on a program of rejuvenation. The first thing he did was to reinstate the whole workforce back onto a full working week as during the lean days they had been put onto a four day working week.

Secondly, Fred Tarrant recognised the need to overhaul the aging hire fleet and an auction sale was held at Rich's Sidings on 4 April 1992. Reading auctioneers, Thimbleby & Shorland, conducted a busy sale that saw The Sidings and Broadway filled with parked cars belonging to sale goers.

Steady growth

With the hire fleet purged of its older items a long term program of replacement was started. This process was aided by the relationship with parent company Axworthy, who's support in the early days with sharing items from their considerable hire fleet was vital to Didcot Plant's growth.

The business grew steadily throughout the nineties as Didcot Plant re-established itself as number one for quality and service.

The building of the Didcot 'B' Power Station in the mid nineties came at a perfect time and the increased business it brought was used as a springboard with the hire fleet expanding to an unprecedented size and variety.


The Didcot Plant yard and plant

As the new millennium arrived it was obvious that Didcot Plant was outgrowing its Rich's Sidings yard and the restriction in space was hindering potential future expansion.

In January 2001 news that HM Plant in Basil Hill Road was looking to sell their yard came at the ideal time. Before the yard was advertised for general sale Fred Tarrant sprung into action and within the week a deal was done for the acquisition of the 1.3 acre site.

On 20 February 2001 purchase of the Basil Hill Road site was completed. Built in the early 1990s by the Bodman family the site featured purpose built workshops and offices within the luxury of 1.3 acres of yard. It was ideally situated within close proximity to the A34, Power Station, Southmead Industrial Estate and Milton Park Industrial Estate while still being in the town.

Modifying and modernising

The Didcot Plant workshop

Between February and September the site was modified to the requirements of a modern plant and tool hire operation. A smart new fence was erected at the front of the yard, large areas of tarmac were laid and considerable changes were made to the offices and workshops including the installation of a new telephone and computer management system. The building did not have a shop area as such and old store rooms were modified to create a trade counter and shop. Site security was paramount and electrically powered steel shutters were fitted to all the ground floor windows along with the latest in alarm and cctv systems.

Finally in September, Didcot Plant was ready to move home and over the weekend of 8 and 9 September it was all hands on deck as everything was moved across town and prepared for the opening of business at 7.30am on the Monday morning.

Over the next year or so further work was completed on the site to improve upon what many consider to be one of the best plant hire facilities in the country.

The considerable yard space has allowed for the hire fleet to be expanded and for new lines to be added, such as 5 and 6 tonne dumpers and temporary fencing which would have been too large to consider under the constraints of the old yard.

A firm foundation

Didcot Plant entrance area

Didcot Plant now has a firm foundation from which to continue to bring a plant and tool hire service of the highest quality to the trade and DIY markets for many years to come.

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Didcot Plant Ltd
Basil Hill Road, Didcot
Oxfordshire OX11 7HJ
(does not work in Sat Navs)
Map & directions
tel: 01235 814000
fax: 01235 814275
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