Corsham/Colerne SFA for Abbey Wood

Looks like I'm posted to Abbey Wood after 22 years of DE&S-dodging. Having spoken to the HIC, it seems the 2 options are Corsham and Colerne. I'd be grateful for any views you may have, particularly whether they are inside/outside the wire (inside is good for security, but a bit of a faff for visitors), whether they are adjacent to the camp and therefore have access to the gym etc, and (I must not forget the reason for being there), how best to commute to Abbey Wood (train seems a good idea, given the 'hot parking' policy that seems to be in place).

Quarters are in and outside the wire. Fairly old houses but adequate. As for commuting to Abbey Wood - take the car it's only a 25 min drive. I've not heard of the hot car parking malarky.


Quarters are outside the wire - small and cold!

Commuting - take the car, it's only a 40 min drive.
Thanks for that. The 'hot parking' comment was just a sarcastic reference to the hot desking policy (i.e not enough desks for all employees) - parking was tight before Andover moved in and it is now far worse (apparently - I visited once about 5 years ago and drove round and round). I understand that (certainly for civvies) if you arrive and cannot park, you are then authorised to 'work from home'.
Current parking situation at Abbey Wood is a joke - all (bar 15 spaces) visitor's car parking as been turned into staff car parking and it's only going to get worse as more teams move in. Take the train.
There are other patches which the HIC may have 'forgotten' about - Long Ashton, Pilning, Keynsham and Emerson's Green - I think all are mixed patches and very definately outside the wire.

As for communting, I would get the train if you can. That way you don't have to get involved in the car parking mess. However, if you get there before about 0800 hrs, then there are no problems.

GBTD, do I assume that, by not being offered to a cold-caller who doesn't know the area, that the ones you list are the nicer ones? Having said that, Pilning is virtually in Wales (acknowledging your 'Druid' tag...)!
Driving to, and parking at, Abbey Wood were always horrendous - and then they moved in the teams from Andover!

Travel by train, bicycle or drive in early and arrive before 0800hrs.

Emerson's Green and Long Ashton are PFIs and are in good nick and managed by a civi company; Keynsham houses need some love and are managed by MHS (enough said). Pilning, not sure but they look to be near the railway.

EG is 5 miles from work - good for bike/ running phys but behind a supermarket and shopping centre (a little chav?). Keynsham is bike- or runable if you are that way inclined (12 miles away) - also half way between Bath and Bristol with a railway station about 1 mile away. Long Ashton is a fight through the traffic - walk/ bike to the railway and then get the train.

I would ask and see what they say. If you would like to PM me, I can send you the DII link to the Abbey Wood JIs which have the patches in them.

Keynsham has the advantage of being a much nicer town, and far less chavtastic than emersons green. There is also no station at Emersons Green, so you either drive / ride / walk to work - while Keynsham gives you the option of a station.

I'm biased as I grew up near there, but would argue that you'll have a much nicer quality of life in Keynsham, and enjoy better local hostelries, schools and country access than you would in Emersons.
The parking is absurd and not getting any better. I've seen the car parks full before 0900 on several occasions. The commute would be OK if it wasn't for the M4 / Bristol ring road faff you get during peak travel times.
As for other patches - Long Ashton is nice in a 'development along side a village' sort of way. Not often those houses come up. Emersons Green is fine and most everything for family life is very convenient. 5 miles from work, walking distance to Sainsburys, doc, dentist, library, village hall etc. Country access is also splendid with the Bath-Bristol Cycleway at the doorstep and plenty of fields to wander around - rugby club, golf & footy within minutes too.
Colerne is OK, particularly if you live inside the wire. Three families moving out in Aug but I would imagine that getting allocated one of those houses may be difficult. Not sure if they have told DHE yet. Mess life good if you want to pop in on Fri for the social hour (or two or three!). If you are not a member of the unit on site you can apply to be an associate Mess member. Majority of the people that attend are not from the Regt, they work in Corsham or AW. Good functions, especially last Christmas.

The gym is good, all of the kit and there is a pool, running around the area is good off and on road - lots of routes.

Public tpt is not good. Good luck.


Kit Reviewer
This interactive map of the PFI MQs may be of use.
Litotes said:
Driving to, and parking at, Abbey Wood were always horrendous - and then they moved in the teams from Andover!

Travel by train, bicycle or drive in early and arrive before 0800hrs.

Better still, use service transport - they are obliged to provide it, even though they will certainly not want to.
Long Ashton is a really nice place to live, especially in the summer. Although i don't know much about the accomodation you guys are mentioned, as a Bristolian, I can tell you that Keynesham is much nicer than Emersons Green.

It's going to be a nightmare getting to Abbey Wood any time around the rush hour though.
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