Ann Middleton is commercial manager at Didcot Railway Centre

OUR quiet period at Didcot Railway Centre never seems to last for long.

We are working on our programme of events for 2018 and we plan to have our leaflet available to hand out at Didcot Street Fair at the end of November.

The annual winter street fair is a great chance for us to get out into the town and meet local people.

This year’s theme is the 1960s and was inspired by us at the Great Western Society moving into Didcot Railway Centre half a century ago in 1967.

Although we celebrated our move in April and May, the actual date was much later in the year and in our collection we have a copy of the London Division Passenger Train Notice that describes the move of the 0920 special from Plymouth to Didcot on Saturday, December 2, 1967.

The train comprised two steam engines and three carriages, including the steam engine that started it all – 1466 – and carriage 231, which is still one of our stalwarts.

So that seemed a good excuse to celebrate again in November.

At the street fair, Didcot is remembering the 1960s with vehicles from TV programmes, 60s music on three stages and fashions, including flower power and rock n roll.

The parade is the highlight of the event and we would love to have a real steam engine but sadly it isn’t practical to tow a full size engine down the Broadway. But we can create a walking train. We are hoping to have a driver, fireman and guard as well as others in railway overalls to walk and carry the headboard, numbers, lamps and flags. And we want as many passengers on the train as we can find. Please get in touch if you are or have been a volunteer or member of staff at Didcot Railway Centre and would like to join in the fun. The Didcot Street Fair is on Thursday, November 30, and the Parade starts at 7pm from the Civic Hall.

As well as the walking train we are hoping to have a real railway vehicle in the parade: we have a Pump Trolley that has resided in Taunton for a number of years and are making arrangements for it to come back to Didcot. The trolley is propelled along the track by pumping the handle up and down like a see-saw like the famous trolley featured in The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery. While some people have suggested that we lay some track or even run it down the Broadway on the tarmac, we didn’t think that would be a good idea! So we are hoping to have it on a trolley (a Pump Trolley trolley?) towed by a suitable vehicle in the parade.