Ann Middleton is commercial manager of Didcot Railway Centre

WE never seem to be able to relax at Didcot Railway Centre.

For many museums November is a quiet time, but we have been really busy preparing for Christmas, when we are planning to welcome a few thousand visitors to our festive events.

We hope visitors will spend their money in the town as well as visit us at the railway centre.

We are looking forward to Didcot Street Fair where we are hoping to be involved in the Parade.

We will also have a stall at the fair and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

It’s a great opportunity to chat to local residents and visitors to tell them what is coming up at Didcot Railway Centre and to listen to your feedback about how we can improve.

Our colouring sheets are usually very popular and we will have a surprise for families this year with even more giveaways.

Come along and see us at the Fair on Thursday, November 30.

We also spend November preparing for our December events – there is always a lot to do.

It’s a very busy time for Father Christmas and we work with him and his elves to choose presents and make sure they are nicely wrapped.

We have a team of staff and volunteers who come and decorate the carriages in our Transfer Shed to make sure they are nice and Christmassy ready for Father Christmas.

Our Broad Gauge carriage becomes a stable for Rudolf and his friends and the area at the back of the Transfer Shed is a lovely place to take photos of the Christmas tree.

We can’t decorate the whole centre – it’s too big – but our volunteers and staff decorate the shop and refreshment room.

On the day, the balloon modellers will have a great time with balloons and decorations in the small waiting room on our Main Line Platform.

Another important part of the preparations is finding enough volunteers and staff to fill all the roles – ticket office, ticket checkers, platform staff and elves – and of course the guards, station masters, train drivers, firemen and shunters.

The last jobs are to put out the signs, work out the timetables for the day and prepare the briefing sheets so everyone knows what is going on.

Then we will be ready to welcome visitors on Saturday, December 2.

We are always looking for volunteers and if anyone fancies joining in the fun and helping there are lots of opportunities in the weekends leading up to Christmas. Just call or email us at the centre.