Where does the time go?

We are nearly at the end of February and, although February is a very short month, I can’t believe how fast the year is going.

It was lovely to see our visitors brave the weather over half term week.

As we were closing, one family was still in the picnic area and their little boy was having a great time splashing around in the puddles.

It’s going to be an exciting time this weekend.

On Saturday the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Mr John Harwood will be presenting our Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which we were privileged to receive last year.

It will be lovely for our volunteers to be recognised in this way and we look forward to welcoming guests from the local councils too.

In the afternoon we will be joining in the Great British Spring Clean and having a bit of a tidy up of the centre. Maybe we should have done these the other way round so the centre is spick and span for the celebration!

As part of the Great British Spring Clean we will be one of the organisations involved in clearing up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and beaches. Although we do our best to keep the centre clean and we encourage our staff and volunteers to pick up litter rather than walk past it, the spring is a great time to spot all the crisp packets and sandwich wrappers that have blown into hedges and other nooks and crannies. It’s also a chance to tidy up the workshop areas that seem to fill up with various bits and pieces before our main opening season.

Then on Sunday there will be another of our successful Little Engineers’ Workshops in the Science, Learning & Railways Exhibition. The subject this time is 'Free Build' and families with children aged between three and six can pop in between 11.30am and 3.30pm. As always, attendance at the workshop is included in our normal admission charge and there is no need to book.

Readers who have seen our new sign outside Didcot Parkway Station will have noticed that we are open daily from the first weekend in March. We will review how many extra visitors our longer opening attracts and if it is a success will carry on with extended opening times next year. March is also the month that we welcome Thomas the Tank Engine for his first visit of the year on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 when he will be joined by his Friends and the Fat Controller. We always hope for good weather and will be watching th forecast for the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!