For the last few weeks we have been enjoying our football-free zone at Didcot Railway Centre as we carry on with our normal opening programme and enjoy the lovely weather.

This weekend we welcome the Star Tugs for their annual visit.

The Star Tugs are based on a 1980s children’s television series, TUGS, and live at the Midland Railway Centre in Butterley, Derbyshire.

It was lovely to see them in 2017 when they made themselves very comfortable in our Victorian Transfer Shed, which will be their temporary home again this year.

I must admit I thought Star Fleet was something to do with the United Federation of Planets but of course it is also Bigg City Port’s primary tug fleet captained not by Captain Kirk but by Captain Star.

However, like Captain Kirk, Captain Star is proud of his tugs and makes sure they remain 'honest, true and forgiving' with each other if they do squabble.

There are eight tugs in the Star Fleet.

Hercules is an ocean-going tug and makes regular trips across the sea or up the coast to handle major contracts far from Bigg City.

He is also the Star Tugs’ natural-born leader.

Warrior tows ships and does barge work, his main duty being at the garbage dump with Lord Stinker.

Warrior is very likeable to his friends and is eager to work hard and please Captain Star but he is a bit clumsy and is always bumping into something or other around the harbour.

Ten Cents is the youngest in the fleet and a brave friend to the rest of the tugs.

I don’t think Grampus the submarine has visited us but we have a grampus of our own as it was the name given to permanent way (track work) wagons that had drop sides enabling hand loading and unloading of materials.

Bigg City’s secondary tug fleet is the Z-Stacks which are based on New York City’s Moran Fleet tugs from the 1920s.

Their captain is Captain Zero who thinks that his tugs are 'the best, better looking, more powerful and dare I say, more devious'.

Poor Zip is said to be the dimmest of the Z-Stack tugs and relishes trouble and working against the Star Tugs.

Come along to Didcot Railway Centre this weekend and meet the whole gang.

All our usual attractions are open, including our brand new exhibition, The Signalling Centre, which is lovely and cool in the hot weather, or enjoy the sun with a picnic while you watch the trains go by.

We have two trains running and you can ride on our branch line train to see the Star Tugs in the Transfer Shed.