It’s back for the seventh year in a row! Visitors to the northern half of Oswestry in recent weeks may have been puzzled by the whistle of steam engines and the whiff of coal fired engines far from the railway tracks the other side of town.

The nostalgic sounds and smells come from the Treetops Steam Railway in Green End, currently a hive of activity as final preparations are made for the annual open day on Saturday.

The miniature-gauge steam railway is the brainchild of former Oswestry policeman David Dilnot and his wife Sandra, who in seven years have raised more than £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by throwing open their large garden to the public for an afternoon of free rides on the railway which encircles it.

Every year sees steady improvements in this now-iconic Oswestry engineering landmark, and as usual David and his band of steam enthusiast helpers have been busy putting the final touches to engines, tracks, rolling stock and signalling for this year’s event.

Children who enjoyed the excitement of a couple of derailments on a stretch of downhill track at last year’s event will be disappointed to learn this section of the railway has been relaid.

But other familiar attractions of the open day remain, including the popular ukulele band the Beatleles UK, who will provide live background music mostly based on the Beatles repertoire.

There will also be a grand draw with lots of prizes, outdoor games including a hoopla contest with an exciting play-off for the winner, craft and cake stalls and face painting.

On the top lawn there will be an extensive 16mm scale model railway in operation, also with live steam trains.

The main attraction, however, will of course be the opportunity to spend an afternoon wallowing in the romance of steam power, and watching these gleaming locomotives pulling their wagonloads of passengers.

The first train leaves the station at 12.30, with the final run four hours later, and throughout the afternoon there will be free rides for children and grown-ups on trains pulled by four steam locos and also one heavy-duty battery engine.

With plenty of free parking on adjoining streets, this an event for everyone’s diary.

All those who have been before are likely to be there, and newcomers are welcome at only £2 a head which includes unlimited travel on the railway.

Visitors are asked to park considerately for the event, which will be signposted and is reached from Oakhurst Road via Park Drive and Oakhurst Avenue, where there is ample parking between driveways. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

Final word from David and Sandra: “Come and support this important fun day. Extra prizes for the draw are welcome, also cakes.”