"I've had people in the shop – both young and old – asking about it all week and buying souvenirs.
"It's brilliant for the town, it will bring in so many visitors from all over the country who will all use the shops and the pubs." The engine is in Didcot for the first time since it underwent a multi-million pound restoration overseen by the National Railway Museum in York.
"Yes it cost a lot of money to do up but I feel that's been repaid when you see the reactions of people." Helping Clive will be Grahame Dryden, a Didcot man who has driven trains at the centre since 2000.
His job is to guide the Flying Scotsman around the tracks that he knows so well.
Ann Middleton, who has volunteered at the centre for 32 years, said she hadn't known an event like it since the 150th anniversary of the Great Western Railway in 1985.
She said: "It's such a well known locomotive that we're hoping it will help us attract a new audience.
And their their party animal antics – for which the English scored 9 against Scotland’s 6 – is a more dubious attribute.
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The soot-covered Yorkshireman said: "Most of the time it's a real privilege to drive this thing. "It's hot and dirty in the cabin but that's all part of the job. If one part doesn't work, it won't go so we've got to work together. "We used eight and a half tonnes of coal going from Carlisle to York and back and we'll be using a lot again this weekend.
"She was built in 1923 when we built things that last forever.
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