Wednesday 11 December 2019

Rod Stewart helps model railway exhibit get back on track after it was destroyed by vandals

Rod Stewart donated £10,000 (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rod Stewart donated £10,000 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Sophia Dourou

A model railway exhibit in the UK which was destroyed by vandals has gone on display after being restored thanks to an outpouring of donations.

Members of the Market Deeping Model Railway Club said a "life's work" had been destroyed after youths trashed the £30,000 (€34,932) display at Stamford, Lincolnshire, on May 18.

Undated handout photo of a model railway exhibit which was destroyed by vandals has gone on display after being restored thanks to an outpouring of donations. Photo: Paul Bason/PA Wire
Undated handout photo of a model railway exhibit which was destroyed by vandals has gone on display after being restored thanks to an outpouring of donations. Photo: Paul Bason/PA Wire

A surge in crowdfunded donations, including £10,000 from singer and model railway enthusiast Rod Stewart, allowed the club to raise more than £107,000 to go towards repairs.

The sets are now restored and on display at the Warley National Model Railway Show at the Birmingham NEC.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

READ MORE: £30,000 raised after model railway exhibition vandalised

Market Deeping Model Railway Club chairman Peter Davies told the PA news agency that he was "delighted" at the restoration of the display.

Vandals destroyed models set up for the annual show (Market Deeping Model Railway Club)
Vandals destroyed models set up for the annual show (Market Deeping Model Railway Club)

He said: "We had to rebuild from the platform up.

"As chairman of the club I am proud of all of the guys."

Mr Davies said that it took 25 club members 1,000 hours of work to restore the models by hand, with some of the originals having taken years to build.

Commenting on Mr Stewart's "amazing and truly humbling" donation, he added: "This kind of thing doesn't happen, model railway exhibitions don't get trashed.

"To have that sort of donation has enabled us to get back on track."

READ MORE: Sir Rod Stewart on model railway exhibition destruction: I feel their pain

He told PA he was going to meet the singer and now honorary club member when they both appear as guests on the BBC's The One Show on Monday.

In August, Lincoln Youth Court heard that three "mindless" youths shared a bottle of vodka as part of a pre-exam night out before deliberately destroying the exhibition, which was on display at the Stamford Welland Academy.

The 16-year-old schoolboys, along with a fourth defendant, went on a 4am "rampage" by pushing tables over and throwing parts of displays against the wall.

The Warley National Exhibition is on Saturday and Sunday and showcases more than 90 model railway layouts from the UK and abroad.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News