Lincolnshire

Market Deeping model railway rebuilt with Rod Stewart's help

Members of the club
Image caption Members of the club have spent about 1,000 hours rebuilding the display

A £30,000 model railway display destroyed by vandals has been rebuilt thanks to generous donations from well-wishers, including Sir Rod Stewart.

The Market Deeping Model Railway Club's display was ruined by four teenagers at Welland Academy in Stamford, Lincolnshire, in May.

Donations - including £10,000 from model rail enthusiast Sir Rod - allowed the sets to be repaired.

They are now on display at the Warley Show at the Birmingham NEC.

It has taken about 30 members of the Market Deeping Club approximately 1,000 hours to restore their displays, making the train, track and buildings by hand.

The wires and electrics beneath also had to be completely rebuilt.

Rod Stewart reveals his epic model railway city

Image caption The wires and electrics beneath also had to be completely rebuilt

Four 16-year-old boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted criminal damage at Lincoln Youth Court.

The court heard on 18 May they had shared a bottle of vodka as part of a "pre-exam night out" before going on a "rampage".

Members of the club said a life's work had been destroyed with some displays taking years to complete.

Image caption All the models have been handcrafted by the members of the Market Deeping club
Image copyright Market Deeping Model Railway Club
Image caption The club had set up for its annual show in Stamford when vandals struck

The fundraising page set up to raise £500 for the club raised more than £70,000 in just over a day. It topped £107,000 after Sir Rod backed their efforts.

The singer said at the time: "It took me 23 years to build my model railway so I feel their pain. The collection was priceless and I am donating £10,000 to help compensate those affected."

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The Market Deeping Model Railway Club chairman Peter Davies said: "Rod's donation was completely out of the blue, and it was absolutely amazing."

He added: "We could have just easily walked away. That's not the thing to do, we're a club, we work together and it's been satisfying getting it back again."

Image copyright Steve Crise/Railway Modeller
Image caption Sir Rod recently told Railway Modeller magazine he had been working on an intricate model of a US city for 23 years

Sir Rod has now been made an honorary club member with his own t-shirt, although it has not been confirmed if he will collect it in person.

The Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, on Saturday and Sunday, includes 90 model railway layouts and a full-size locomotive display.

Image caption Sir Rod has now been made an honorary member of the club, with his own t-shirt

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