Model railway exhibit trashed by vandals restored with help from Rod Stewart

A model railway exhibit 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 display at Stamford, Lincolnshire, on May 18.

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

The restored model railway
The restored model railway (Paul Bason/PA)

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

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

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 Sir Rod’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.”

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

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.

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