More than £100,000 has been raised to help members of a railway club whose displays were wrecked by vandals last weekend.
Market Deeping Model Railway Club lost years of work after intruders got into a school in Stamford, Lincolnshire on Saturday. Since then the club has been inundated with pledges of money and support after their plight was publicised in national newspapers, on TV and social media. Legendary singer Rod Stewart has confirmed he has donated £10,000 to the cause, and radio presenter Jeremy Vine has said he has too donated to the appeal.
Lincolnshire Police have said that four youths, one aged 16 and three aged 15, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and criminal damage, and have since been released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.
The Lincolnshire Police website states: “About 0350 today (Saturday) we were alerted by a local resident that noises had been heard coming from Queen Eleanor School in Stamford and a short time later, while we were on our way to the call, the alarm at the school activated. On arrival at the school we arrested four youths, who were on the premises, for burglary and criminal damage. We are continuing our investigation and confirm damage was done to model railway exhibits which had been set up in the school for a display today.
“The four youths, one aged 16 and three aged 15, have been released on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.”
Brian Norris, secretary of Market Deeping Model Railway Club, said in a statement on the club’s crowdfunding page: “Market Deeping Model Railway Club needs your help to rebuild. We have held our annual show in Stamford for the last 12 years. Months of planning goes into the show and years of work goes into building the layout. Imagine our horror and grief when we were greeted by this scene of absolute devastation.
“Some of the models on display are irreplaceable and while money cannot possibly replace the hours of painstaking effort that has been so wantonly destroyed, we would ask that you make a donation, no matter how small, to help us get back on our feet. Please accept our thanks in advance.
“We originally hoped for £500 to fund some of our rebuilding costs. The response has been out of this world and overwhelming. We are truly grateful for everything that has been donated, both money and gifts. We weren’t the only ones to suffer and our thoughts are turning to those others affected.”
Donate to the cause by clicking the link: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/market-deeping-mrcEnjoy more Heritage Railway reading in the four-weekly magazine. Click here to subscribe.