20 May 2019
Their annual exhibition destroyed by vandals, more than £44,000 raised for the club and its exhibitors.
During the night of Saturday, May 18, "mindless vandals" attacked model railway exhibits setup at the Wellend Academy, Stamford. Expected to open to the public on the Sunday morning, plans to celebrate the annual event were swiftly halted after an attack during the early hours of the morning which left a trail of devastation.
From layouts that had been pushed over and "stamped on" to models that had been "thrown through basketball hoops", the scene that awaited members of the club as they arrived reduced many to tears. One gentleman broke down in tears after announcing he didn't have enough years left to rebuild the damage.
"Many of these layouts have taken years to build" commented Colin Brown, President of Market Deeping Model Railway Club. "We need the event to help fund the rent for our clubrooms" he said, "this attack is unfathomable, I just can't understand why anyone would want to do that".
The scene of destruction left behind after four teenagers broke many of the exhibits.
Police were alerted to the attack after an alarm sounded at the Academy during the early hours of the morning and four 15-year-olds were arrested and taken into custody at Grantham, but later released where it is expected they'll appear at a Juvenile Court.
Small trade stands were attacked, too. "My credit card machine was stamped on", said one gentleman. "The machine isn't insured either, because I'm at a show", he claimed. Despite the hardship inflicted upon the club, its members have become more resilient and are planning to bounce back. "We're thinking about planning an exhibition with free entry for the public in the autumn", said Colin Brown, who said he's been overwhelmed by the level of support shown by people from around the world, many of whom aren't model railway enthusiasts.
"My telephone hasn't stopped ringing" he said, "I've received emails from many people in the UK, but also overseas such as the USA, Australia and Mexico. It's unbelievable and we're so grateful."
The remains of one of the layouts, broken by vandals. Most of the remains aren't salvageable.
A kit-built locomotive, throw by vandals and damaged to a great extent. The mangled wheels and bent brass would have taken weeks to construct.
More than £88,000 has been raised for Market Deeping Model Railway club and its layout exhibitors through a crowd-funding page, where many small donations are helping to pay for its club rent and contribute towards future rebuilds.