A model railway exhibit that was destroyed by vandals has gone on display after being restored thanks to an outpouring of donations, The Guardian reported.
Members of the Market Deeping Model Railway Club said a “life’s work” had been destroyed after the £30,000 display was trashed at Stamford, Lincolnshire, on 18 May.
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 for repairs.
The sets are now restored and on display at the Warley National Model Railway Show at the Birmingham NEC, The Guardian reported.
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.”
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, The Guardian reported.
In August, Lincoln Youth Court heard that three “mindless” teenagers 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.
Four 16-year-old schoolboys went on a 4 am “rampage,” pushing over tables and throwing parts of displays against the wall.
The teens, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted criminal damage at Lincoln Youth Court.
The Warley National Exhibition is on Saturday and Sunday and showcases more than 90 model railway layouts from the UK and abroad.
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.”
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.
— With files from the BBC