More than £50,000 raised after vandals cause 'wanton destruction' to model railway exhibition

The school hall where the models were destroyed Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club/Facebook/PA

More than £50,000 has been raised for a model railway club after vandals destroyed years of work during a break in.

Rail enthusiasts from Market Deeping Model Railway Club were left devastated after stands and layouts were destroyed ahead of its annual show.

The group has been forced to cancel the event, posting on its Facebook page the announcement came with "very much regret".

The club said months of planning goes into the exhibition, adding some of the models on display were “irreplaceable”.

It had hoped to raise just £500 to help repair some of the damage caused, but thousands of donations mean it has far surpassed its original target.

Vandals destroyed models set up for the annual show Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club/Facebook/PA

Chairman Peter Davies said: “Models that were made over years were trodden on and thrown around. It’s a total wanton destruction of the highest order.

“I’ve never experienced anything like it. A hurricane would have done less damage.”

He added the club had been overwhelmed with offers of support and thanked well-wishers for their help.

On its JustGiving fundraising page, the group said: "Some of the models on display are irreplaceable and whilst money cannot possibly replace the hours of painstaking effort that has been so wantonly destroyed."

Stands were destroyed by the vandals Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club/Facebook/PA

Police said four people were arrested at Queen Eleanor School in Stamford following the incident.

Officers were tipped off after noises were heard coming from the building, where the show was due to be held, shortly before 4am on Saturday morning.

The four have since been released on conditional police bail pending further inquiries.