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Rock and rail: Rod Stewart helps save model railway

The model railway has been repaired after it was destroyed by vandals in May. Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club

A model railway which was brutally destroyed by youth vandals is to go on show for the first time since it was restored.

The Market Deeping Model Railway Club display was damaged at Welland Academy in Stamford, Lincolnshire, in May. Following the attack more than £107,000, including a £10,000 donation from model rail enthusiast Sir Rod Stewart, was raised through a crowdfunding appeal to repair the exhibitions.

The display is now due to go on show at the NEC in Birmingham later this week.

Sir Rod has also been made an honorary member by the club and will receive his own Market Deeping Model Railway Club polo shirt.

The club say they're still receiving donations months after the incident. Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club

Earlier this year four 16-year-old boys admitted damaging the display after drinking a bottle of vodka on a "pre-exam night rampage".

Trains and track layouts in the exhibit set up by the Market Deeping Model Railway Club were stamped on and destroyed at a school in Stamford in Lincolnshire.

Club secretary Brian Norris wrote in his appeal for help at the time: “Imagine our horror and grief when we were greeted by this scene of absolute devastation."

The model railway will be on display at the NEC in Birmingham on the 23rd and 24th November. Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club

Peter Davis, Chairman of Market Deeping Model Railway Club, told how model railways were the third most popular hobby in the world. "Fishing is first, then football, then there we are third," Mr Davis said.

"People hide under a bushel. Sir Rod Stewart himself said he wasn't very happy with the publicity because he thought he would be ridiculed.

"But we don't care anymore, we have been through the worst, now we are seeing the best in people.

"We are making Sir Rod an honorary member, we were always going to.

"We are giving him a Market Deeping Model Railway Club polo shirt with his name on the back in gold."

Mr Davis revealed the club is still receiving donations more than six months after the vandalism.

"It is humbling, it is overwhelming, we want to find ways of honouring all the donations," he added.

"The future of the hobby is with young people, we are all greying or balding."