Sir Rod Stewart on model railway exhibition destruction: I feel their pain

The singer, a model railway enthusiast, has announced a £10,000 donation.

Sir Rod Stewart has said he is “absolutely devastated” following the destruction of a model railway exhibition.

The singer, 74, a model railway enthusiast, has announced he is donating £10,000 after the show was completely trashed by vandals.

Sir Rod, who built up his own model railway over more than 20 years, is urging his fellow musicians to dig deep following the vandalism.

Vandalised model railway
Vandals destroyed models set up for the annual show (Market Deeping Model Railway Club)

Stands were overturned and layouts were destroyed at a school in Stamford, Lincolnshire, on Saturday, where the Market Deeping Model Railway Club was holding its annual show.

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

Speaking about the model railway owners, Sir Rod said in a statement to the Press Association, “I feel their pain”.

He said: “I was absolutely devastated to hear that vandals had destroyed what was to be a lovely show by the Market Deeping Model Railway Club over the weekend.

Stands destroyed by vandals
Stands destroyed by the vandals (Market Deeping Model Railway Club/Facebook/PA)

“The collection was priceless and I am donating £10,000 to help compensate those affected and asking fellow enthusiasts Jools Holland, Roger Daltrey and others to do the same.”

The Do Ya Think I’m Sexy singer added: “It took me 23 years to build my model railway so I feel their pain.”

The star is said to be the proud owner of a model of New York’s Grand Central Station, complete with talking conductors and air-conditioned skyscrapers.

“All the little guys in the engines are talking. It is unbelievable. It really is,” he has said, but warned: “Don’t say it’s a ‘train set’. It is a scale-model railway.”

Earlier, club chairman Peter Davies had told the BBC: “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 said the club had been overwhelmed with offers of support and thanked well-wishers for their help.

The crowdfunding page to raise money for the exhibition had gained around £57,000 in donations, hugely over its £500 target.

Four youths were arrested in connection with the incident but have since been released on conditional police bail pending further inquiries.

Lincolnshire Police were alerted to the incident by a local resident when noises were heard coming from Queen Eleanor School shortly before 4am.

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