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Model railway club devastated by vandals back on track at exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:02 22 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 25 June 2019

Mick Quinn and Bill Sowerby from the Market Deeping Model Railway Club. Picture: Chris Bishop

Mick Quinn and Bill Sowerby from the Market Deeping Model Railway Club. Picture: Chris Bishop

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Drunken youths smashed layouts which had taken years to build the night before the Market Deeping model club's exhibition in May.

A model of a town at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopA model of a town at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

But today members of the Lincolnshire-based group brought a layout which survived the attack to King's Lynn, for the town's annual model show.

Club secretary Bill Sowerby, 74, took pictures of the scene of destruction before showing them to "heartbroken" members. A crowd funding appeal set up online has since raised more than £100,000 - including a £10,000 donation from the singer Rod Stewart.

A cat looking over an exhibit at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopA cat looking over an exhibit at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

Mick Quinn, the club's exhibition manager said: "It was £107,000 last time I looked, £500 was all we asked for to cover some of our expenses that day but it just exploded, it mushroomed."

Around 20 layouts were on show at Lynnsport for the event, organised by the King's Lynn Model Railway Club.

The controls at Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris BishopThe controls at Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris Bishop

While some achieved life-like realism in miniature, one modeller took a more whimsical theme.

Retired carpenter Derek Reeve, 67, from Sudbury, Suffolk, created a cheese mine worked by more than 100 mice. Each rodent took two hours to build.

The controls at Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris BishopThe controls at Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris Bishop

Sitting at the controls, which worked trains, animated mice and a herd of cows, he said: "It was originally going to be a mine. Then I put this foam stuff in and when I cut it, it looked like cheese, so I thought: Right, cheese mine."

Stephen and Kass Cooper from Mablethorpe, Lincs, went to the other extreme with their intricately-modelled buildings, which include tiny furnishing.

A model of railway tracks at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopA model of railway tracks at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

"We waned to do the detailed interiors of the buildings," said Mr Cooper. "But people don't have their lights on during the day, so we decided four O'Clock on a November afternoon would do the trick."

A model of a boat at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopA model of a boat at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris BishopDerek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris Bishop

Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris BishopDerek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris Bishop

A cat observing Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris BishopA cat observing Derek Reeve's from Sudbury, Suffolk cheese mine layout. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopScenes from the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

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Scenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopScenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopScenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

Stephen Cooper's model of a November afternoon. Picture: Chris BishopStephen Cooper's model of a November afternoon. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopScenes from the King's Lynn Model Railway Club exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

A model of a seaside town at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris BishopA model of a seaside town at the model railway exhibition. Picture: Chris Bishop

Devastation caused by vandals to the Market Deeping Model Railway Club's exhibition in May, Picture: Chris BishopDevastation caused by vandals to the Market Deeping Model Railway Club's exhibition in May, Picture: Chris Bishop

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