Arsonists have destroyed sheds containing model railways at the Midland Railway Centre, leaving volunteers devastated.
The alarm was raised at 12.40am on Sunday with crews from three stations battling for three and a half hours to bring the blaze at Swanwick Junction under control.
Club secretary Dave Wragg said this week: “It has devastated us. One of our members was nearly in tears. That much has been funded by members. I had looked at everything on Saturday night when we packed up and thought, ‘We have a good display here’.”
Volunteer Sam Moss watched fire crews in action. and said: “The old Allports shop to the right-hand side also caught light but luckily was put out relatively quickly due to quick action by the fire brigade.”
Come daylight Swanwick Junction Model Railway Club declared nothing was salvageable. Two wooden sheds housing different gauge model layouts, along with a container full of building supplies, burnt to the ground. The fire also melted a large electrical junction box causing power loss to the site.
Mr Wragg said however, the club was determined to carry on and wanted to build a more permanent home for the layouts. Anyone who would like to donate to the appeal can contact the club care of Midland Railway Trust Ltd, at Butterley Station, Ripley. For more: www.ripleyandheanornews.co.uk.