The scumbags rampaged through a school hall where model rail enthusiasts had lovingly prepared the exhibition to showcase their work. Most of the exhibits – miniaturised versions of real railways – had taken years of craftsmanship, dedication and skill to create.
Those years of dedication were destroyed in minutes as the vandals left the room in tatters.
The horrific rampage led to the cancellation of the Market Deeping Model Railway Club’s show in Stamford, Lincs.
Four youths have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and criminal damage and have been released on conditional bail.
Club chairman, Peter Davies, said the display had taken hours to prepare and included some exhibitions which were the ‘life’s work’ of some members.
The exhibition was expected to attract between 500 to 600 people from across the country and was due to begin on Saturday.
Peter Davies, 70, of Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, said: “We are devastated and distraught.
“It’s heartbreaking. There were grown men there in tears because of what had been done, and I admit I was one of them.
“Can you imagine your life’s work wrecked? One guy spent 25 years on his work and it’s wrecked, it’s just horrendous. They left it like a bomb site.
“We had to abandon the whole thing because it was it was scene of total devastation.
“We will never have the time to build the sort of layouts again, that’s where the anger comes from. Some of the models were irreplaceable.
“Work that had taken many years to complete was totally destroyed.
“There were many different models of locomotives across the hall that were smashed, trodden and kicked about.
“Tables and layouts were overturned, dioramas were trashed, it was total devastation and destruction.
“There was no plan it was mindless. I have no idea why someone would do this.
“The damage will top tens of thousands of pounds but it will never any recompense the time, skill and love that went into making those models, you can’t compensate that.
“People have spent their lives building a model and then to see it trashed, there is no human emotion you can explain – just total despair.
“But we’ve had support from all over the world – as far away as New Zealand and we will rise back from this’.”